You don’t have to own anything more than a cast iron skillet to have amazing pizza with a great crust. True story.
I like this method of pizza making because it’s easy and approachable. There are no pizza peels and you essentially have a mold for pizza. Plus it works like a charm and this being the South – who doesn’t own a cast iron skillet? I hope no one answers yes, simply because it’s one of my favorite pans. Anyways, you can do this with any ingredients, any pizza dough crust recipe, or even a can of store-bought pizza dough. It’s your pizza and so you should do as you please. To demonstrate this method we went classic with Margherita pizza. It’s hard to go wrong with good sauce, mozzarella, and basil. So here goes…
First off you need your base crust. I used The Mozza Cookbook recipe: Nancy’s Pizza Dough
We lurv it. It’s flavorful and I just mix it up the night before in my bread machine and put it rest
in an oiled bowl overnight in the fridge. I usually halve the recipe – which gives us a couple pies.
Perfect for two-four people.
Equipment: 10-12 inch cast iron skillet and some grapeseed oil and some semolina for dusting.
feel free to sub the oil for anything with a low smoking point like vegetable or canola and the
semolina can be substituted with cornmeal – if necessary!
Now you are gonna need some sauce and whatever you want to put atop your homemade pizza.
Cast Iron Pizza – Classic Margherita Pizza
- 1/4 recipe of Nancy’s Pizza Crust
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil, for brushing edge
- 1-2 tsp of sea salt, for sprinkling edge
or as we say: the handles!
- 1 whole peeled san marzano tomato
- 1-2 Tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 lbs of mozzarella, sliced or torn
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sauce
- 5-10 basil leaves
Preheat oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Place the rack in the middle to upper oven – we like the second rung, personally.) Remove dough from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you are ready to prepare your pizza.
Mix up your sauce! It’s so easy and taste 100x better than anything in a bottle or can.
Combine 1 whole san marzano plus 1-2 Tbsp of sauce; sugar, salt, and olive oil. Pulse in a mini-food processor, smash with your fingers, or mash up with a fork. We like the texture from our mini-prep. It’s rustic without being too chunky.
Dough directions can be found here: Nancy’s Pizza Dough and we are going to prepare our pan for assembly.
Coat the skillet lightly with grapeseed (or other) oil and dust with semolina.
This is gonna help the pizza release from the pan.
I take 1/4 of the dough recipe and roll it out to the approximate size of the pan and using my fingers I stretch and dimple the dough out until it fits and is the thickness we like. (medium to thin). Take the teaspoon of olive oil and brush the edge (or handle) and then sprinkle with sea salt.
NOW BEFORE WE ASSEMBLE FOR THE OVEN
CRANK YOUR OVEN TO BROIL FOR AT LEAST 5 MINUTES.
This just helps the oven stay at a high temp while you have it open.
Now add your desired amount of sauce, spiraling to the oil coated edge, add cheese (remember it will spread as it melts.) And pop it in the oven for 8 to 14 minutes (depending on the thickness of your dough and what level you place it in the oven.)
I turn my oven back down to 500 after the first five minutes. I have a gas oven that is a beast (with the oven pilot on the top – so it can get roasty!!)
This pie took 12 minutes. The best way to check is the crust handles. Once removed – sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with extra oil and/or sprinkle with parmesan – it’s your pizza go crazy!
Thick, thin, extra sauce, or extra cheese – it’s always fabulous. And this crust – see how lovely it is? Crispy, lovely buttery brown (minus any butter of course), and it’s flavorful top to bottom.
Here’s to the weekend and pizza nights! ApronClad