Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cast Iron Pizza

Jo saw somewhere that somebody cooked a pizza in a cast-iron skillet. She thought we should try making a deep-dish pizza that way, so I accepted the challenge. 

I've had a great Chicago deep-dish pizza recipe that I've been making for about 30 years, but I've always made it in a deep pizza pan. And I haven't made it for about 20 years. I also wanted to try to make the crust more buttery & flaky. Can't wait to try a few modifications and make a pizza that's the perfect size for the 2 of us. 

I start with the dry ingredients:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar

Dissolve 2 1/4 tsp yeast in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. 

Melt 1/2 stick of butter and let it cool down a little. 

Use the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid for easy mixing and kneading. 

Add the yeasty water and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and start that dough hook mixing. 

Mix until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. 

Oil a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, then flip it over to coat with the olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 1-2 hours). 

Press the dough out on a floured surface. 

Roll into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. 

Spread 1/2 stick of softened butter over the dough. Yes, REAL butter. No fake stuff in my house!

Now roll it up like you're making cinnamon rolls. 

My guesstimate is that there is enough dough for 3 deep-dish skillet pizzas. So I cut the log of dough into 3 equal pieces. 

Shape them so they're close to round and put back in the bowl to rise, covered, for another hour in the fridge. 

Here's the 11-inch cast iron skillet I'll be using. It's been in the family for decades and is well-seasoned. 

I sprayed the skillet with some butter-flavored non-stick spray. 

Drop in 1 of the dough balls. 

Flatten out the dough evenly in the skillet. 

Just enough dough to pinch some up the sides for a high edge to hold in all those toppings. Looks like my guesstimate was's just the right amount of dough. 

Chicago-style deep dish pizza is built a little different. First, a good amount of mozzarella cheese goes right on the crust. 

Oops...almost forgot to dice up the garlic cloves!

A nice layer of cooked Graziano's sausage goes on the cheese. 

We prefer fresh mushrooms, but nobody had them on sale this week. So I just used canned mushrooms. 

Now, cover with pepperoni. 

Then cover with a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes. I like to use the Italian style, which includes some Italian spices. 

Add the chopped garlic. 

And top with some Parmesan cheese. Might want to sprinkle a little salt on those tomatoes, too. 

Bake at 425-degrees until the crust is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. 

That looks good enough to eat!

Good stuff! And we have leftovers!

And now we have 2 future deep-dish doughs in the freezer. I'll just thaw them out, let them rise for a couple hours, and make them into pizza.