The cool weather of football season is on its way, so it's time to put that oven to work with a Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza! Choose your own toppings to enjoy on this scrumptious deep dish crust.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, borrow one from your Grandma or Great Aunt. They probably have one or two stashed away somewhere.
Our Grandmothers used to fry everything from ham and bacon, to chicken to eggs in their tried and true cast iron skillets. Now we make much more in those skillets – deep dish pizza, chocolate chip skillet cookies and even spicy corn bread.
We fry in cast iron skillets and bake in them. With this recipe you'll fry the crust AND bake it.
NO KNEADING NEEDED!
This recipe will make one deep dish pizza in a 9-10” cast iron skillet. PLUS, I always pull enough off the dough ball to make a 10” round very thin crust for my hubby so he can have his own pizza with his own toppings. (If you don’t tear off any dough for a thin crust pizza, you’ll have a deliciously thick deep dish pizza crust.)
I love leftover deep dish pizza, so when it's just me and my hubby enjoying pizza, I'll cover half of the pizza with all our favorite toppings and put just sauce and cheese on the other half (as shown above). Since they are so thick we never eat a whole deep dish pizza. So the next day when I heat up the oven for the leftover half, I'll add more cheese and get our fav toppings on it. It's just like getting two pizzas out of one!
Prep your pan:
Using a 9-10” cast iron skillet, rub it with 1-2 T vegetable oil. You will want to heat the pan in the oven, at 400F degrees to get it very hot. Do that about 10-15 minutes before you put the dough in the pan.
Gather up your Ingredients:
2 ½ C Flour
1 C Water, warm
¾ T Dry yeast, active, not instant
2 t Olive oil
1 t salt
¼ t Sugar
Get mixing, frying and baking:
- Yes, I did say “frying.” You will fry the crust just for a couple of minutes to get the crust starting to get golden on the bottom before you stick it in the oven.
- First, stir the yeast into the warm water and sprinkle the sugar on top. You don’t want the water too hot or it can kill the yeast. I use warm tap water, not too hot and not too cold. I never measure the temperature, I just feel it when it’s warm enough.
- Stir in the sugar and let the yeast mixture get foamy in 4-8 minutes. The foaming tells you it's working.
- In an electric stand mixer bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.
- Stir the wet yeast mixture into the dry mix.
- Add the olive oil and stir.
- Attach the dough hook to the electric mixer and start it out on low, to get the wet and dry mixtures well combined.
- Set the mixer on medium speed and allow the dough hook to do the work to knead the dough until it is completely combined and separating from the sides of the bowl.
- It may be sticky, so add more flour slowly, a little at a time, and continue with the mixer on low-medium speed until the dough has a nice smooth satiny appearance, without being sticky.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and turn it into a smooth ball.
- Rub olive oil lightly all around the dough ball.
- Place the dough ball back into the bowl and cover it, letting it rise for about an hour until it’s double in size.
- Plop the dough onto a floured surface and spread it out to be about the size of the cast iron skillet you’ve chosen.
- Carefully remove your skillet from the oven.
- Set the oven temperature to 500F degrees for the baking of the pizza.
- Make sure your pan is oiled and very hot before putting the crust into the skillet.
- VERY CAREFULLY…Place the dough into the HOT skillet. It should just reach out to the edges of the skillet. It does not need to climb up the side of the skillet.
- With a potholder, set the cast iron skillet with the pizza dough in it, onto a burner set on medium high. Keep a potholder on the handle so you don't accidently grab the bare, hot handle.
- “Fry” the pizza dough on the stovetop burner until it’s just a light golden on the bottom. This helps to get the bottom of the crust cooking. If you oiled the pan enough, the crust will easily lift up with a fork or offset spatula so you can check the bottom.
- Take off the burner and apply your cheeses, sauce, meats, veggies, etc. I don’t like to make too many layers or it may not bake all the way through. I like to place the pepperoni on the very top so I can broil it at the end to get it extra crispy.
- If you use sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese and like nice crispy edges, layer the cheese around the center of the crust, layering it up all around the side of the pan. If you don’t have sliced cheese, no worries, just spread your shredded cheese all around on top of the crust. You know how much cheese you like.
- Spread your favorite tomato sauce on top of the cheese.
- Add your favorite toppings, making sure your pizza does not overflow the edge of the pan.
- Set the cast iron skillet into the preheated 500F degree oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. I always check the pizza at the 10-minute mark to make sure it’s browning the way I want it to. If it’s browning too fast, then I place a sheet of aluminum foil on top so it doesn’t burn. My oven burns hotter on one side, so I usually rotate the pan 180 degrees.
- If you like, turn off the heat and turn on the broiler at the end to get that pepperoni to curl up into cute little crispy cups.
- CAREFULLY remove your masterpiece from the oven.
- Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes – it will be extremely hot!
- Move your masterpiece from the cast iron skillet to a cutting board.
- You DID IT! Slice and share! Enjoy with your most favorite cold brew, milk or soda pop. It’s a DEEP DISH MASTER-PIZZA!
I suppose I could say that I enjoy pizzas of many thicknesses and the many different ways they are cut. I LOVE cold pizza for breakfast. I love warmed up leftover pizza for lunch, and I love to eat the toppings off the pizza when I've had too much of the crust. I love many toppings, especially veggies such as peppers, onions and tomatoes. My standby is a good chunky tomato sauce. Whatever way you love your pizzas, make them your way, make them with the kids, share them with friends and family…and “Bake your own Memories!”