There is no pizza delivery where we live. Not that there aren’t any pizza joints around, just that we live too far away from them and they won’t deliver here. It has forced us to discover the wonders of homemade pizza and we have enjoyed many a great one!
Our usual pizza is of the thin-crust, gourmet variety (think goat cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken). Sadly, our 14 year-old daughter is not a fan. So when we are looking for a pizza that will satisfy all of us, this is it! It’s deep and rich, full of meat and has “normal” (as daughter would call them) pizza ingredients.
I think this pizza is best baked in a cast-iron skillet, for it’s great heat conducting properties but, in a pinch, you can bake it in any oven-proof dish with high enough sides to contain all the ingredients.
Cast-iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza
Summary: This is our go to pizza when we’re looking for a hearty pizza. The cast-iron skillet cooks the crust so well.
- For the dough:
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp. instant or active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 – 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey or sugar
- For the pizza sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz. can of tomatoes with juice (whole or diced, San Marzano if you have some)
- 1 tsp. salt *or less, depending on saltiness of tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- For the pizza:
- Sliced Mozzarella cheese
- Cooked italian sausage, crumbled
- Cooked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Optional: olives, pre-cooked mushrooms or any other of your favourite pizza ingredients
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
- If you are using active dry yeast, go ahead and proof the yeast in the water and let sit for 15 minutes. For instant yeast, just combine the yeast with the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, cornmeal and instant yeast, if using instant. Add the water (or yeast/water if using active dry yeast), olive oil and honey or sugar. Stir until moistened then dump out onto a well-floured surface. Add more flour in 1/4 cup increments while kneading dough until you achieve a soft dough that is neither sticky or stiff. Remove dough to a well-oiled large bowl and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour (*can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours at this point. Bring to room temperature before using if refrigerating).
- While dough is rising, prepare pizza sauce by heating oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant and softened. Add tomatoes and spices. Crush with a spoon if using whole tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature and simmer until sauce thickens. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.
- When dough is ready, roll into a circle on a floured surface, big enough to fit your cast-iron frying pan, allowing a couple of inches extra for the dough to come up the side of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease bottom and sides of cast-iron frying pan with olive oil and lightly dust with additional cornmeal. Transfer dough to cast-iron frying pan and press into bottom and sides until even thickness. Cover bottom of pizza with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Top with sausage and bacon (and any other pizza items such as mushrooms and olives). Top with all of the pizza sauce and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake in pre-heated 425° F. oven for about 45 minutes, or until crust is set and golden.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 45 min | Total time: 2 hours
Number of servings (yield): 4