Crispy, crunchy pizza crust makes the world go round. Anyone knows that it is tough to get the perfect amount of crisp in a crust without a pizza stone or a pizza oven. Recreating childhood memories of crisp homemade pizza slices is as easy as preheating the oven and getting out the cast-iron skillet.
Pizza in a pan?
Cast-iron skillets – like the one at Uno Casa are the perfect tools to get the best out of a pizza crust. The robust metal pan helps to disperse heat and create a perfectly crispy base evenly. Cast-iron is a heavy metal that, when properly seasoned, can help brown the bottom of a crust.
To get the best out of your pizza:
- The trick to getting it perfect every time is to preheat the cast-iron skillet before pressing the dough into it. The heat helps crisp the pizza up; a cold skillet will not make a crispy pizza.
- Deep dish style pizza is easy to make by adding a little extra dough. Adjust your cooking time for an additional few minutes to make sure the pizza dough is cooked thoroughly.
- A thinner base is easy to make by reducing the amount of dough used to make the base. When pressing a thinner base, make sure the pizza dough is evenly spread out, or the pizza might be too fragile in places. Thinner pizzas cook faster and can burn, so adjust and keep checking your pizza.
- Homemade pizza dough is always best. Add additional herbs and spices to the dough for more flavor. Don’t add garlic to a dough made with yeast; it will not rise accordingly. If using store-bought, make sure it is room temperature or fully defrosted before rolling.
A skillet pizza recipe to keep
This recipe has all you need to make the best homemade cast-iron skillet pizza. From the dough to the sauce, the only choices you need to make are what cheese to use and what toppings to add.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 cup warm water, 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour (use a gluten-free flour mix with xanthan gum)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 can of tomato sauce, 15 oz
- 1-2 tablespoons oregano to taste
- 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of each garlic and onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- Optional: Pepperoni slices, salami, olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted vegetables, red pepper flakes, feta, cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a 12-inch cast-iron skillet into the oven to warm up.
The dough: In a glass bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, add the yeast and mix well. Set the bowl aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the yeast to activate and become frothy. Fold the flour, salt, and oil together to form a dough. Place the dough ball on a floured worktop, divide the dough in half to make two thin pizzas, or leave as one for a thick deep-dish style pizza. Press the dough out roughly the same size and shape as the skillet.
The Pizza Sauce: Mix the tomato sauce and paste together to remove all lumps of tomato paste. Combine all the other ingredients into the tomato mixture—taste to test for additional seasoning.
The pizza: Carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven with a heatproof glove. Using a paper towel, rub olive oil into the pan carefully. Put the dough into the skillet and press evenly across the base of the skillet. Use a silicone spatula to help smooth the dough out.
Spoon pizza sauce onto the dough and spread it out evenly with a spatula, leave a space around the edges for a crispy crust. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese onto the sauce, add your toppings of choice, and top with a little additional cheese. The cheese shouldn’t be too close to the edge as it could burn.
Place the skillet in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The edges of the pizza crust should be golden brown and crisp when done. Boil under the grill for 5 minutes to make the cheese golden brown and perfectly melted. Remove from the skillet and enjoy while hot with a tasty garlic sauce or on its own!
If you have opted for a deep-dish pizza, par-bake the pizza crust for 5 minutes before adding the sauce and toppings. Be careful when adding sauce and cheese; too much of either could make your pizza a little too soggy or oily.
Homemade is where the heart is
A Cast-iron skillet pizza is quick and easy to make with store-bought sauces and bases. It is easy to make at home from scratch and sometimes tastes better. Try mixing it up and making a beer dough for the base and a variety of toppings. Double up on the dough recipe to make more than one pizza at a time. A smaller 10-inch skillet is perfect for kids’ size pizzas or a smaller pizza if you are serving sides as well.