Iron Skillet Pizza

By • May 5, 2010 31 Comments

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Author Notes: My best version of a deep-dish pizza, made in an 11-inch cast-iron skillet. This takes some advance planning, if you make it as I prefer to; I like to make the dough a day in advance and let it mature in the fridge overnight as it slowly rises. I find the crust develops more flavor with this method. I love the butter in this crust; it makes the final crust flaky and light, which is important in a deep-dish pizza. The sauce in this recipe makes more than you'll need for a single pie. This pizza is versatile; it adapts well to vegetarian preparations, for example. We love a spinach and mushroom pizza, using this crust, sauce, and cheese. Obviously, you wouldn't be browning pork sausage for a vegetarian pie, but you might still be sauteeing mushrooms; if so, saute them in the iron skillet and retain any remaining olive oil in the pan. If you're not sauteeing anything in the skillet, be sure to coat the bottom with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. I've been trying to perfect a deep-dish pizza for years; this is my best version to date. - adashofbittersadashofbitters

Food52 Review: I've never made a deep dish pizza before, but having now made this pizza, we'll be enjoying them a lot more. The instructions are clear. The recipe produces a complex sauce, all tomato-y goodness, enriched with the acidity of wine and the sweetness of the carrot. The pizza dough is silky and a breeze to work with. And the entire pie slid out of the skillet (after cooling for 10 minutes) and made a great presentation. A real winner. - MrsWheelbarrowThe Editors

Serves 4-8

Pizza crust

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Sauce and Toppings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for sauce
  • 1 tennis ball-sized onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons shredded carrot
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, in their juices, crushed in your hand (or 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup red wine or port
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for toppings
  • 1/4 pound cremini mushrooms
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn apart by hand
  • 2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chiffonaded
  1. A day in advance, start the dough.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast, sugar, and water; let sit 5 minutes or until frothy.
  3. Add butter, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of flour.
  4. Combine on low speed until flour is incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add remaining flour, half cup at a time, until incorporated.
  6. Increase speed to medium and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and crawls up the dough hook, about 1 minute. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water if dough is dry and not coming together. If dough is too wet, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour.
  7. Continue kneading on medium 2 more minutes, until dough is silky smooth.
  8. Grease a medium bowl with olive oil and add dough to the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk, about an hour.
  9. Punch down, reshape, and let rise again (covered) in the refrigerator, at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring dough back to room temperature 2 hours before you plan to roll it out.
  10. On day of assembly, start the sauce.
  11. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  12. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté onions until soft and golden and then stir in garlic. Cook garlic until soft.
  13. Add carrot and thyme and cook until the carrot is soft.
  14. Add tomatoes (along with their juice) and wine or port. Lower the heat and cook until the sauce is thick, seasoning to taste as you go. It’ll take about half an hour to thicken up appropriately.
  15. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  16. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium, brown crimini mushrooms, and set aside.
  17. Meanwhile, in the same iron-skillet you'll use for the pizza, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium. Add sausage to skillet and brown.
  18. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels. You can remove some fat if desired, but leave the skillet well greased.
  19. Pat or roll the room-temperature dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Let rest for 5 minutes to keep the crust from shrinking and then transfer it to the skillet. Press dough down into bottom of skillet and partway up the sides. Dock dough with fork.
  20. Layer sauce, sausage, mushrooms, and cheese. Bake on bottom rack of oven for 30 minutes.
  21. Remove from oven. Grate Romano cheese over top of pizza and garnish with shredded basil.

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