I have a pizza stone and a peel so I really have no need to make pizza in my cast iron skillet. But now that I’ve tried it, I’m sold. The crust didn’t get as brown as when I use the pizza stone. But it’s so much easier – it makes weeknight pizza a no brainer.
1) Preheat the oven to 475. Brush the cast iron skillet with olive oil.
2) Stretch out the dough (I bought pre-made dough at Trader Joe’s) until it’s about as big as the pan and lay out. Stretch the dough as needed until it covers the whole bottom of the pan.
3) Spoon on your sauce. I used pesto for this pizza. Add cheese. I used fresh smoked mozzarella which I sliced. Add toppings. I used two kinds of salami, and mixed olives and peppers from the olive bar.
4) Put skillet in oven and bake until brown. I checked after 11 minutes, then rotated the pan and baked for another 4 minutes.
5) Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. (I got impatient and took the pizza out of the pan after 5 – I bet the crust would have gotten browner if I let it sit in the hot pan a little longer.) Transfer to cutting board with tongs or a large spatula,
To gild the lily, I added arugula to the top after I took the pizza out of the pan.
Here’s a mushroom pizza I made on another day:
This pizza was amazing. I got the recipe from my CSA (Farm Box LA) newsletter.
- pizza dough (homemade or store bought – I used Trader Joe’s brand for this)
- olive oil
- garlic (1-2 cloves)
- salt (optional)
- 2-3 medium tomatoes
- fresh oregano (optional)
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- 4 slices prosciutto
- greens of your choice (e.g. chard, kale)
First a note on quantity. A tub of fresh mozzarella balls (get the medium or large sized, not the tiny ones), a 4 oz package of prosciutto, and a bunch of greens will be enough for two pizzas. So make two pizzas! Double the very approximate quantities listed above.
1) Preheat oven to 450 (preferably with a pizza stone in the oven but ok if you don’t have one).
2) Cut or tear the greens and add them to a baking sheet, tossed with olive oil and salt. Put in oven for 10 minutes, until they’re a little brown and dried out, but not completely dry (i.e. not as dry as kale chips). Remove from oven and set aside.
3) Roll out pizza dough and stretch it to a roundish shape. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel or a baking pan. Transfer the dough to the peel or pan and adjust shape. Brush some olive oil on the dough. Add chopped garlic and brush it around to make sure all the garlic’s not in one place. Then – my secret pizza technique – sprinkle a little kosher salt on the dough, especially the outer edges that won’t be covered with toppings. Slide the dough onto your pizza stone or put the pan into the oven and bake for 4 minutes.
4) Slice your tomatoes. After the dough has baked for 4 minutes, add the tomatoes. The tomatoes don’t have to cover the whole pizza – just make sure there’s tomato in each bite. Bake for 10 minutes.
5) Slice the mozzarella balls. After the pizza has baked for 10 minutes, add the mozzarella balls and bake for 5 more minutes until the crust is nicely brown. Remove from oven.
6) Slice prosciutto into thin strips. Scatter the prosciutto strips over the pizza and then scatter the greens over the top.
Homemade pizza is really something you can make on a weeknight. It doesn’t look gorgeous – I’m a little challenged in the rolling-dough-in-a-circle department. But it tasted good.
And sometimes it’s just Costco pizza.