Home-made pizza crust in Cast iron
First is about 3-4 tbsp of pizza sauce. I have good luck with Great Value and Hill Country Fare brands (store brands of Walmart and HEB)
Spread out the sauce with the back of a spoon, then on top of that, a layer of pepperoni slices, then 5-6 oz of mozzarella cheese, then mushrooms (fresh or canned) and sliced black olives. Another ounce or so of cheese, to level out the surface--especially if you're using fresh mushrooms-- and a good coating of parmesan/romano mix, then another layer of pepperoni slices on the top.
Too much cheese? No such thing!
9 ozall-purpose flour (approx 2 cups)
1 Tbspfleischmann's activedry yeast (brown glass jar)
1 tsptable salt
2/3 cwater at approx 110f
How to Make Home-made pizza crust in Cast iron
- Mix dry ingredients with whisk until blended thoroughly in bowl. If using stand mixer, mix in its bowl. Point is to get the dry ingredients all even throughout.
- Add water. The water should be baby-bottle hot or hotter, but not too much hotter. Don't go over about 115 degrees F or you'll kill the live yeast. (105-110 is where my water heater is set, I use hot tap water) At least baby-bottle-temperature. Stir and fold to mix and begin kneading....
- If using stand mixer, set it for medium speed; you kinda want it to slap the dough around pretty good for about 5 minutes. If kneading by hand, turn out onto floured board and 'go to town' on it for about 8 minutes.
At this time start the oven to pre-heating to 400 degrees.
- Oil a bowl with olive oil that is about twice the size of the dough ball being kneaded. Form the dough into a ball and roll it around in this bowl to coat it with oil. This will keep it from drying as it rises. Cover with something, plate....towel....cookie sheet... all you're doing is keeping drafts out...and set in moderately warm place to rise while you complete the preparation. (Only takes a few minutes, you're mainly making sure it WILL rise--this means the yeast is doing its job) I set on top of stove near, but not directly next to, the oven vent. Maybe 6-8 inches away.
- Dribble about a teaspoon of olive oil into a #10 cast iron skillet. (Does not need to be pre-heated.) The #10 is the size that seems just a tad big for stove-top cooking. Measures just over 10 inches across on bottom, and lip-to-lip right at 12 inches. Sprinkle a little corn meal into the oil for flavoring.
- Dough should be swelled up somewhat. Doesn't have to be exactly doubled, because you're gonna punch it down as you form it to the skillet for topping and cooking. There will be no second rise, as you'd do for bread. Turn the dough out into your hand, and set it into the center of the skillet. Push down and out evenly, without pulling dough. You're kinda rolling it with your fist, flattening it to fill the pan bottom and up the sides a bit. Just work it little by little. It'll want to spring back, but keep pushing out and up the sides about an inch, working around the skillet. Eventually it'll get the message and stay where you're pushing it :)
- At this time, add toppings of your choice. (My preferences are in the next section, and it is with that load on the crust that the timing works out well.)
When pizza is decorated as you like it, bake in 400F oven on center rack for 20 minutes and turn oven off. Leave another 4-5 minutes in oven if desired. Remove from oven and it should slide out of the skillet and onto a cutting board for slicing, leaving the skillet clean and oiled for next time! Let set for 2-3 minutes before slicing.