Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cast Iron Pizza!

I love pizza, but I almost never make it.  It's not an advisable dish to serve around here when members of the household have a definite intolerance of dairy and a likely intolerance to wheat.  Also, pizza is something of a time consuming process.  I rarely have the time for dough kneading and rising (although I do enjoy baking yeast products when I have the time). Furthermore, I don't have the best equipment for pizza making.  Pizza is best baked on a hot stone or tile.  If you don't have time to make pizza, a pizza stone is a waste of money and precious kitchen space.  The last time I tried to make a pizza I tried just making it in a baking pan and ended up with a doughy mess with burned cheese on top.  I had come to believe that pizza was best obtained down the street at Sal's or Frankie & Fanucci's.

Then one day I had a revelation.  I don't have a stone, but cast iron pans are very good at maintaining heat.  What if I heated a cast iron pan and laid a well rolled, thin layer of pizza dough at the bottom and baked it in the pan?  Could that be done?

The Internet has proven to me many times that my supposedly brilliant ideas have been done a hundred times over by other cooks.  On the bright side, it did teach me some methods.

How To Make Pizza In a Cast Iron Pan

Make 1 recipe of pizza dough (or buy it if you don't have time).  I used this recipe.  All you need to do is Google pizza dough recipes and you're good to go.

Heat your pan in the oven for 30 minutes at 450 degrees.

Divide dough in half (this was to make 2 pizzas for a standard-sized pan).  Roll out dough to fit the pan.  Make sure it's not too thin in the middle.  That was my mistake with the first pizza I made.

Remove pan from the oven.  Add 2 Tbl olive oil to the pan.  Carefully place your dough in the pan.  You may need to pat it a bit to get it to cover the pan.

Add your sauce and toppings.

Reduce heat to 375.  Bake pizza about 25 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly.

I split my pizza into two halves because two people with different tastes would be sharing it.  My half had cheese, shaved sweet sorpresatta, and chopped green pepper.  SPP had just mozzarella.

This one wasn't very pretty, but the second one I made was much more attractive.  I rolled out the dough more evenly.

Also, I don't think I need to remind anyone that making  your own sauce is ALWAYS the way to go and it's not difficult.

Pizza Sauce
  • 2 cups tomato puree`
  • 1 pinch fresh oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 5-6 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade
Place the tomatoes, oregano, and garlic cloves in a small saucepan.  Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or more.  Add the basil in the last 5 minutes.  Remove garlic clove when ready to use.