This will make a 12” pan pizza (so you need a 12” cast iron skillet)
"But Mr. Cooksmith, sir, I’m afraid of dough! I have to knead it and it sticks and yeast is all-"
Shut up. This is easy, you’re just lazy. No kneading necessary.
- 2 cups of bread flour (this is different from All-purpose flour, the kind you almost definitely have in your pantry. It matters, trust me.)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- dash of sugar
- 1 cup warm water (if you can’t keep your hand in it for long it’s too hot)
- 2 teaspoon oil (vegetable, olive, EV olive, that sort of thing)
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl at least 3x bigger than the ingredients themselves. The dough is going to rise and if it spills over you only have yourself to blame, dingus.
Mix it up. This is so that all the yeast isn’t right on top (or bottom) of the ingredients when you mix the liquids in. Speaking of which…
Mix in the liquids. I use a rubber spatula, but for those of you that don’t have an intense aversion to things sticking to your fingers you can use your hands (shudder). Make sure there are NO dry chunks left.
After that you will have a bowl of goop! Congratulations! Cover it tight with some plastic wrap and let it sit out for at least 8 hours. This will let the yeast do its work and begin its rise to the (Cast) Iron Throne.
**Note about yeast: Normally you don’t need the sugar with instant yeast, but for whatever reason it always seems to rise better for me when I put it in.
If all you have is self-rising yeast, you have to reactivate it. Use 3x as much yeast (so 1 1/2tsp) put it directly into the water along with the sugar, cover with a moist paper towel, and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.**
IT HAS RISEN. Actually this dough sagged a bit, but that might be because my bowls don’t seal with plastic wrap all too well. Whatever, it’s big enough.
Prep a 12-inch cast iron skillet by pouring in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you’re lucky, it will be a fun shape! Mine was not.
Now plop your dough straight into the pan, on top of the oil. Move the dough around to spread the oil. After the dough gets covered, scoop it up and form it into a ball. Plop it in the middle.
If you timed this well and can spare a couple hours, cover it with plastic wrap again and let it sit for about 2 hours. It will start to spread out on its own. If you aren’t nearly as patient, flatten and spread it out with your hands. Try not to panic because your hands are covered in oil.
(hint: I am impatient)
Ta-daa! Even if you let it sit and wait, you still might have to pull it to the edges a bit. That’s okay. It’s time to move on to the rest of the pie.
Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
Here is where I have to tell you to spread your wings and fly away, choosing your ingredients at will. Just don’t trust the birds you meet up there, they’ll tell you to add worms and seeds and junk.
But here’s what I did, free from avian influence-
- about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup red sauce
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 1/2 chopped green pepper
- 1/2lb italian sausage (broken up and cooked)
Preheat the oven as hot as it will go, probably 500-550F. This will take a long time to heat up. Alternatively if you have a pizza oven then I hate you and want to steal your house.
While the machinery is doing its thing pour the pizza sauce on the dough and even it out with a spoon. Don’t be afraid to get it out to the edges, we don’t need a crust with dough this robust.
After that sprinkle about half to 3/4 of the cheese on top. Keep it even, we want to just barely see the sauce. Again, to the edges. Crispy burnt cheese is the best part of the whole damn pizza. That’s why we gotta make the middle interesting.
Time to put the rest of the ingredients on! Go nuts. Perhaps not literally, that’s how we ended up with anchovies and mayonnaise on pizzas. Dark times.
After that put the rest of the cheese on top and send it to the oven! Check it after about 10 minutes, it could take up to 15. Such a long time, I know.
You’ll see grease around the sides bubbling, that’s just gonna happen with pizza. Let it cool down a bit first.
Once it’s cool take a thin spatula around the edge to get the cheese off the pan, it should come right off with nothing sticking to the pan.
Slide it onto a cutting board. Let it sit a little longer so the cheese settles and doesn’t fall right off when you cut it.
Excuse me, I need a moment…