Most pizza lovers agree: what sets pizzeria pizza apart from homemade pizza is that glorious crispy, cracked crust.
This is because commercial pizza ovens cook at temperatures between 700 and 800 degrees. Yeah, well, that’s not the case in most home kitchens.
But we can achieve a similar effect using a cast iron pan. This will act like a stove in your oven, producing a high enough temperature to achieve that irresistible crispy yet tender crust – signal the choir of angels.
Security alert! This technique is not for children or the faint of heart. We’re gonna make this cast iron skillet scream. Be careful and protect your skin and surfaces from heat.
The ingredients I used are here, but feel free to make substitutions. Follow this guideline: no more than 2 cups of shredded cheese and 1 1/2 cups of assorted toppings – vegetables and meats – or you risk your pizza getting soggy and not cooking completely in the center.
Pizza night just got a whole lot better. Drool. Eat. Repeat.
Cast iron skillet pizza
Servings: 2 to 4
1/4 cup olive oil — divided
6 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup bell peppers, green and red, thinly sliced
1/3 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
12 to 16 ounces pizza dough – store bought or homemade equivalent
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
8 ounces pizza sauce — purchased or recipe here
2 tablespoons olives, sliced
Bring the dough to room temperature and have your ingredients sliced and ready before you begin. If you are using my pizza sauce recipe, make that now as well. Prepare the dough by placing it on a lightly floured surface and shaping it into a 14-inch round.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the sausage, breaking it into crumbs. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside. Place onions, peppers and mushrooms in skillet, cook until softened. Put aside.
Now add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using a brush to spread the oil around the sides of the pan. Carefully place the circle of dough in the mold. The batter begins to cook the moment it reaches the hot pan, so work quickly to prevent the bottom from burning.
Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over the entire crust. This will act as a barrier, preventing the sauce from seeping into the crust, making it soggy. Spread the sauce over the cheese layer, using the back of a spoon to spread it. It’s okay if it’s not perfect.
Then add the sausage, onion, peppers and mushrooms. Top with remaining cheese and olives. Brush any exposed crust with the remaining olive oil.
Using caution and thick oven mitts, place the skillet in the hot oven. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. The cheese should be bubbly and lightly browned, and the crust should be golden.
With extreme caution, remove the skillet from the oven and place it on a heat-protected surface. Run a knife around the outside edge of the pizza to prevent the cheese from sticking. Post a photo to impress your friends. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before devouring.
Small Portion Pizza Sauce
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons of sugar
Strain the tomato sauce through a coffee filter placed in a colander over a bowl for 15 minutes to remove excess liquid from the sauce. In the drained sauce, stir in the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and sugar.