Do you want to make some homemade pizza but you lack the “required” pizza stone? Don’t worry! Just make a Cast Iron Skillet Pizza instead. There are a few alternatives to help you get your pizza fix without having the requisite pizza stone and we’ll discuss how to use a cast iron skillet or griddle.
Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Let’s talk about why a cast iron skillet or griddle would work nicely for this kind of application. First, most people (and especially people that have stumbled upon this website!) probably have a cast iron skillet. There are many benefits of using cast iron in general and one of the advantages in this scenario is the non stick surface of a well seasoned piece of cast iron. The main advantage is that the cast iron will allow you to bake the pizza at a very high temperature making for a nice, crispy crust. Just cooking pizza in your cast iron cookware will help form and improve the seasoning.
Ingredients for the dough
- 1 package package active yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/4 cup warm water (about 105°F, use spring water or charcoal filtered)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature/softened
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
Directions for the dough
In the bowl of an stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, corn flour, and salt then combine well, using the paddle attachment. Add butter and water then knead using a dough hook, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and sort of climbs up the hook a bit. Add a 1 tablespoon water if dough is dry and not coming together. If dough is too wet, add a 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Remove the dough from the bowl. coatthe bowl with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk, about an hour and the amount of time depends on the ambient temperature. It rises faster if it is warmer but let’s aim for room temperature, roughly, about 65-82F. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Shape the dough into two balls, cover with plastic wrap again and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. If you only want one pizza for now, put one batch of the dough in a tuperware-type bowl, cover with plastic wrap so the dough won’t dry out, lightly set the lid on top, and place in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil one or two 10-inch or 12-inch cast iron skillets depending on how many pizzas you are making. We will just assume one pizza for now. Shape the dough into a circle and transfer it to the skillet. Press dough down in the bottom of skillet and up the sides. Top your pizza with the toppings of your choice (see below for some ideas). Drizzle the pizza with a tablespoon of olive oil and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
Place the cast iron skillet on the stovetop then turn the heat to medium-high for 3 minutes. As we know cast iron is an excellent heat conductor, and these pans will get hot fast. The bottom of the crust is getting a head start on baking before it even gets to the oven.
Bake on lowest rack of your oven. Bake until pizza crust is golden brown and toppings are starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let it rest for about 3-5 minutes before cutting and devouring!
Ideas for toppings
- Olive oil and roasted garlic base with sun-dried tomatoes, Provolone, feta and mozzarella cheeses, sliced Roma tomatoes and thinly sliced sweet onions.
- Tomato sauce base with mozzarella cheese, sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, black olives, sliced Roma tomatoes and thinly sliced sweet onions.
- Pesto base with portobello mushrooms, feta and mozzarella cheeses, and baby spinach.
- BBQ sauce base, chopped roasted chicken breast, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, caramelized sweet onions, and Applewood smoked bacon.
- Olive oil and garlic base, all chopped grilled curry chicken, mozzarella cheese. Topped with fresh basil, sliced cucumbers, and a swirl of sweet Thai chili sauce.
- Bleu cheese or ranch dressing as a base. Mozzarella cheese, chopped grilled Buffalo chicken, caramelized sweet onions, Applewood smoked bacon with a swirl of Buffalo sauce.
- My favorite – Pesto base with ham, pineapple, chopped jerk chicken, Applewood smoked bacon and mozzarella cheese.
A couple notes on the dough – a longer rise provides more yeasty delicious flavor. So if you can afford to wait or if you do plan ahead, make the dough the day before and place the dough balls in the refrigerator. Take the measures mentioned above to make sure the dough does not dry out and allow plenty of space for the dough to expand. Just take one of the dough balls out 30 minutes ahead of time, about the time that you would turn on the oven to preheat and you should be in good shape.