Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza


We've been wanting a cast iron skillet for some time now. Compared to modern, high-tech non-stick skillets, cast iron somehow seems more authentic, more in line with our perspective on cooking. It's a comparatively primitive technology that offers many benefits and has faithfully served generations of cooks.

Well, for Christmas nearly one month ago, Santa Claus (aka me) got Kelli a cast iron skillet. Hardly a day has gone by since that we haven't used it. And naturally, it was only a matter of time before we made a pizza in it.

Compared to pretty much every other pizza recipe we've shared, this one differs in two significant ways: 1) it starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven, and 2) we don't par-bake the crust.

The result is superb. The crust develops a crispy bottom while staying delightfully chewy on the top. It's an effect similar to our grilled pizza, but without the smokiness and grill marks. Which makes this cast iron skillet pizza a great option if either a) you don't have a grill, or b) you don't like grilling in the heart of winter.


Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Makes one 12-inch pizza

One single batch of our standard pizza dough
Olive oil
Crushed San Marzano tomatoes (such as canned)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Toppings (e.g. gluten-free meatballs, white onions, red bell pepper)

Steps
1. Preheat your oven to 450 deg F. Preheat your cast iron skillet on the stovetop over low heat.
2. Once you've prepared the dough, drizzle olive oil into the skillet and spread to coat. Increase the heat to medium-high.
3. Taking care not to burn your hands, press the dough into skillet. The dough should completely cover the bottom of a 12-inch skillet, but not go up the sides.
4. Leaving the skillet over stovetop heat, add the sauce, dried herbs, cheese, and toppings.
5. Transfer to your 450 deg oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the toppings and cheese are done to your liking.
6. Use a spatula to transfer the pizza out of the skillet and onto a cutting board. The pizza should release easily.

Degrees of Free-dom
This recipe is: gluten-free, peanut-free, tree-nut-free, soy-free, fish-free, shellfish-free.

The recipe is easily made dairy/casein/lactose-free by substituting your favorite non-dairy cheese. It's easily made vegetarian by omitting any meat toppings. And it's easily made corn-free by substituting another starch for the cornstarch in our flour blend.

Enjoy!

–Pete

10 comments:

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing. I may go buy a cast iron skillet just to make your pizza recipe for my pizza loving, Celiac daughter.

raingreenrain said...

I can't wait to try this recipe! After step 4, how long do you leave it on stove top before putting in the oven?

kellibronski said...

Hi Tracy - We are pretty new to our cast iron skillet, but I love it and use it literally every day! If you would like to try the pizza without the cast iron skillet you can press the dough in a standard 12" pizza pan drizzled with olive oil (also oil your hands), par-bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, add your toppings and cook for an additional 10 - 15 minutes. I hope she likes it, our girls do!

Hi raingreenrain - In step 4 you just leave the pan on the stove top long enough to add your toppings, then you pop it in the oven. Enjoy!!

Cheers,
Kelli

Anonymous said...

We are in the middle of trying the recipe, the dough seems not to be cooking, the crust is brown on bottom, but doughy in middle, we are extending cooking time. Hope it works out, the recipe looks great.
Thank you
Kathy

Anonymous said...

Hello, well the pizza stayed doughy, the crust cooked, but the top of the pizza was not cooked. I must have misunderstood a direction. In the original recipe for the pizza, you let it stand 10 minutes in the pan, but in the skillet recipe I didn't see that mentioned. I would love to receive feedback, and discern what I missed. Do you mix by hand or mixer?
Thank you again, for all your efforts. I would love to learn from you both.
THank you
Kathy

peterbronski said...

Hi Kathy,

Just to be clear: When you say the top of the pizza was not cooked, I assume you mean the top of the dough? I'm guessing the sauce, cheese, toppings, etc. were fine, yes?

This cast iron skillet pizza recipe is one of our only pizzas that we don't par-bake the crust naked for ~10 minutes first. In our trials, it didn't need it. The bottom of the crust turned brown and crispy, while the top was nice and chewy (though not doughy).

A number of factors could have affected your outcome. We use a 12-inch skillet, but if your skillet was smaller (such as a 10-inch), the same batch of dough would be thicker in the skillet, possibly warranting a par-bake to make sure it cooks through fully. Also, depending on how watery your tomato sauce is, that could also impact how the top of the crust cooks.

We always mix our pizza doughs by hand. Please feel free to share additional details about your experience, either here in a comment or via email. We're always happy to help troubleshoot.

Cheers, Pete

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your feedback. Thank you again for posting recipes to the gf community, greatly appreciated. I did try two more times, I believe the error on my side, may be the liquid, since it was doughy, not cooked. I wasn't aware, the flours, if not sealed tight, can gain moisture, and I am speculating, that my flours, though in bags, may have gained moisture, not need all the water.
As a learner, it is so helpful to have a picture of the dough. I wasn't clear, soft , but not sticky, did that mean pliable, like a soft playdough? Some of the gf pizza doughs are quite wet, or sticky, so it is a challenge.
I have the second batch in the oven, it looks much better, I worked with the dough, and added less water, more flour, and produced a much more pizza like crust. I would like to try it again, as pizza is a staple in our home for teen boys, knowing what the dough should feel like is a huge help, to novice bakers THank you again, and wish you the most success in your cookbook.

karentaylor28 said...

I made this today and it was wonderful! I loved the crispness the cast ion skillet gave the crust. I only had a 10inch skillet so I did need to par bake the crust. The crust was also simple to make.

have had so much success with your flour blend and recipes. Thank you so much for your frequent posts, recipes and help you give to the whole community. Much appreciated!

Unknown said...

I recently bought your ccokbook, and the first thing I made was pizza this weekend. Granted, we used passata and seasoned each pizza individually (I went heavy on oregano and garlic) and topped them with things like pepperoni,ham, onions peppers,olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Mine was great, thank you! It was my first experience with using a pizza stone (I was at my sister's home) and I think that using my kitchen workhorse, aka my cast iron skillet, will provide the same crispy crust. Thank you for this idea; I would likely never have thought of it on my own. I look forward to trying many of the recipes, both from the book and blog, Thanks again.

kellibronski said...

Hi Unknown,

We are glad you enjoyed the pizza and hope you like the cast iron version just as much! In terms of a crispy crust our favorite version is the grilled pizza followed by the cast iron pizza.

Happy cooking!
Kelli