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Sunday I tried something different by making a pizza in a cast iron skillet instead of on a stone or steel. The results were surprising for a first attempt and I'm hopeful I can do as well again.
It went like this. On Sat I started the dough and let it ferment overnight. This resulted in a fragrant soft dough that was highly hydrated. After about 24 hours I punched the dough down a couple of times and let it raise again before finally forming it into shape ready for the pan. In a cold pan I placed some EV olive oil, some semolina flour, Aleppo pepper, garlic, salt and a generous sprinkling of pizza seasoning. This is the magic that really rounds out the flavor of a pizza. The product I buy is from Frontier CO-Op and contains the following: Onion, bell peppers, fennel seed, oregano, garlic, basil, chili peppers, parsley, thyme, marjoram and celery. It is really what separates an average pizza from a really good one.

With everything mixed together and the pan thoroughly coated I added the dough, now pliable, and formed it right out to the edge of the pan. Sauce was applied, again out to the edge of the pan and then cheese that had been cut in to about 3/8'' cubes spread evenly over the entire thing. A little more EV olive oil sprinkled lightly over the cheese and then pepperoni that I had cut fairly thick on top.

I placed the pan on the stove at medium high heat and let it cook for about 8 minutes and then placed the pan in a 500 degree oven and watched it until the cheese started to brown on top. After cooling for a few minutes I used a knife to cut around the perimeter where the sauce, cheese and dough had coalesced into a brown crispy goodness. With that bond broken the pie slid right out with no sticking and displayed a beautifully browned crust on the bottom with browned cheese on top. It was just delicious, almost like a focaccia but with a seasoned crust that was the star of the show.

I have been baking thin crust margherita pizzas so long that I had forgotten how good a thicker crust can be. More research due soon!


Totally Unprofessional
Ive, I have been doing pizza in a cast iron for a few months now. Ever since I got the large 18 inch skillet. I heat the pan in the oven as it is coming up to 450. While the oven and pan are heating, I gather my toppings. It's a bit of a rush to get the dough formed and topped on a hot pan but it works. After all the topping are on I switch the oven to broil at 450 to melt the cheese and get a good color on it.

Initial results have been pleasing! Last week I did kale pesto, fresh mozzarella, and bacon. Even the 6 year old was asking for more.

I have been experimenting with different dough recipes. So far the favorite has been the Roberta's but 100% bread flour instead of the 50/50 bread flour and '00' in the original. I let ferment for 2 days in the fridge.
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Mark Walker

Active Member
Better half is "gluten free".
I understand, but it's a real PITA! Simply removes too many food options dining together. :(

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