Some nights just scream for pizza. Even when you’re trying to eat “right” and avoid processed food, sometimes it’s just pizza time!
One afternoon last week, this wasn’t a last minute decision, I started working on my own cast iron skillet pizza, to see if it would pass muster with the the family. Of course I used Einkorn wheat flour for my crust, which I’m sure you’re sick of hearing if you are a regular reader of my blog. But what’s the point of making your own pizza if you are going to use the same nasty ingredients as you can order up from a delivery service?
Ok, that’s not fair, I’m sure most delivery services still use much nastier ingredients than I could find in my grocery store if I tried, which I wouldn’t.
During one of my many online searches for recipes and food related searches, I stumbled across an article about making pizza in a cast iron pan. I have a cast iron pan, why don’t I give that a try? In the past, when making pizza at home, I’ve gone with the pizza stone in the oven, and slipped the pizza on to the stone using parchment paper. But this time out, it looked like I was going to find another use for my enamel cast iron skillet.
I was a bit shocked at how quickly and easily this pizza came together. The hardest part is to remind yourself to start early enough in the day to get your Einkorn wheat flour pizza dough going. Just in case you are new to my blog, I almost always use Einkorn Flour when baking to avoid many of the harmful consequences associated with modern dwarf wheat.
It takes about 10-15 minutes to combine the ingredients into a workable dough using a stand mixer. If I am in a rush or just getting a late start, about four to five hours before dinner is the latest I would wait to get this dough started, which means 2:00 pm for me. Noon would be preferable.
Once I had the dough combined, I let it rise in my microwave, with a cup of hot water next to it, for a few hours. If you use this method, there is no need to wrap or cover the bowl, the warm water in the microwave will ensure that your dough will not develop a skin on it while rising. Do not turn the microwave on!
Two hours before serving dinner, liberally wipe a tablespoon of olive oil around the bottom and sides of your skillet. Then carefully pull the dough over itself a few times developing a tight surface while trying to preserve some of the bubbles on the inside and turn the dough out into your cast iron skillet. Back into the microwave with a cup of warm water to let it rest and rise again for 45 minutes.
After letting the dough rest a bit, it’s time to spread it out across the bottom of your cast iron skillet. It should be soft and supple and easy to spread using just your hands. No need to remove it from the pan, just gently press it out to fill the bottom. And then back into the microwave with warm water for another 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees while the pizza dough rests for it’s final rise.
After letting the dough rise a bit in the pan, it’s as simple as layering on whatever ingredients you want on your pizza. We tend towards a meat lovers pizza of some sort almost any chance we get, and this was no exception. We used some pepperoni made from pastured pork and also used some Italian sausage from a local pork vendor, so I felt pretty good about the quality of the meats we chose.
But before the meat went on, we placed a pretty healthy layer of tomato sauce down. I forgot to season the tomato sauce this time, I guess I was too excited, but I normally sprinkle some dried herbs and/or salt on top just to add a little bit more depth and flavor. Fun fact about jarred or canned tomato sauce, it’s actually more nutritious than fresh, because super ripe tomatoes are used for canning, and the heat of the canning process actually increases the levels of lycopene, which I’ve read is helpful in fighting prostate cancer and other illnesses.
And then the cheese. It seems that there shouldn’t be much to think about with the cheese, but get this decision wrong, and it can ruin the entire process. We’re pretty traditional here, so mozzarella is just fine for us, but sometimes the girls in the family are pretty passionate about their goat cheese.
So I started at 2:00 pm, had my cast iron skillet pizza with Einkorn wheat flour crust in the oven by 6:00, and on the table ready to eat before 6:30, not too bad!
Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
- cast iron skillet
Einkorn Flour Pizza Dough
- 2 cups Einkorn Wheat Flour – high extraction
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- Tomato sauce
- Italian sausage
- Mozzarella cheese
- Almost any other topping you can think of…
Half and Half Flour Pizza Crust – Double Recipe
- 2 cups Einkorn Wheat Flour – high extraction
- 2 cups Bread flour
- 5-6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp yeast
- in a large bowl or using a standing mixer, combine all of the ingredients for the dough together and knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic, may be a little wet and shaggy
- place the dough in a microwave or other small confined space with a cup of warm water for several hours.
- two hours before you want to eat, liberally oil your skillet(s) and divide the dough if using a double recipe, gently form the dough into a ball and place the dough into your skillet, and then back into the microwave with a cup of warm water to rise.
- an hour and fifteen minutes before you want to eat, use your hands to spread the dough across the bottom of your pan, back into the microwave with warm water
- preheat the oven 450 degrees
- 30-40 minutes before you want to eat, remove the dough and skillet from your microwave and add all of your toppings, your oven should already be hot
- place into the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, give or take, until the cheese is bubbling and browned to your satisfaction
- carefully remove from pan, place on cutting board and slice it up!