Thursday, October 20, 2016

Deep-Dish Pizza Crust

Anyone who knows me OR who follows my food blog knows that I absolutely LOVE using my cast iron skillets for baking (and, of course…cooking). So, when I opened the fridge yesterday and saw a boat-load of gorgeous vegetables staring back at me, I decided some of them would make delicious pizza toppings and immediately thought of a new use for my skillet. 

So, I threw this crust recipe together and buttered my 10” cast iron skillet (a treasured item from my grandmother’s kitchen) and my new 12” skillet, which was a Christmas gift from my daughter last year J And THIS….was the result. Enjoy!

Deep-Dish Pizza Crust (this recipe makes 2 crusts)

3 c. flour (plus more for dusting)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. butter for pan(s)

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5-8 minutes to give yeast time to bloom.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and oregano. Gently whisk together.

Once yeast mixture has become frothy, attach dough hook to mixer. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low. Add olive oil while mixer is running. Add remaining flour mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium and let it go until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides. (Don’t over mix).

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead with the palms of your hands just until it’s smooth and workable. Dough will be sticky.

Place dough in a large bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Turn the dough over to coat all sides in the olive oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead a couple more times, then split into two portions.

Roll out the first portion large enough to fit over the sides of the pan you are using. Do the same with the second portion.

Add the sauce, cheese and toppings. Pull edges of crust back into pan and brush edges with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Toppings of your choice: for the vegetable pizza, I spread a thin layer of prepared pizza/pasta sauce over crust, then added about 1 cup of cheese (mixture of sharp cheddar, mozzarella and smoked gouda). For the vegetable pizza, I used about 1 to 1 ½ c. of red bell pepper slices, red onion slices, 4 asparagus spears, mushroom slices and cauliflower.

For the pepperoni pizza (in the larger pan), I spread on the sauce and added about 1 ½ c. of the same cheese mixture, then topped with pepperoni only.

I sprinkled a little dried parmesan and oregano over the tops of both pizzas. Bake at 400° for about 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is browned.

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