The Perfect Cast Iron Pan Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
Crust
  • 2¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup of warm water (110-120 degrees F)
Anchovy Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (more or less, depending on how salty you like it. Start with ½ teaspoon, taste, and work your way up from there)
  • 2 teaspoons dried or fresh basil, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried or fresh oregano, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste (but you probably won't need it, as the anchovy paste is salty)
Assembly
  • cornmeal (for dusting)
  • Pizza Crust (recipe above)
  • Anchovy Tomato sauce (recipe above)
  • 1½ cups mozzarella cheese (3/4 cup for each pizza - or more, if you like)
  • 1½ cups Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup for each pizza - or more, if you like)
  • toppings (salami, pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, onions, fresh herbs, tomatoes...whatever suits your tastes)
Instructions
Bread Machine
  1. Whisk together the flour and salt and add to your bread machine.
  2. Add the yeast and the sugar to the warm water and stir until they dissolve. Add this to your flour mixture. Set your bread machine to the "dough" cycle. This should put your dough through 4 cycles: 1 kneading, 1 rising, 1 kneading, and 1 rising.
Kneading by hand
  1. Whisk together your flour and salt and set aside. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Carefully mix in your flour, about ½ cup at a time, until smooth. The ball will be sticky, but firm enough to form into a ball.
  2. Lightly flour your hands and your work surface. Place the dough onto the work surface and begin to knead by form the dough into a ball and continuously pulling the dough over itself, like you were trying to work food coloring evenly into the dough. You want to keep stretching the dough and then pushing it back into itself, using your palms as much as possible and work as quickly as possible. Add a small dusting of flour as needed. Knead your dough continuously for 15 minutes.
  3. When your dough is ready, allow it to proof for 1-2 hours, either in the bread machine or in a bowl covered with a warm, slightly damp cloth. After that, separate the dough into 2 balls and place in an airtight container, be it a sealable bag or a Tupperware container. I like to use Tupperware to allow the dough some room to grow. I left mine on the counter at room temperature for about 3 hours, but if you can let it go overnight in the fridge, that's for the best. If you let it sit overnight, pull the dough from the fridge about an hour before you want to use it to bring it to room temperature.
  4. When you are ready to make your pizza, lightly flour your work surface and place one ball of dough onto it. Carefully stretch the dough out with your palms and fingertips, working with it until you can get your knuckles under the dough and work it out into a 10-12 inch circle. Makes enough for 2 pizza crusts.
Anchovy Tomato Sauce
  1. Heat your olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add in the shallot and saute for 5-8 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minutes or so, just until fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes, until thickened, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Makes enough sauce for 3 10-12 inch pizzas.
Assembly
  1. Place your cast iron pan(s) in your oven and pre-heat it to the highest setting (or broil). You want your pans to be nice and hot when you put the crust in them.
  2. When your pans are hot, sprinkle them with some corn meal (about ½-1 teaspoon) and stretch your pizza dough into 10-12 inch circle using the methods described above. Place the dough into your cornmeal dusted pan, and spread about ¼ cup of pizza sauce over the dough (more or less, depending on how much sauce you like).
  3. If you are topping your pizza with meat, I suggest placing the meat under the cheese so it doesn't burn. Kramer made his pizza with sopressata, so he put slices of that directly on top of the sauce. After your meats (if you're using them), top your pizza with ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¾ cup of Parmesan cheese (more or less, depending on how much cheese you like). After the cheese, add your vegetables, like olives, tomatoes, or mushrooms. DO NOT ADD FRESH HERBS. You want to add your fresh herbs after the pizza comes out from under the broiler, otherwise you will have some burned herbs on your pizza.
  4. Place the pizza under the broiler and cook for no more than 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it and pulling it out a bit early if necessary. Now, turn on your stove top to high heat and place your pan on top. If you want to add fresh herbs to your pizza, this is the time. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the bottom is crisp and slightly charred. Remove from the pan and allow to set for a minute or two before slicing and devouring.
Adapted From
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2011/01/03/the-perfect-cast-iron-pan-pizza/