The cast iron skillet is the perfect tool to make a deep dish pizza crust that is soft and chewy on the inside, but crunchy and crisp on the bottom.
Start by proofing your yeast in your mixer. Add 1 cup of hot water, 1 heaping teaspoon sugar, and 1 TBSP yeast. Pulse a couple of times to mix, and then let this mixture sit for 15 minutes. When you come back, it should look a bit foamy and smell yeasty.
Next, add in 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix this up until it is fully combined.
Then walk away and let it rest for 30 minutes. This is called the autolyse, if you wanted to get fancy. I don’t. Basically the purpose for this is to let the flour fully absorb the liquid and start developing gluten. It is supposed to help you develop a more open crumb, and a deeper flavor. It also makes the dough easier to work with.
Come back after that 30 minute rest and turn your mixer back on medium. Add 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 – 3/4 cup flour. The amount will depend on a whole host of things. You want your dough to just form into a nice ball, and start pulling from the sides. Knead with your mixer on medium for 5 minutes. Turn out into a well oiled bowl. Your dough should be smooth, and stretch nicely.
Cover your bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size. Mine took about 1.5 hours.
Here is another view of the dough so you can see how high up the bowl it had risen.
Punch down the dough (deflate it by pushing on it, basically, no need to go all UFC on it or anything.) and cover it again for another 30 minutes. Turn on your oven to preheat now to 450?. When you come back, it will have risen some more and be beautiful and ready to shape.
Oil your cast iron skillet WELL, and press half of your dough into it.
Press down gently in the pan, and then poke some holes in the dough with a fork.
Next turn on your stove to high, and place the cast iron pan on there. Heat until the pan is hot and the oil under the crust starts bubbling. You will hear it and see the sides start to move.
When this happens place the crust in your oven on the lowest rack for 10 minutes to pre-bake it a bit. Remove, top with your favorite toppings, and finish baking. It will take approximately 30 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as this will depend on your oven, your toppings, and your pan.
Remove from the pan and let cook for 5 minutes.
Now slice and enjoy!
This crust also works well for a hand tossed crust. I used half and stretched it out onto a 16 inch pizza pan, pre-baked for 5 minutes, and then saved it for later.
Deep Dish Cast Iron Pizza
• 1 heaping tsp sugar
• 1 cup hot water
• 1 TBSP yeast
• 1 cup milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 3 cups bread flour
• ½ – ¾ cup bread flour
• 1 tsp salt
• toppings and cheese of your choice
- Combine sugar, hot water, and yeast in your mixer. Let proof for 15 minutes.
- Add milk, olive oil, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix until well combined and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Add ½ – ¾ cups flour and salt. Knead on medium for 5 minutes. Turn out into a well oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover to let the dough rise until doubled, approximately 1.5 hours.
- Punch down the dough and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450.
- Place approximately half of the dough into your well-oiled cast iron skillet. Poke with a fork to create some holes. Place on your stovetop over high heat until the skillet is hot and the oil under the pizza crust is bubbling. Place pizza and pan into the oven on the bottom rack for 10 minutes to pre-bake.
- Top with your favorite toppings, and finish baking for approximately 30 minutes.