Pizza can sometimes seem intimidating, but this recipe is practically foolproof because the dough gets mixed all at once in a bowl with no kneading required. All you really need to do is plan ahead so that it can rise slowly overnight, allowing the gluten in the flour to develop to create a light-as-air crust that gets crisp on the outside but is fluffy on the inside.
This recipe works well with a variety of skillet sizes also — the crust will just be slightly thicker or thinner depending on the diameter of the pan.
Cooking in cast iron always gives your food a crisp edge so cooking pizza in a cast iron skillet will give the bottom and sides of your pizza that perfect crispiness while the middle is nice and tender! It’s the perfect combination, not to mention one of the easiest ways to cook pizza. By the way, this is one of my favorite recipes to cook in my Earthen Oven too!
If you enjoy baking, diastatic malt powder can be a nice thing to keep on hand, as it aids in gluten development, but sugar works fine, too!
Cast Iron Cooking: Easy Skillet Pizza
Makes 2 8-inch pizzas or 1 12-inch pizza
Place all the crust ingredients into a large bowl and combine well, until it forms a sticky dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside on the counter for at least 8 and up to 24 hours. The dough will triple in volume and form bubbles across the top.
Transfer the risen dough to a well-floured surface and dust the top with more flour. If you are making two smaller pizzas, divide into two equal pieces and form each into a ball; otherwise, form the entire amount of dough into a ball. The dough should still be sticky and slightly soft, with a lot of air.
Coat the inside of a cast-iron skillet with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, being sure to cover the entire surface. Take the dough ball and gently pat it into the bottom of the pan, pushing it out toward the edges. If the dough keeps springing back towards the center of the pan, let it rest for 10 minutes, then go back and finish pushing it out to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Top the dough with the tomato sauce, mozzarella, and any toppings — the sauce and mozzarella should be spread evenly across the entire surface of the dough. Bake the pizza for about 15 minutes or until the top is bubbling and the crust is golden brown when you check inside the pan (use a thin spatula to gently pull the crust away from the edge of the pan). Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and cook for another minute. If the top is cooked through at this point but the crust is not, you can transfer the pan to the stove top and cook on a burner over medium heat for a few more minutes until the crust is crisp and golden. Remove the pizza from the pan to cut into pieces and serve immediately.