Making delicious pizza at home may seem intimidating at first- but we are sure that once you have this recipe down, you'll want to show your skills off to all your friends and family!
The majority of this recipe will be focusing on the crust because, let's be honest, good crust makes the pizza! We will give some tasty suggestions for toppings, but feel free to let your inner chef shine as you top and decorate your pizza!
This recipe makes three personal pizzas or two 12" pizzas, enough for 3-4 people.
No. 8 Lancaster skillet or similar 10.5-inch skillet
Kitchen scale ( Amazon )
270 grams bread flour
170 grams room temperature water
10 grams olive oil
7 grams activated yeast (or one packet)
5 grams salt
3 grams granulated sugar
Cornmeal for sprinkling on crust
28 oz can of pureed tomatoes of your choice
1 Tbls Olive Oil
3 Slivers of Garlic
Salt to taste
1 Can prepared pizza sauce
1 Bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 oz low moisture fresh mozzarella
Directions for Pizza Dough
There's no room for argument here; the dough is the most important part of the pizza. Without a solid, bubbly, chewy but crisp foundation, the rest of the pie falls apart. Using a scale for accurate measurement is very important, and cup measurements are not precise enough to achieve correct ratios for your dough.
Step 1. Combine bread flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook.
Step 2. Whisk room temperature water, yeast, and sugar in a large measuring glass till well blended, add oil, and whisk to combine.
Step 3. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix on low speed, increasing speed to medium as dry ingredients become combined. Turn off the mixer, if needed, scrape down the sides, and fold in any flour. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape dough from hook.
Step 4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and kneed dough for 10 minutes. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Kneed for another 10 minutes. Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rest for 60 minutes.
Step 5. If using a 10.5" skillet, divide the dough into three equal portions, 155g each, on a well-oiled cutting board. For larger skillets, you can portion the dough into two equal balls. Take one at a time and fold in, turn, and fold in, making a tight ball. Finish by twisting the bottom. Watch the gif below for a demo.
The clip above is from Bon Apetitte's 'Making Perfect,' where they set out to make the perfect pizza. This series is excellent to watch if you want to learn more about the pizza-making process.
Step 6. Place in oiled containers big enough to handle 2-3x size expansion. Allow rising in the fridge for at least 24 hours, up to 5 days.
Directions for Sauce
Now we enter the realm of personal preference. Are you a red sauce fan, barbeque sauce, or even white sauce? We have a traditional red sauce recipe, but feel free to spice it up with herbs and a little sugar. Or ditch it entirely and use your favorite pizza sauce! With this sized batch, you'll have some extra to dip into and use any way you would like.
Step 7. Place tomatoes in a colander to drain. Use a blender or food processor to create about 2 cups of tomato puree. Mix in the garlic, oil, and salt. Let refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Allowing to sit helps all of those flavors to combine.
Preparing your toppings
All the best things in life are covered in cheese. Am I right? The key to managing a well-cheesed pizza is moisture control. We love fresh mozzarella, but a residential oven doesn't get hot enough to evaporate the water in the cheese. Luckily, you can find fresh low- moisture mozzarella at your local grocery store! Just make sure you check to see "low-moisture" on the packaging. You can also use a bag of pre-shredded mozzarella. If you're looking for a more authentic taste, try adding a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano over the top just before baking. Yum!
It's time to let your creativity run wild! We polled our social media followers and found Margherita pizza was the fan favorite. We recommend starting your pizza adventure by making Margarita pizza since it allows your homemade crust and sauce to shine! But feel free to get fancy and try all sorts of combinations with this recipe.
If you're in need of topping inspiration, we have that too! We asked for suggestions from our followers and tested them out ourselves to discover some of our favorite combinations! The Lancaster Cast Iron team choose two of our favorites to share. The first one is; shredded mozzarella, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, red onion, and parmigiana cheese. This had a classic feel and was so tasty! Our second recommendation was to top with prosciutto; after baking, add arugula and finish by drizzling with fig jam. The pizza looks gourmet and has an incredibly unique flavor!
Assembling the Pizza
Step 8. Remove your dough from the fridge 30 minutes before shaping—Preheat the oven to 550 or the highest temperature possible.
Step 9. Once the dough has sat for 30 minutes, invert it onto a large dusted cutting board sprinkled with flour, seam side up. Pass dough back and forth between your hands to knock off some flour. Slap it down on the table and use your fingers to press the dough into a circular shape. Refer to the video below.
Step 10. Next, stretch the dough to desired size and shape. Lift dough, grabbing onto the outside. Let the dough hang as you move your hands around the crust. Keep stretching until you see an even amount of light coming through the whole dough; lay it down on a surface sprinkled with cornmeal. The dough should be close in size to the diameter of your skillet.
Step 11. Place your skillet on the stove and set the burner to high. Once you start to see smoke, sprinkle in cornmeal and carefully lay the dough into the pan. The high heat will allow the bottom of the crust to form 'leoparding.'
12. While the crust is still on the stovetop, spread three tablespoons of sauce till it reaches almost the edge of the pizza crust.
13. Place several chunks of low moisture mozzarella cheese for a Margareta pizza. If you are doing a different pizza, add your cheese and any of the toppings of your choosing. We recommend adding a hint of salt, pepper, and olive oil before placing the pizza in the oven.
14. Place your skillet in the center of the rack at the top of your oven. Bake for 4 minutes, turn the broiler on high, bake for another 2-3 minutes. Check pizza often and turn the skillet every minute. Remove the pizza when the crust becomes brown, and the cheese is bubbly.
If you're doing a Margareta, add your basil immediately after removing it from the oven. Let cool a bit, then enjoy!
Tips from the Lancaster Cast Iron team:
- Every oven is slightly different, so your experience may vary somewhat with the timing.
- Make sure your pizza dough is well sealed overnight in the fridge. If not, the dough may dry out and become difficult to work.
- Be careful not to overdo the sauce- 3 Tbsp is plenty, even if it doesn't seem like much.
- Practice makes perfect when it comes to crust and pizza making! Have fun with the recipe, and don't worry if the crust doesn't come out perfectly round the first couple of times.