On March 2, 2016, we made our very first cast-iron skillet pizza and life has never been the same. Okay, maybe that’s dramatic, but then again, maybe it’s not! This is by far, my favorite pizza we’ve ever made and I am delighted EVERY SINGLE TIME we do so. The crust is thick but perfectly crispy on the bottom, the cheese is melt-y and golden-brown in places and brushing the hot crust with a little spicy honey is maybe the best pizza-making discovery I’ve ever made.
All this being said, the whole process moves sort of fast and until literally yesterday, I’d never not had pizza-making anxiety the entire time. I’ve got it down now, so I feel qualified to coach you through it. Here’s how!
First, take out your dough and set it on a floured surface (it’s easier to work with when it’s room temp), make sure you have an oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat to the hottest temperature it will go (really!). Now, grate your cheese, mix some honey, chili flakes and just enough water to thin it out and make it brush-able and tear a good handful of basil leaves.
While your oven is heating, start working your pizza dough. I personally like to give it a stretch, then let it rest, then give it another stretch, then another rest, and repeat that until it’s big enough to fully fill your cast-iron skillet. Dough, I find, does not like to be rushed. Same, dough, same.
Once your dough is stretched and your oven is fully heated, put your flour, cornmeal, olive oil, salt & pepper and pizza sauce next to the stove and preheat your cast-iron over medium-high. Let it get nice and hot (if it’s smoking, it’s too hot!) then quickly sprinkle with a pinch of flour and like the tiniest amount of cornmeal (I understand the strategy with cornmeal but I do not like tasting those little raw beads of cornmeal so I truly keep it to a minimum). Drape your dough in the pan, then brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Let your dough cook until bubbles start to form on top. Once you see those bubbles, spread the pizza sauce over the ENTIRE surface of the dough. It’ll caramelize into the crust and taste amazing! Top generously with shredded cheese (mozzarella is our favorite but anything shredded works) and slid the whole pan into the oven.
Cook for 10ish minutes, but keep on eye on it. The cheese will really bubble, which is FINE, but it will start to turn golden fast and once that happens, it’s time to take the pizza out. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board and brush the hot honey all over the crust. Let it sit for 5ish minutes (harder than it sounds!), then top with the basil and admire your work. Maybe take a picture because IT LOOKS MAGNIFICENT, then slice it up and devour.
YOU GOT THIS!