PIZZA!!Written by Drummer Boy on October 08, 2008
Growing up Italian, I have made homemade pizza my whole life - every Sunday all my relatives would come to our house for dinner and family craziness. This year, for father's day, my wife got me a cast-iron pizza pan....and that has made all the difference. Forget the pizza stone - the simplicity and amazing crust that you get with this pan is well worth it. To make many pizzas at once, I will start one pizza on the cast-iron pan, and start another pizza, about 10 minutes later, on a regular metal pizza pan. Once the first pizza (the one on the cast-iron pan) is done, I then transfer the pizza that is part-cooked from the metal pan, using 2 spatulas, to the already hot cast-iron pan, and let it finish. This way I can bang out 4 pizza pies, and only use 1 cast-iron pan.
To make 4 crusts, use 4 cups flour (King Aurther is best) - you can mix whole wheat if you prefer. For 3 crusts, use 3 cups flour
1 envelope package dry yeast
1 tsp honey
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 cups water
Mozz Cheese and any other topping you like
For the pizza dough:
Put dry yeast in small bowl, and add honey. The add approx 1 cup warm water. Stir together until mostly dissolved - this will be a cloudy mixture. Let this rest approx 5 minutes. Mix in a large bowl the flour, salt, olive oil. Add yeast mixture to the flour mixture. If you have an electric stand mixer, use your dough hook. If not, mix by hand with wooden spoon, or with your hands. Slowly add aprox 1.5 cups warm water, until it forms into a dough, with no loose flour left in the bowl. Kneed on a flour-dusted surface for approx 1 minute, until the dough becomes smooth. Brush a small amount of olive oil on the dough (to prevent sticking, put it covered (saran wrap) bowl, and let it rise for 3 hours. After 3 hours, "punch the dough down", and then put it on a floured surface. Divide in 4 pieces (if using 4 cups flour), and then make each piece into a round ball, and put on greased cookie sheet. Cover with Wax paper, and let rest for 1 hour. You are now ready to spread the dough on the pizza pan, or you can refridgerate or freeze the dough for later use.
Preheat oven to 475. Spread dough on cast iron pizza pan. Cover with Sauce, Mozz cheese, and any toppings you like. I typicaly make one plain, one pepperoni, one with roasted red peppers, and one "white"...which means no red sauce, just olive oil, mozz cheese, garlic, oregano, basil. Put pizza in oven, for approx 15 min, on bottom rack. Check the pizza every 5 minutes or so, and once the bottom crust is dark brown, it is done. If you want the top of the pizza darker, then move pan to top rack in oven. Enjoy!
Here are some updated pictures of this fantastic Homemade Pizza