Not owning a pizza pan, I’ve adapted my Italian mom’s homemade pizza recipe for a cast-iron frying pan. The cast iron tolerates high heat and turns out a crispy crust.
This recipe bakes in a 10- or 12-inch frying pan. You can make it however you prefer: low salt, low fat, organic or double the cheese, whatever your fancy. There’s hardly a way to fail other than having the water too hot, which kills yeast.
The dough takes about two hours to rise. If you’re short on time for rising, there’s not much difference. After you put the dough into the fry pan, it will rise anyway while you add toppings.
1/2 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm or room temperature water
3/4 cup all-purpose or bread flour
3/8 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
TOPPINGS FOR THE DICKERSON SPECIAL
1/2 cup tomato paste (straight from the can) or bottled tomato sauce
Fresh homegrown tomatoes or zucchini
3 fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
1/4 pound pepperoni or cooked sausage
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup jalapeño peppers, sliced
2 ounces flat anchovies (one can)
1/2 tsp oregano
Add the yeast to the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. It should begin to look slightly foamy. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and sugar in a separate bowl. Then add the yeast mixture to those dry ingredients.
Stir it until it’s well-mixed. The dough should be thick, requiring a little effort to mix it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm- or room-temperature place for about two hours. Grease your frying pan lightly if it’s not already well seasoned.
After the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and lay it on a floured table or countertop. Knead the dough: Push down on it, pushing it away from you with the heel of your hand. Mound it up into a ball and push down on it again. After 50 or so pushes, the dough should be smoother and less sticky.
With a rolling pin, roll it into a round shape and lift it into the pan. Or push the dough into place in the pan with your fingers, which works just as well and is how Mom taught me to do it. It’s going to get covered with toppings anyway. The edges should come up a little on the side of the pan to form a rim.
Add toppings in order. There’s great variety in what can go on a pizza. I’ve shared my recipe, but everyone has favorite toppings. My husband and I don’t completely agree, so some of them get put on only half of the pizza. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles up and the top browns.
Serve your feast in the cast-iron fry pan, and use kitchen shears to cut it into wedges.