Homemade pizza is a satisfying, quick, and easy dish, and there are a lot of at-home techniques for making pizza to choose from. For years I’d been happily making homemade sheet pan pizzas until a friend showed me the joys of the cast iron pizza.
With its crispy crust and gooey gooey center, you could say it was the Jolene to my sheet pan pizza’s Dolly. They’re both wonderful in their own way, but oh… Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Joleeeeennne!
I still like a sheet pan pizza from time to time, but the cast iron pizza is supreme overall. The cornmeal base adds crunch and professionalism, the super hot oven bubbles the crust, creating light, chewy, and fluffy crust insides. You can even give your pizza a crispy cheese halo, like I did for the images here, by sprinkling cheese around the edge of your pan.
You will love this pizza.
Cast Iron Pizza Toppings
The recipe is designed as a freestyle outline so that you may use any toppings that you like.
It should be noted, however, that this deep dish style pizza should not be piled too high with toppings. The reason why is that the surface area of the pizza is fairly small which means you might be temped to pile toppings on top of one another rather than in a single layer, causing them to cook unevenly. Also, at the stage when the toppings are added the crust has nearly been cooked through— add too many toppings and you may find they are not cooked through by the time the crust has crisped.
So, I know it’s hard, but be modest with the toppings. I do like a bit of extra sauce on the side for dipping that big fluffy crust!
I also recommend layering cheese on the bottom first before the other toppings or sauce. That keeps any moisture from sogging up the crust, and, gives a nice melty cheese bottom texture. Technically, that makes this a Sicilian style pizza according to google. Fancy!
Cast Iron Pizza Recipe
Cast Iron Pizza
- 12” cast iron pan
- 16 oz prepared pizza dough
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp cornmeal
- cheeses, toppings, and sauces of your choice
- Heat the oven to 500F with the racks in the lowest and highest positions. When the oven is hot, place the cast iron pan on the lowest rack and heat for 10 minutes. (The pan will smoke, so be sure to turn on a fan before opening the oven to pull it out.)
- While the cast iron pan heats, coat the pizza dough well with olive oil and press out into a disc about 12-14” in diameter. After 10 minutes, remove the cast iron from the oven. Quickly sprinkle the base of the pan with the cornmeal, and then carefully lay the pizza dough disc on top. Do not worry about the dough covering the sides, it will rise up the sides on its own as it cooks. Use a fork to prick the surface of the dough all over, spacing the pricks about an inch apart. Return the pan with the dough to the lowest rack of the oven and bake until the surface of the dough looks dry and is browned in some places, about 6 minutes. If any gigantic bubbles form in the dough during this time, use your fork to puncture them.
- Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven heat to 425F. Then layer your fillings onto the pizza crust. I recommend layering cheese on the bottom, followed by toppings and/or sauces, and then more cheese on top. Remember not to fill your pizza too densely with toppings or they may not cook evenly or all the way through.
- Return the pizza to the oven, this time on the highest rack. Bake until the crust is fully crisp and the cheese is melted and hot, about 12-15 minutes.
- When baked, the pizza should lift easily out of the pan with a sturdy spatula. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces.