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MEValery 08-01-2016 06:05 PM

My first cast iron pizza
before cooking:

It was good, but then most of the ingredients were local and fresh which makes it harder to screw up.

W. Hilditch 08-02-2016 12:01 AM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
ME, just being nosy. What are you going to do different on the second one.


MEValery 08-02-2016 08:53 AM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
Plan ahead and not just decide I want a pizza and make up what I put in it as I prepare it.

I like deep dish pizza, the dough being more bread like than thin and crisp. Its just the homemade style that I grew up on. The thicker dough can get wet on the top depending on the ingredients so all my wetter ingredients should be drained first, some overnight:
buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, tomatoes (or switch to sundried or plum).

I just attended a bread baking class and asked if I slightly prebaked the dough in the cast iron skillet if that would also help and they agreed. We had a restaurant in the Boston area in the 80s, Bel Canto, that served a torta about 2-3" thick by the time all the ingredients were added. Their torta was not soggy even with the tomato sauce and ricotta cheese.

Also I used a finely ground whole wheat berry that was grown and milled locally. I will continue to use that. The flavor of the crust alone is worth it.

Steven C 08-02-2016 09:04 AM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
I have yet to make one of those at home. It's on my list to make this winter. I think I know what Hilditch means, whenever I try something new as have a few tastes it gets me thinking of how I can tweak it, add to, or change to make more my own and over the top. I think people that like to cook are always wanting to achieve a perfect dish. I'm always thinking just how to do that with many things I cook.

Ty L. 08-02-2016 09:51 AM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
If you have a gas grill, I strongly recommend you experiment with doing your pizza in it. Once you get it dialed in just right, deep dish crust comes out with a thin layer of crunch on the bottom but bread in the inside. I don't wind up with soggy pizza or crust that's burnt on the bottom but still doughy in the middle. I also let the wet stuff drain all day, and I use french bread as the dough. One loaf in a #10 gets me a good pan style. I'll use more for Chicago style but I don't make it that way often since it's so good I'll inevitably eat way too much of it.

W. Hilditch 08-02-2016 01:11 PM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
Glad to hear you’re on the right track. The moisture issue stood out in the pic. Pizzerias put oil in their dough to retard moisture absorption. I just use a loaf of dough but then brush the top with olive oil where the sauce will be, not the edges. I use canned crushed tomatoes for the sauce which is pretty wet but the oil barrier keeps the moisture on the top. I even drizzle a little oil over all the ingredients to help keep them moist during baking.

As the tomato flavor is in the pulp an easy fix to keep them fresh is to take the wedges and pinch out the seeds and water with your fingers. That will leave them dry enough to use. As long as the meat mixture is drained well the second one should bring a bigger smile.


MEValery 08-02-2016 05:10 PM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
I just measured my grill (its a 1950s clay Japanese egg type) and my #10 just fits, so I'm going to try that. I just can't get the temp above 500 (600 if I really want to push it). The clay can't handle the higher temps like the new (but expensive) ceramic egg cookers.

Thanks for mentioning the oil, I forgot about that trick.

Hilditch, thanks for the picture. That is what my mom's pizza looked liked. My grandmother would almost get to the point of swearing when talking about american pizza. She always said "that is not pizza!". She would spread her dough out in the pan, coat with olive oil, press tomatoes into the dough, and add her spices. That was it.

Sharon Shuman 08-02-2016 05:27 PM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
Yum, yum!! The variety is the fun of it; thanks for sharing guys, but now I'm starving again.:chuckle:

W. Hilditch 08-02-2016 06:11 PM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
I cook my pizza at 450° F. 500° is plenty, especially for a thick crust.


Sharon Shuman 08-03-2016 11:13 AM

Re: My first cast iron pizza
I usually try to do thin crust style pizza, and use my #8 handle griddle. Makes a nice medium size for two. I also preheat the griddle a bit, spread the dough, then add some sauce, and cook for a few minutes to "set" the crust and heat the CI. Pull out of oven, add rest of ingreds., then cook 'til done. (Hubby's favorite cooking instruction is "cook 'til done. Argh!)

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