Ohhhhh mama. Have mercy. Valentine’s Dinner has arrived ? ? ?
What are your plans for this weekend? Going out? Staying in? Might I ever-so-unbiasedly (um, WHOA, that’s totally a word) suggest that if you are staying in, you should probs make this pizza. I mean, why not? It’s the weekend and we gotta party like it’s the weekend. And every party needs a pizza otherwise it’s a super lame party and I’ll tell you what, I don’t like parties to begin with, but I’ll go for the pizza. #IntrovertFoodieProbs
This particular recipe is made in a cast iron skillet to create our desired deep-dish effect, but if you don’t have a cast iron pan, no worries! A regular old pizza stone or even a baking sheet will do. We can do this.
I’ve included a few step-by-step photos below and more detailed commentary than usual that will hopefully help you better understand the instructions & process (method adapted from Bon Appetit). Of course, full instructions will still be listed at the bottom of the post, as usual! I got you.
Okay so we have our dough! Firm, round, soft, and not sticky – but still a little tacky. Just right. Have I mentioned that this is a really, very, superbly magical dough that doesn’t need any rising? Yes, you heard that right. This pizza dough is your new best friend.
You’re going to cut this ball in half right down the middle so that we have two separate dough balls. Set one ball to the side and cover with a light cloth. You’ll roll out the remaining ball into about a 10-11 inch circle.
Into a cast iron pan we go (well, just the dough) after a light dusting of cornmeal on the bottom to prevent sticking. Trim the edges if they’re going over the sides of the pan. The cast iron pan has been heated on medium-high heat and we’re just going to wait a couple minutes for the dough to start bubbling, as shown in the photo above. Once that happens, we add our sauce and cheese, pictured down yonder. Muenster, Mozzarella, and Sharp Cheddar today, followed by a pile of freshly grated parmesan at the very end. Pile it high, friends! This is deep-dish here. No funny business. Lots of cheese is necessary and v important.
Into the oven at 500 – make sure you start preheating about 30 minutes beforehand so it can get hot enough! Our oven is the actual worst and is sort of impossible to understand/use (though obviously we’ve made it work bc hello, I have a food blog and I really love baking)! The one thing it can get right, however, is getting really hot, so at least baking pizza has never been an issue ?
The pizza really only needs about 8 minutes in the oven and then it’s done! The crust has a crisp layer on the outside with a soft and chewy interior. Perfect. While the pizza is still piping hot, we grate a generous amount of fresh parmesan cheese and sprinkle it everywhere. Ugh. YASSSSS IT’S SO GOOD.
We top the pizza off with some good Italian herb seasoning. About 1/2 teaspoon for each pizza should do the trick. After it has rested in the pan for a few minutes, we transfer it to a cutting board to slice and serve. Repeat the same process with the next ball of dough, adding just a little more cornmeal to the bottom of the pan because if there’s one thing that would ruin this pizza party, it would be not being able to get the pizza out of the pan. The worst.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Wishing the very, very best holiday weekend to you & yours // xoxo
Makes 2 9-inch pizzas
For the sauce –
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic
For the dough –
1 T cornmeal
1 T active dry yeast
2 c warm water
3/4 t salt
1 T sugar
4-5 c all-purpose flour
For the top –
1 1/2 c grated Muenster cheese
2 c grated Mozzarella cheese
1 c grated Sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 t Italian herb seasoning
Preheat oven to 500, or as hot as it will go (but not higher than 500).
In a blender, combine all sauce ingredients and puree until smooth. Personally, I like to leave a few tomato chunks in but you can blend it however much you’d like! Set aside.
Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl fitted for a stand mixer, whisk together the yeast, sugar, and hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, it should have doubled in size and be quite foamy. If not, your yeast is dead (no bueno ?) and you need to go to the store to grab yourself some new yeast.
To this mixture, add 3 cups of the flour and salt. Mix with a bread hook, adding more flour 1/2 c at a time until the dough is no longer intolerably sticky, but just slightly tacky. Knead for 3-4 minutes. Take out of the bowl and place onto a well floured surface. Roll into a ball, then cut it in half with a good, sharp knife so that you have two separate, equal-sized balls of dough. Set one aside and cover with a cloth.
Roll the other ball of dough into about a 10-11 inch circle. Sprinkle the hot cast iron skillet with the cornmeal, and then carefully place the rolled out dough into the skillet, being careful to not burn yourself. Trim any edges that are going over the sides of the pan.
Once the dough has formed bubbles, spoon about 1/3 c of sauce onto the dough & distribute it evenly across the surface, followed by half of the cheeses (so 3/4 c muenster, 1 c mozzarella, and 1/2 c cheddar), except for the parmesan.
Bake in the oven for about 7-9 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Carefully take the pan out of the oven. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese & half of the Italian herb seasoning. Once the pizza has rested for about 5-10 minutes, place onto a cutting board, slice, and serve.
Repeat this same process over again with the other ball of dough, adding more cornmeal to the bottom of the cast iron pan if need be.