Sometimes inspiration comes in the strangest ways. For example, tonight we were going to have pizza for dinner. The plan was to use our standard homemade pizza dough recipe one with some homemade sauce that I had in the freezer and one garlic pizza.
The dough was made at lunchtime and left to rise on the stove. When I started getting things ready to put the pies together I noticed two ripe tomatoes from the garden on the counter and the cast iron skillet on the stove. I had an epiphany: deep dish pizza
This was a bit of a departure for me, typically I make our pizza very thin. How hard can it be, I have eaten at Pizzeria Uno… Not knowing how things were going to turn out, I still made three small pizzas in the usual way as a fail safe.
I added a well olive oiled 10″ iron skillet to the oven as I was preheating it to 450 degrees. While it was preheating I formed the dough into a 10″ disc that was about 1″ thick. I pulled the skillet out when the oven reached 350 degrees and added a bit more olive oil placed the disc into the pan and pressed it in the pan and pulled the dough up the sides of the pan to form the pie-crust like shape that I wanted. Be sure to use a thick pot holder hold the handle and be very careful when forming the dough to avoid burning yourself. Poke the dough with a fork several times and return the pan with dough back to the oven and cook it until it is fairly browned, about 15-20 minutes.
While the dough is cooking, thinly slice two (or more if you like) fresh Roma tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flake and Italian seasoning to the tomatoes. Once the crust has browned, remove from the oven and press down if it has risen at all. Add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese to the bottom of the crust and then add the tomatoes as an even layer. Cover with grated Parmesan cheese and then add another layer of mozzarella cheese. You could also add a layer of your favorite meat between the tomatoes and cheese if you like. It was really good with just the tomatoes and cheese, but some pepperoni would have taken it up another level on the flavor meter. Same thing goes for some good Italian sausage, or even meatballs. Honestly, any of your favorite pizza toppings would be great – just do what you like.
Below is the recipe for the dough, here is what was used to top it:
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1/2c mozzarella cheese
- 1/4tsp salt
- 1/8tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/8tsp Italian seasoning
- generous sprinkle of granulated garlic (fine minced fresh garlic would be great as well)
- olive oil for greasing the pan
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
- Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
- Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Use bread flour for a crispier crust. If you prefer a chewier crust, use all purpose flour.