i have a problem when it comes to pizza dough. just as soon as i get comfortable with a recipe or technique (which always starts off seeming daring and fast moving and just this side of impossible), i move on to find a new challenge. some people get their adrenaline from roller coasters or fast cars. me? new pizza dough recipes and techniques.
my latest pizza adventure is sponsored by the letter S. as in skillet. as in cast iron skillet. as in skillet pizza with mushrooms and goat cheese.
first though, a confession: at the risk of having my writes-about-food-on-the-interwebs card revoked, i’m only just warming up to my cast iron skillet. (he’s just. so. heavy. and if we’re being honest, prone to hot spots.) i will say though, the deliciousness of this skillet pizza is definitely speeding up that warming process.
so, in keeping with my usual, this skillet pizza involves a little bit of daring and a touch of finger crossing. also, a bit of tinkering (read: don’t make this for the first time when you have guests coming over, unless they are crappy dinner party friends).
since we’re all about honesty today, i will tell you that the first time i made this pizza, the bottom of the crust was the same color as the cast iron skillet that burned it in large spots. aaaaaand we ate the entire pizza anyway, because it is just that good.
the second time i made the pizza, i kept the preheating burner turned down lower so that the bottom of the pizza didn’t get quite so incinerated. this was much more successful.
the third time i made this pizza (in a 10 day stretch, mind you, because, yum and also testing), i tried preassembling the pizza so that it didn’t sit in the hot skillet while i added the toppings. i won’t say that *didn’t* work, but i will say that it requires more assembled-pizza-transfer skills than i currently possess.
therefore, in the recipe below, i’ve written steps that correspond to my second method – the one that didn’t produce a charred bottom or require superhuman pretopped pizza transfer skills (and all of these methods are easier if you have a helper for the transfer step). it still takes a time or two to get the hang of it, though, so please give it another try if your first skillet pizza doesn’t quite live up to your standards. you’ll get there. and then i’ll post my newest most favorite pizza technique.
(and don’t despair if you don’t have a cast iron skillet; you can still put these tasty toppings on a pizza prepared in my *previous* new favorite way to make pizza, detailed in this pizza dough recipe.)
- 1 recipe of pizza dough, see notes
- 1 cup (74 g. / 2 5/8 oz.) white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 ½ tablespoons (40 g. / 1 3/8 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 cup (113 g. / 4 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese (i use part skim)
- prepare pizza dough as directed here through step 2 (including the 9-hour rise).
- make sure all of your toppings are assembled, prepared, and ready to go. once the dough is in the hot skillet, we have to move quickly to top it and get it in the oven!
- position your oven rack as close to your broiler as possible, checking to make sure there is enough room for your cast iron skillet to fit. turn on the broiler to preheat. place your empty, dry, ungreased cast iron skillet on a large burner on your stove and preheat for 10 minutes at the highest heat setting possible that doesn’t produce smoke. if the skillet is smoking, the bottom crust is likely to burn. on my (surprisingly powerful electric) stove, this turns out to be a little above medium heat (closer to medium than high).
- while the broiler and the cast iron skillet are preheating, gently coax your risen dough into a circle about the same size as your cast iron skillet. try to avoid mashing the air bubbles out of it, especially the crust/edge. slide the pizza dough onto a well floured wooden peel or a metal cookie sheet (upside down if it has a rim). stay away from anything plastic since it may come in contact with the extremely hot cast iron skillet.
- once the broiler, skillet, pizza dough, and toppings are all prepared, you’re ready to assemble the pizza. if you have a helper, that’s ideal but not essential. make sure the pizza dough isn’t stuck to your peel or cookie sheet. remove the hot skillet from the hot burner (to help prevent the bottom of the pizza from burning). carefully transfer the pizza dough to the skillet, taking more care not to burn your fingers than to get the dough in there perfectly. good enough is good enough and it may stick in place once it hits the pan; just leave it.
- quickly sprinkle the mushroom, goat cheese, herbs, and mozzarella over the pizza dough. i like to put the mozzarella last so that it holds everything in place and gets nice golden brown spots.
- transfer the skillet to the broiler, taking care not to have the oven door open for longer than necessary. set a timer for 1 minute. after one minute, rotate the skillet 180 degrees. (i usually cheat on this step and put the skillet in with the handle far over on one side of the oven (4 o’clock) then just swing the handle over to the other side of the oven (8 o’clock) and don’t fuss with rotating a full 180 degrees. my broiler is even enough to allow such laziness; yours may not be.)
- based on how quickly the pizza cooked so far, set a timer for 30 seconds to 1 minute. the pizza is done when the cheese is bubbly and golden brown and the crust is also golden brown.
- when the top of the pizza is done, take the skillet out of the oven. sneak a spatula under the crust and peak at the bottom. if the bottom isn’t too dark, let the pizza rest in the skillet for a moment so that the center is not quite so molten and soft. if the crust is dark though, transfer the pizza out of the pan and onto a cooling rack immediately. a large metal spatula and a helper to hold the pan steady are both helpful here as sometimes the crust sticks a bit in one spot.
- slice and serve warm, marveling at how impressive your at-home pizza making game is.
as you see in the pictures, using a full recipe of pizza dough in a 12” (30 ½ cm) cast iron skillet yields a thick crust. i think that’s one of the best things about this skillet pizza but if you are one of those people who thinks crust is just pizza handles, you may want to reduce the dough recipe to 3/4 or even 2/3 of the standard recipe.
broiler PSA: if your broiler seems wonky and is always turning off in the middle of use, check the owners’ manual for your oven. some models require the door to remain ajar or have other temperamental tricks required to get them to behave properly.
leftovers reheat beautifully in a toaster oven or the oven. the microwave is always a sad place for pizza to end up.
adapted from skillet pizza on kitchen confidence.
please note this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking from here, i will earn a small commission from amazon at no additional charge to you. i only link to products that i use and love. thank you for supporting tasty seasons!