Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza

Oh yes. I finally did it. I finally perfected not only my regular pizza crust recipe, but made an awesome deep dish as well. This cast iron deep dish pizza crust recipe will please even the pickiest pizza fan! It is crispy on the bottom, soft and chewy on the inside. Flavorful, and will hold a TON of toppings.

In my house, we are generally regular hand-tossed or thin crust pizza eaters. Very rarely do I break out the big guns and attempt a thick crust. It just ends up too bready, the crust not crunchy enough, just NO. So I started googling, and researching different bread techniques (turns out I have been using too much yeast, and not giving a long enough rise time for most of my breads. They taste great still, and are fast, but to develop a deeper and richer flavor I need PATIENCE!), different recipes, and this is the result of the combination of all of that knowledge and reading. Phew. I am tired.

Start by proofing your yeast in your mixer. Add 1 cup of hot water, 1 heaping teaspoon sugar, and 1 TBSP yeast. Pulse a couple of times to mix, and then let this mixture sit for 15 minutes. When you come back, it should look a bit foamy and smell yeasty and delicious. This is telling you that your yeast is alive and ready to rock.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Next, add in 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix this up until it is fully combined.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Then walk away and let it rest for 30 minutes. This is called the autolyse, if you wanted to get fancy. I don’t. Basically the purpose for this is to let the flour fully absorb the liquid and start developing gluten. It is supposed to help you develop a more open crumb, and a deeper flavor. It also makes the dough easier to work with.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Come back after that 30 minute rest and turn your mixer back on medium. Add 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 – 3/4 cup flour. The amount will depend on a whole host of things. You want your dough to just form into a nice ball, and start pulling from the sides. Knead with your mixer on medium for 5 minutes. Turn out into a well oiled bowl. Your dough should be smooth, and stretch nicely.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Cover your bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size. Mine took about 1.5 hours.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Here is another view of the dough so you can see how high up the bowl it had risen.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

One way to check this is by poking a finger into the dough. If the indentation stays, it is almost ready.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Punch down the dough (deflate it by pushing on it, basically, no need to go all UFC on it or anything.) and cover it again for another 30 minutes. Turn on your oven to preheat now to 450℉. When you come back, it will have risen some more and be beautiful and ready to shape.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Excuse the flash here, I lost my light! EEEP!

Oil your cast iron skillet WELL, and press half of your dough into it.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Press down gently in the pan, and then poke some holes in the dough with a fork.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Next turn on your stove to high, and place the cast iron pan on there. Heat until the pan is hot and the oil under the crust starts bubbling. You will hear it and see the sides start to move.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

When this happens place the crust in your oven on the lowest rack for 10 minutes to pre-bake it a bit. Remove, top with your favorite toppings, and finish baking. It will take approximately 30 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as this will depend on your oven, your toppings, and your pan.

Remove from the pan and marvel at your creation.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Now slice and enjoy!

This crust also works well for a hand tossed crust. I used half and stretched it out onto a 16 inch pizza pan (the kind with holes in it, LOVE that pan!!), pre-baked for 5 minutes, and then saved it for later.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust from

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza Crust
  • 1 heaping tsp sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 TBSP yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ½ - ¾ cup bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • toppings and cheese of your choice
  1. Combine sugar, hot water, and yeast in your mixer. Let proof for 15 minutes.
  2. Add milk, olive oil, and 3 cups of bread flour. Mix until well combined and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add ½ - ¾ cups flour and salt. Knead on medium for 5 minutes. Turn out into a well oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover to let the dough rise until doubled, approximately 1.5 hours.
  4. Punch down the dough and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450.
  5. Place approximately half of the dough into your well-oiled cast iron skillet. Poke with a fork to create some holes. Place on your stovetop over high heat until the skillet is hot and the oil under the pizza crust is bubbling. Place pizza and pan into the oven on the bottom rack for 10 minutes to pre-bake.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings, and finish baking for approximately 30 minutes.

What is your favorite kind of crust? Favorite pizza toppings? Comment below or come and see me over at the OWYD Facebook page and let me know! If you liked this post, please pin it, share it, or stumble it using the buttons available too. Tell your friends if you like it, tell me if you don’t! 😉

Big HUGE gigantic shout out to reader Jeff Shurts! He recently made my deep dish pizza featured in this post, and send me a picture and had this to say.

Photo by Jeff Shurts

Photo by Jeff Shurts

“I made your cast iron deep dish pizza last night. Wow. This is the crust I’ve been wanting to make. In the center, soft and pillowy like the Garcia’s I grew up with in central Illinois. Near the edge, almost like Gino’s East, one of the best in Chicago. I added a little fine-ground corn meal to the dough for deeper color and a little sweetness. And, in a nod to my favorite Pequod’s pizza, I pressed mozzerella around the edge of the crust (touching the pan) as I fried and then prebaked the crust, giving it a nice “caramelized” ring of crunchy cheesy goodness around the outside.” – Jeff Shurts

Wow! Thanks so much for reading, and for taking the time to let me know how it turned out. That is so exciting for me to see that people out there are getting some enjoyment out of my little corner of the internet.

 Send in your reader photos to be featured on the blog, and to make my day. <3

As always

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    • Nicole says

      Right? Start looking around at thrift shops. That is where I got mine. I just scrubbed it out REALLY well, and then re-seasoned it. Perfect cast iron pan for $2 or $3!

  1. Jeff Shurts says

    Did it again… this time, spinach pizza a la Edwardo’s. Slid sliced provolone around the edge for that caramelized cheese ring, then halfway through parbaking the crust, added the cheese. (It’s best to put the cheese on bottom as a “seal” when using a wet veg as topping, so the crust doesn’t become a wet sponge.) Once the cheese was all melted, added the spinach (see below), then sauce on top of that (see below below) and baked to completion. Tasty….

    The Spinach:

    Use one whole bunch of fresh spinach (it really cooks down). Rinse it, then cut it up into roughly 1-inch pieces. I used the top 3/4, discarding the lowest part of the stem. Next, mince a clove of garlic. Heat about 2 tbsp of garlic in a frying pan or wok (the volume of a wok works to your advantage), then add the garlic. When it just starts to turn brown, toss in the chopped spinach, and stir fry until it’s wilted but not mushy – then transfer to a bowl to cool.

    The Sauce:

    1 large can crushed tomatoes
    1 small can tomato paste
    1 clove garlic
    2 tbsp olive oil
    3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
    12 leaves basil
    Leaves from 3 stems fresh oregano, about 20 or so
    1-1/2 tbsp sugar (more or less, to taste)
    1 tsp salt (more or less, to taste)
    1/2 tsp black pepper

    Mince the garlic and sautee in olive oil until it begins to brown, then add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Sautee until bubbling; add cheese, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Toss in some cayenne if you like a kick. After adding the herbs, reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until ready to dress the pizza. Makes enough for 2 pizzas.

  2. Mallory says

    Just made this and it’s awesome! Super easy. My son loves “puffy crust” and my daughter loves to bake so this made everyone happy. Thanks for posting it!

  3. Jeff Shurts says

    After a few more tries, no mea gusta the provolone ring. Cheddar or mozzarella works best. They get crunch where provolone gets chewy. But do try this recipe with the sauteed spinach. You will (I promise) be transported to your happy place.


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