Oh, wow! Life has been a whirlwind lately. I feel like I haven’t seen the inside of my apartment in ages. In the last week and a half alone I spent a weekend in Baltimore with my Spatular, hopped on a plane to Dallas for the work week, then turned around and road tripped to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York for a reunion weekend with my girlfriends from college. The adventures have been a blast, but being away so much also reminds me how much I love being home.
I don’t know, there is just something I love about the routine of coming home in the evening after a day at work. Despite the dark, I love heading out the door on my run, especially with the unseasonably warm temps we’ve been having this week. After my run, I light a candle, pour myself a glass of wine, and get to making dinner. For me, cooking dinner isn’t a race to the finish line. I love the process just as much as I love sitting down on the couch in front of my Netflix and enjoying the meal I just prepared.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with making homemade pizza in my cast iron skillet. I’ve been making homemade pizza for years but this is my new favorite method! This is by far the best way I’ve found to make restaurant style pizza at home. The cast iron is the key to a crispy, crunchy, not-soggy-at-all crust. Gahhh I love it so much! I keep homemade pizza dough in the freezer at all times, so even during crazy weeks like I’ve been having I can usually scrounge up enough ingredients to throw one together. The pizza I’m sharing today is one of my favorite topping combos and believe it or not, came as the result of a “clean out the fridge” effort before I left for Dallas.
I’ve included the recipe for the whole wheat dough I’ve been making lately, which is a combination of a bunch of different recipes I’ve been using over the years. This dough is enough to make 2 9 inch cast iron pizzas, or one large pizza. If you don’t feel like making your own, just pick some up in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Just make sure you buy a ball of dough, not a sheet of dough rolled up in a tube.
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
9 Inch Pizza:
- Half ball of pizza dough
- 1/2 tsp butter
- 1/4 cup pizza sauce (I keep a jar in the fridge)
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 4 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 small onion, quartered and sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 oz crumbled blue cheese
- To make the dough, combine the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook. Let it sit for a few minutes until frothy.
- Mix in the remaining ingredients and knead together with your hand until a ball forms. Add up to 1 more Tbs of water (1 tsp at a time) if the dough seems too dry.
- Knead with the dough hook for 8-10 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
- Leave the dough in the bowl, cover it with a clean dish towel, and move it to a warm dry area to rise for 45 minutes.
For A 9 Inch Pizza:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up.
- In a separate skillet on the stove top, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms and onions for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and set the mixture aside.
- Cut the dough in half. Refrigerate or freeze half of the dough for later use. On a lightly floured surface, roll the other half of the dough into a 10 inch round.
- Using a pot holder, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Place 1/2 tsp of butter in the skillet and swirl it around to coat the pan.
- Transfer the 10 inch round of dough to the prepared skillet. There should be about a half inch lip of dough that rises up the sides of the pan.
- Spread 1/4 cup of pizza sauce over the dough and top with the shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle the mushrooms and onions over the pizza and top with the crumbled cheese.
- Bake in the oven on the bottom rack for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Dang it, now I’m craving pizza again!