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How to Make the Crispiest, Cheesiest Cast-Iron Pan Pizza

How to Make the Crispiest, Cheesiest Cast-Iron Pan Pizza
the year 1980 was a big year for me i'm not talking about the winter olympics being in new york or any kind of geopolitical event i'm talking about two huge inventions that came out that year one pac-man big deal the other one was that

pizza

hut introduced and rolled out the pan

pizza

to all of their restaurants now pac-man and

pizza

hut for me go hand in hand because i spent all of my babysitting money hanging out at that pizzeria eating

pizza

out of a

cast

iron

dish and i'm going to

make

that for you today and it's so easy this might actually be the easiest

pizza

that you'll ever

make

so one thing that we want to do is create a dough that's nice and soft and plush inside of course after it bakes it gets a nice crust on it but we're going to start off with some bread flour so i'm going to weigh out my bread flour here i need 11 ounces dough is just basically flour and water and it's the ratio that's really going to have an impact on the end result so a good idea to weigh out your flour next up we've got a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of instant yeast it's sometimes called rapid rise yeast as well this is again a teaspoon before i add my water i'm just going to give this a quick stir all right so i'm done with the scale now we're going to add our water and we're using 8 ounces of water here so this is a pretty well hydrated dough when you start talking about something called baker's percentage that's...
how to make the crispiest cheesiest cast iron pan pizza
how we figure out how much water is in the dough in relation to the weight of the flour it's 11 ounces of flour and eight ounces of water now this is pretty warm water it should register between 105 to 110 degrees so that looks great it's really just kick starting the fermentation process get things bubbling quicker so i'm going to add this right in and stir it around with my wooden spoon here and you notice i don't have a mixer we don't actually need one since we're working with a high hydration dough when the dough starts to come together we're going to just knead this right in the bowl and i'm going to use my hands and just knead it for about a minute until it really starts to come together it should be a little bit sticky and that is all the needing that we need to do to this dough i've got here a pie plate it's a nine inch pie plate and i have already sprayed it with a little bit of vegetable oil cooking spray i'm going to plop this dough around right in there so just patting it out to about a seven inch circle here in this pie plate this is not the dish that we're going to bake our

pizza

in so don't worry now i'm going to spray the top with a little bit of vegetable oil baking spray and cover the pan with some plastic wrap so at this point this is going to go into the fridge and we're going to leave it in there for quite a bit of time anywhere between 12 to 24 hours while the dough is in the fridge the yeast is...
how to make the crispiest cheesiest cast iron pan pizza
going to feed on the carbohydrates and the sugars in the dough and it's going to start that fermentation process we're going to have alcohols flavorful esters and other things that's going to

make

the dough taste really really good and a high hydration dough also helps to build structure with many

pizza

dough recipes we're used to giving the dough a lengthy kneading process in order to build structure but there is another way let's first look at what happens when we need dough in a mixer in order for gluten to form the two proteins in wheat gluten and gliadin must first mix with water the proteins become mobile find each other and bond together mechanically mixing a dough for several minutes helps this process along however our

pizza

dough is made with a high volume of water we mix it manually for a minute and then give the dough plenty of time to rest in the fridge once in the refrigerator the higher percentage of water in the dough allows the gluten proteins to move about on their own they find each other and link up into a protein mesh without much mixing the long stay in the fridge also allows for lots of complex flavor to develop making this

pizza

not only super easy to

make

but really easy to eat all right let's take a look at our dough here ah it had a good rest again it was 12 to 24 hours you can see it's risen a little bit oh this looks great and i actually let this sit on the counter for about 30 minutes just so that it can warm up...
how to make the crispiest cheesiest cast iron pan pizza
it's going to be easier to shape you can see it's nice and puffy so again 12 to 24 hours in the fridge and then 30 minutes at room temperature so we're about ready to transfer it to our pan and we are using a

cast

iron

pan of course for our pan

pizza

it's going to develop a beautiful crust on that

pizza

like no other pan can i want to get it good and greased up because one of the hallmarks of a great pan

pizza

is that almost fried crust so you gotta load up the skillet with quite a bit of oil and i'm using three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil here i'm gonna swirl this around just to

make

sure that it's coating the bottom of that pan all right that looks well coated there we go i'm going to put a little bit of oil on my hands now because i'm going to handle this dough i just want to transfer it into our

cast

iron

skillet so and now i'm going to use my fingertips to continue to coax this out a little bit wider shape so i want to work this out to about an eighth of an inch from the edge of the pan and it's okay to press down on the dough a little bit you want to knock some of those bigger bubbles out at this point all right so now i'll just put that piece of plastic right back on top we're going to let this sit here at room temperature for a good hour and a half and we're going to wait for that dough to get a little bit puffy in the meantime we've got plenty of time to work on our sauce and we're making a no...
cook sauce here this is a 14 and a half ounce can of whole tomatoes packed in juice just going to drain it and since i want to get out a lot of the liquid so that we don't have to cook the sauce i'm just going to break these open with my hands to allow those juices to drain through there we go now i'm just pressing on the solids here in the strainer to really get rid of some of that juice looks like i'm going to be making a mean bloody mary later all right so that's looking pretty good now i'm going to put these tomato solids into my food processor we have a few more ingredients we want to add first of all i've got my friendly bag of frozen garlic cloves i come pre-peeled i love to store them in the freezer let them thaw just for a moment because then it's easy to grate them instead of mince them you can of course use a garlic press or mince them by hand i'm just using a rasp grater here there we go i'm going to add another teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil some nice flavor and a quarter teaspoon of table salt i have a quarter teaspoon of sugar quarter teaspoon of dried oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes just a little heat it's up to you big pinch little pinch i'm going big pinch all right lid goes on and i'm going to let this process until it's nice and smooth it's going to take about 30 seconds and that is our easy no cook sauce concentrated flavors and you can actually

make

this up to three days in advance...
just store it in your fridge all we have to do is wait on the dough it's cheese time i've got mozzarella this is whole milk mozzarella gone ahead and shredded this it's about seven ounces or one and three quarter cups we're using monterey jack as well this is four ounces of monterey jack and you'll see why in just a moment but for now all i need to do is shred this on the large holes of a box grater as well put that aside let's bring that pan with our crust a beautiful dough and you can see it's just started to get a little bit puffy we let it sit for an hour and a half so it's just giving it time to rise a little bit and wake back up first of all i'm going to add a half a cup of our no cook sauce to our

pizza

now i'm going to spread this until it's about a half inch from the edge of the

pizza

so now we're going to bring in our monterey jack cheese we're not topping the

pizza

with monterey jack cheese we're actually going to create a wall around the perimeter sometimes when you order a pan

pizza

and a little bit of the cheese hits the side of the pan it starts to fry and turn brown that's called frico and we love it so much that we're creating it from the bottom up so i'm going to go ahead and sprinkle this monterey jack around the perimeter and we're using monterey jack here because it is a drier cheese than mozzarella and it's a little less salty just making sure i have enough to go around it's...
okay if it touches a little bit of the sauce so that's looking good i've spread it all around the perimeter and now i'm just going to press it onto the edges of the pan to create kind of a quarter inch to a half inch tall cheese wall now that is looking pretty good now obviously as it bakes some of this cheese is going to slump down a little bit that's perfectly fine we want to get some good adherence to the pan that way it'll brown nicely now we can't forget about the middle so we're going to use our mozzarella here and this is seven ounces of whole milk mozzarella and it just goes right over the sauce ugh amazing so this is ready to bake and i'm going to put it in a 400 degree oven i'm going to place it on the lowest oven rack and that assures me that the bottom of this pan is close to the heat source and we can start to get some good browning so we're going to leave it in there for about 25 up to 30 minutes until it looks really well browned now that's a

pizza

oh look at that sizzling and the crust around the edge of the pan beautiful with the cheese started to melt so before i move on i'm just going to let this sit here for about three minutes until the sizzling stops i'm going to keep a towel on the panhandle just to remind myself not to touch it all right the bubbling stopped and now i'm going to take a butter knife and just run it around the edge of the pan that's why i wanted this

pizza

to sit for about...
three minutes it's going to allow the cheese to loosen from the sides and also i'm going to take a peek underneath and see how the browning is doing the edge is amazing so i'm going to take a very thin spatula here and just take a peek underneath to see how the browning's doing there i can see a little bit of color there but i want to get this a little bit more brown so i'm going to put the burner on underneath the pan turn it to medium and i'm going to let this go for up to five minutes i'll lift it up and check it every few minutes just to

make

sure that it's not over browning looks great smells even better and i just checked under the hood so to speak and the color looks beautiful so i'm going to take two thin spatulas and that

pizza

comes right out and i'm going to transfer it to a wire rack i'm going to let this cool down for about 10 minutes before i eat it that might have been the longest 10 minutes of my entire life but the

pizza

is now safe to eat because it's cool enough i'm going to slide it off of the rack here there we go and here's a trick that i learned from a friend that used to work at a pizzeria you start right in the middle and then you go out that way you're not crushing the crust let's pull this apart and see what's going on on the inside oh doesn't that look amazing oh it's super crisp too all right so i'm going to do the same here cut this right across from the center and...
i'm going to stop cutting now because well i just want to start eating it beautiful fluffy interior really beautiful crumb we'll see how it tastes though super cheesy i'm going to go for the crust and again that's where that frico cheese is that is what this

pizza

is all about it's that super cheesy crust that got nice and toasted i love it because we took the best of the 80s and we left all that other junk behind so if you want to

make

this incredible pan

pizza

at home remember these keys

make

a dough with a high percentage of water build a wall of cheese around the perimeter and finish the

pizza

right on the stovetop so from america's test kitchen at home a plush and crisp super cheesy and super easy

cast

iron

pan

pizza

super cheesy thanks for watching america's test kitchen what'd you think well leave a comment and let us know which recipes you're excited to

make

or you can just say hello you can find links to today's recipes and reviews in the video description and don't forget to subscribe to our channel see you later i'll see you later