My family loves pizza. We eat it at least once a week, and usually Saturday night is pizza night. A few months ago, I bought a few Dutch ovens and started experimenting with deep-dish pizza. It is now our go-to pizza night recipe, and we love it. This pizza does take some time to make, but it's well worth the effort. I mean, look at all that saucy and cheesy goodness!
Start off by pouring some olive oil to coat your 12-inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle some cornmeal on the bottom of the skillet. This will give your crust an authentic feel and taste. Set aside the prepared skillet until the dough is ready to fill it.
Making the dough is pretty simple. You just mix some ingredients together, knead and allow the crust to rise. Quick tip: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F, turn off the heat, and place the bowl with the dough inside it. Crack the door open a little so it doesn't get too hot. This helps the crust to rise in a warm environment and will make it thick and full.
Making the sauce is simple too: crushed tomatoes, some butter, spices, olive oil and a little sugar.
Basically everything gets mixed together all at once, and then you can adjust the seasonings to your preference. I like to let the mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes, because I feel the flavors get richer the longer they simmer. You will need to stir it occasionally, though. This sauce will get separated into 2 parts. One part goes right on top of the crust, and then the other part will go on top of the pepperoni.
Once you lay the crust into the prepared skillet, it's time for some serious cheese. I'm talking a full pound of cheese. I used mozzarella and highly recommend it for this pizza. I also recommend freshly grating your cheese. If you buy cheese that has already been grated, it will make your pizza very greasy because of the waxes they put on the grated cheese to keep it from clumping together.
After the cheese goes 1/2 the sauce, then a layer of pepperoni, and then the remaining sauce on top.
Finally, a little bit of Parmesan cheese to top off the pizza, and it is ready to bake. I preheat the Dutch oven to 400 degrees F for this pizza. I have found that preheating the skillet for at least 30 minutes yields the best results. You want every inch of the skillet to be very hot so the pizza cooks perfectly.
After 18 to 20 minutes, you will have the best deep-dish pizza ever.
Let the pizza sit untouched for about 10 to 15 minutes after removing it from the Dutch oven. (This is the hardest part of the whole recipe!) By letting the pizza sit, it not only cools but sets more.
Then you can slice in and enjoy.
For the dough
For the sauce
For the topping
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