pizza night is a favorite here are our house. it's such an easy way to get kids involved with cooking. there's nothing like a sticky ball of dough and lots of flour everywhere to get eleanor to come running. besides mixing ingredients for dough she is really good at rolling it out and at shouting orders to me, "throw it in the air mama." my go to recipe for dough is from the river cottage family cookbook. honestly this whole book is great and inspires the whole family to cook together making butter, breads, pasta, curing meat, and even planting a backyard garden. i've been struggling for years with how to make my pizza come out right. no matter what i do the dough is never quite crisp enough to hold up to sauce. (i am sure that if i owned a pizza stone my life would be different but i don't) i've seen recipes over the years for bread baked in a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet so i thought i would try it for our pizza. friends, it turned out perfectly. i have found the answer to all my homemade pizza woes.
4 1/4 cups white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/4 cup warm water
to make the dough by hand, put the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the salt and yeast and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. pour the warm water into a measuring cup, then add the olive oil and honey and stir well. pour the water mixture into the flour in the bowl, a little at a time. either with the wooden spoon or your hands, work the water into the flour and gradually bring it all together into a mass of soft, slightly stick dough. if the dough feels very sticky, add a little more flour. if it feels as if it won’t come together, then work in some more warm water — a soft dough is much easier to knead.
flour the work surface and turn the dough out onto it. knead until it’s smooth and bouncy. shape the dough into a neat ball, put it back in the mixing bowl and cover the bowl with some cling film or a damp kitchen towel to proof in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size (this will take 90 minutes to 2 hours).
when the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). lightly grease a cast iron skillet with olive oil. roll the dough out to fit your pan. place skillet over medium low flame to allow the bottom to brown a bit. cover the dough with your toppings of choice and put skillet in the oven to allow pizza to cook 15 minutes, or until golden (check after 10 minutes to make sure nothing is burning). allow to stand for 10 minutes, then cut into slices and serve immediately.
we enjoyed our pizza tonight with some fresh made pesto, cherry tomatoes, and burrata (which is a dream).