Sourdough Cast Iron Pizza (Vegetarian)

When I started making sourdough bread, I didn’t like wasting the discard. Lucky for me, King Arthur Flour had a recipe for using the discard to make pizza dough! This is a mash up of the King Arthur Flour’s sourdough pizza dough recipe (https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/sourdough-pizza-crust-recipe) and the technique used in “Cook It in Cast Iron: Kitchen-Tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does It All (Cook’s Country)” using a cast iron skillet or pizza pan.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients for Pizza Dough

Ingredients for Pizza Sauce

  • 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes (If using whole canned tomatoes, drain the tomatoes and reserve the juice. Put the tomatoes in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour tomato mixture into a 2 cup measure, and add the tomato juice until the the sauce measures two cups. Stir to blend it. )
  • 1 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more or less) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of wine vinegar

Toppings

  • 12 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded or pulled apart if fresh Mozzarella
  • other toppings as desired

Tools:

12 or 14 inch cast iron skillet, a stand mixer or food processor is nice, but not necessary, rolling pin, cheese grater

Instructions

  1. Stir any liquid on top of your refrigerated starter back into it before measuring 1 cup (241g) into a large mixing bowl. (If you are using the stand mixer, use the mixing bowl from the stand mixer. If using the food processor, use the food processor bowl.)
  2. Add the warm water, flour, salt, and yeast to the bowl with the starter.
    • If using a stand mixer, mix to combine. Knead for about 7 minutes in a mixer with the dough hook, until the dough wraps itself around the hook and cleans the side of the bowl.
    • If hand kneading, mix to combine. once mixed, knead for 12 to 15 minutes.
    • If using a food processor, use the chopping blade and run the food processor for 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise until almost doubled in bulk. Depending on the vitality of your starter, this will take between 2 and 4 hours. For a faster rise, place the dough in a warm spot, or double the yeast.
  4. The dough can be frozen at this point. To freeze, either divide the dough in half and shape into a disk or round it into one disk. Put in freezer bags and put in the freezer. To thaw, take out the night before you want to use it and put in the fridge. About two hours before you want to bake the pizza, take the dough out of the fridge and let warm to room temp. You can also warm the dough up in warm water, 100 to 110 degrees F, but you are only trying to get the dough up to 70 to 80 degrees F.
  5. While the dough is rising, make the pizza sauce.
    1. Stir all the ingredients together for the pizza sauce.
    2. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
    3. This sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to week, or frozen for up to a month. This sauce cooks on the pizza while the pizza bakes
  6. For two 12 thin-crust pizzas, divide the dough in half, and shape each into a flattened disk. For one 14 inch pizza, do not divide the dough in half. Shape into one flattened disk. Cover the dough and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Set one of the oven racks to the upper-middle position and preheat your oven to 500 degrees F while the dough is resting.
  8. Lightly flour your counter and roll out your pizza crust to either fit the 12 inch pans or the 14 inch pan.
  9. Grease cast iron skillet or pizza pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the rolled out dough into the cast iron skillet.
  10. Spread 1/2 cup of pizza sauce on the pizza dough, leaving a 1/2 inch boarder around the edge. This is the same amount for either the 12 or 14 inch pizza.
  11. For the two 12 inch pizzas, divide the cheese and the toppings in half to split between the two pizzas. Use the full amount for the 14 inch pizza.
  12. Add the cheese on top of the pizza sauce, spreading it out over the pizza, then add your toppings. If you have a second pizza, do the same.
  13. On the stove, set the heat to medium-high, and put the cast iron skillet or cast iron pizza pan on the heat.
  14. Cook until the edge of the pizza is set and the bottom is spotty brown. You can lift up the pizza edge with a spatula to see the bottom. This takes about 2 to 5 minutes. You may hear the oil sizzling.
  15. Transfer the pizza to the oven rack set to the upper-middle position and bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. This takes about 7 to 10 minutes.
  16. Remove from the oven and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Notes:

I used two types of cheese; mozzarella on one half the pizza and Manchego on the other half. Bruce has trouble with cow cheeses, but can eat sheep and goat cheese just fine.

If using fresh basil, leave the dried basil out of the pizza sauce, and sprinkle it on top of the pizza when it comes out of the oven.

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