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deep dish skillet pizza


The world's easiest deep dish cheesy pizza just became easier when I discovered SF Joe's Original house made pizza dough and sauce available for pick up anytime.  The first time I made a deep dish pizza in a skillet I used traditional homemade tomato pizza sauce, caprese mozzarella balls and homemade pesto sauce.  We loved this simple cheesy pizza with crispy edges and pesto flavors.  I've made it a few times for dinner, served with a green salad and a glass of red wine.  But after I discovered the pizza dough and sauce at Joe's, pizza became easier to make and it certainly is better homemade right out of the oven. I also like to use basil leaves in place of pesto for variety, even easier to prepare.  The 9" cast iron skillet is just the right size for the purchased pizza dough.  I had a little leftover pizza sauce after spooning it around the mozzarella balls over the risen pizza crust before baking in a hot oven.  I tucked sweet basil leaves around the mozzarella balls but pesto can easily be spooned on top as well.

1 pre made refrigerated pizza dough
1 container caprese mozzarella balls, or a large ball cut into small pieces.
Pizza sauce
Pesto sauce or sweet basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil for the skillet and for drizzling over pizza

 9" seasoned cast iron skillet

About 3 hours before you want to serve your deep dish skillet pizza prepare the skillet. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, tilt to spread across the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using your fingers or a paper towel to spread the oil.  

Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and place in the oiled skillet, turn it over once to coat both sides of dough with olive oil.  Using your fingers press into the dough to spread it out to the sides of the skillet bottom.  Cover with a towel and set aside for 15 minutes.  Press into the dough again to spread it to the sides of the skillet one more time and cover.  Check the dough in 15 minutes to make sure dough is touching the sides of the skillet, completely covering the bottom.  Cover the dough with a tea towel and let rest in a draft free place for 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 400F.

When the pizza dough is ready to bake it will look soft and fluffy.  Evenly distribute the mozzarella balls or pieces over the dough.  Spoon the pizza sauce over the dough and around the mozzarella balls. Spoon pesto around the top next to the mozzarella balls or use basil leaves tucked in around the balls.
Bake the pizza in the skillet on a pizza stone, if you have one in the oven, placed on the bottom oven rack for 20-25 minutes or until the pizza edges look golden and crispy.  Also the mozzarella cheese will be melted and the pesto will spread and look baked.

Remove the skillet pizza from the oven, let it cool briefly before serving.  I used a pizza wheel type cutter but kitchen shears also work well.  Once the pizza edges are loosened from the skillet the pizza lifts easily from the pan.  I like to drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top.

Serves 8 with a side salad.


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