America’s Test Kitchen is a staple in our house. All of their recipes are tried (and tried…and tried!) and true! If followed, you are assured of a quality outcome. My only issue with ATK’s recipe and formula is the number of steps and the length of time it takes to complete. Recently, in their “at home” version (due to COVID), co-host Bridget Lancaster made an incredible deep-dish pizza in a cast iron skillet. It looked so amazing, I definitely planned on making it. But…and you knew there was a “but” coming, I just didn’t have the patience. I opted to use store-bought pizza dough – not that her recipe was difficult, it just took 12-24 hours (and I couldn’t wait) and used my go-to sauce, Rao’s. Let me tell you, if this hack comes close to what hers tasted like, well A-MEN! But if you’re short on time and patience, this does very nicely!!
Serves: Two very hungry or Four civilized pizza lovers
Time: 60 minutes
1 store bought pizza dough (set it out to come to room temperature)
3 tbs olive oil
¼ cup Rao’s tomato basil sauce
12 oz Monterey jack cheese, grated
¼-½ tsp red pepper flakes
I preceded method by “unique” because this pizza is ALL about the method. It may sound a bit strange but follow this and you’ll be pleased!
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place 3 tbs olive oil in a cold 10-inch (interior measurement) cast iron skillet. Swirl it around to ensure the entire bottom is covered. Plop the dough in and with your fingers, press the dough so that it nearly reaches the edge of the pan – but allow a small gap.
Sprinkle half the cheese around the edge of the dough – filling in the gap between it and the pan. Gently press against the pan to create a wall. This will fry up in the oven, creating an amazingly crisp crust called Frico.
Carefully spoon the sauce over the middle of the dough – coming up to the edge, ensuring it’s evenly covering the dough. Now, sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and with a flexible spatula, lift the pizza by an edge and check the color of the bottom. If it’s not evenly brown – which it probably won’t be, carefully move the skillet over a medium-high burner and cook for about 5 minutes. Check again for color. It should be beautifully toasty brown. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool for another 5 minutes. Slice and prepare yourself!