Happy Pizza Friday! Well I hope it’s pizza Friday for you. If it’s not, it should be. It is for us. And it has been that way for the past few months. And I’m not going to lie, it is the meal that I look forward to most during the week. For one it’s pizza. I mean really, how can you not look forward to pizza? And second, the fact that I finally have the crust down just makes pizza night even more enjoyable.
Baking pizza at home was difficult for me for a while because I simply could not get the crust right. The dough itself would be sticky or wouldn’t roll right. Most often it would be too thick in some places and razor thin in others. Or the whole thing would be too thin and couldn’t hold up to the simplest of toppings. Or my personal fave, when the dough didn’t even cook all the way through. Nothing like biting into a pipping hot pizza only to reveal a cold, doughy center.
But I am happy to report that now that we have been having Friday night pizza night for so long, I feel like I have finally got the hang of the whole crust thing. For one, I finally have a recipe for dough that seems to work perfectly for me every time. It’s not too firm or sticky and is really easy to work with. Secondly, I don’t have a problem rolling out the dough anymore because I don’t roll it out. I simply press it into the cast iron skillet that I am going to cook it in and continue working it until it fits nicely and evenly into the pan. Finally, I cook the crust for just about 5 minutes on the stove top before putting the ingredients on it and popping it in the oven where it cooks for another 12 – 15 minutes. The result is a crust that is perfectly crispy on the bottom and just the right amount of chewy inside.
The fact that this pizza recipe that I am sharing with you today tops this already delectable crust with spicy chorzio, caramelized onions and jalapenos and freshly made pico de gallo is just a bonus.
Place warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle yeast over the top. Allow to set for a 5 minutes. The yeast will start to foam.
Combine 1 cup flour and salt in a bowl. Add flour to yeast and water mixture. Turn mixer on medium-high speed and mix just until dough comes together. Reduce to medium-low speed and continue mixing until a smooth ball forms, about 5 minutes. If dough seems sticky during this time add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Toss dough to coat. Cover and place in a warm dark place until dough has doubled. About 45 minutes.
While you are waiting for the dough to rise, combine roma tomatoes, white onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro and salt together in a bowl. Allow to set at room temperature while the dough is rising.
When the dough is about done rising. Preheat the oven to 430 degrees.
Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, and brown chorizo. Add yellow onions and jalapenos. Cook until chorizo is cooked through and onions start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Remove skillet from heat.
Heat crushed tomatoes in a small pan over medium heat and simply season with salt and pepper.
Combine cheeses together in a bowl.
After the dough has finished rising, punch the dough, form into a large ball and lightly flour. Begin pressing the dough into the cast iron skillet. Start in the center and use your fingers to press out and keep working until the dough covers the entire bottom of the skillet and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. This will take several minutes. You can also use a rolling pin to roll it out to fit into the cast iron skillet.
Return the skillet to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil.
Pour the tomato sauce over the top of the dough. Top with mixed cheeses. Top with cooked chorizo, onions and jalapeno. Bake in preheated oven for 12 - 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust has started to brown.
Remove from oven. Spoon pico de gallo over the top. Slice and serve.