I first tried making pizza on cast iron last fall, when it got too cold to use the outdoor grill. Cast iron holds a lot more heat than even a baking stone, so if you preheat the oven with the cast iron inside for a while, you can get higher temperatures for baking pizza. And high temperatures are the best thing for pizza, for the most part much higher than home ovens can ever achieve.
I started by baking smaller pizzas in my cast iron skillet, but after I was converted to the technique, I bought this:
Not only does it allow for larger size pizzas, but the flat design makes it easier to slide the pizzas on top without making a mess. I also always press my pizza dough out and bake it on parchment paper in order to avoid the collapse of a beautifully decorated pizza into a pile of toppings, sauce, and dough. I don’t trust that I will be able to make them slide off the peel with just cornmeal to assist.
I use the same dough that I used to make grilled pizza last summer.
I turn on the oven to start preheating the cast iron pan about 45-60 minutes before I want to start baking the dough. I press the dough into circles on the parchment and prick them with a fork to discourage bubbles. Then I parbake them for six minutes.
At that point, I take the dough out and top it. One of these is plain sauce and cheese and one has also sundried tomatoes. I also sprinkle some Pizza Seasoning on top. Then I put them back in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
I am glad I have my baking stone because I still think it is the best for baking bread on. But I think the cast iron technique gives you a better pizza crust, especially in the winter when grilling is out of the question. I can’t wait for warmer weather to start grilling my pizzas again, though.