Deep-dish pizza

Crust:
1-3/4 C flour
1/4 C cornmeal
1/2 t salt
1/2 pkg dry yeast
1/2 C water
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 T olive oil

Filling:
1/2 lb of shredded cheese, a mixture of provolone, asiago, mozarella, and Monterey Jack.
1/2 lb cooked crumbled sausage
3 or more cloves of garlic, sliced
14-oz can of diced tomatoes, drained very well (use a strainer)
1-1/2 t oregano
2 T parmesan, grated

Combine the dry ingredients and then make a well in the center and stir in the water, oil, and garlic. Knead for about 5 minutes, then put in a bowl with a towel over the top and let it rise in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Oil a 10-1/2 inch seasoned cast iron skillet. Pat the dough out in the skillet, covering the bottom and coming about 1-1/2 inches up the sides.

Layer the filling ingredients over the dough in the order listed.

The real secret here is that there is no sauce in this deep dish pie, only well-drained tomatoes. In order for the recipe to work, all the toppings have to be fairly dry. As I discovered in one catastrophic failure, you cannot simply take a regular pizza recipe and make it in a cast-iron skillet. The result is a soggy mess.

If you have a gas oven:
Place the skillet on the middle rack of a COLD gas oven. Turn the heat to 500 F. When it reaches that temperature, turn it down to 400 F and let it bake for 30 minutes (keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes, to make sure it’s not burning).

According to a forum at pizzamaking.com, only the bottom element is used to preheat a gas oven. So you don’t have to worry about the toppings getting scorched during the first phase, and the bottom will be nicely done.

If you have an electric oven (I haven’t tried this method yet):
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and bake the pizza for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the edges of the dough are browned and crisp.

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