I was at Home Goods the other day and happened across a lovely 10.5″ round Lodge cast iron griddle, for a bargain basement price. Of course, I snapped it up. It will come in quite handy when I am grilling out on my apartment co-op’s patio; this way I can just clean the griddle after use instead of having to clean an entire grill!
Here’s my beautiful new griddle (and yes, if you click on the link and purchase the griddle I’ll receive a tiny amount of compensation…gotta fund this blog somehow!)
It just so happens that Linda and I were headed to Jerry and Debra Abrams’ home for a pizza party over Memorial Day weekend. They have a new outdoor wood-burning pizza oven, and we were excited to check it out. I brought my new Lodge griddle, thinking that it would work great for a thin crust pizza. And…I was right!
Debra made a great pizza crust – she has been working to perfect it, and I think she got it just right. She had made the crusts in advance, made them into separate individual-sized pizza dough balls, covered them with cling wrap and placed them in the refrigerator. Each person then took their little pizza dough ball and rolled it out and placed whatever toppings they wanted on it. There were two choices of sauce – one was a marinara and the other was a fancy tomato-based one that Debra had concocted. Debra also had homemade pesto available. Debra set out bowls with a lovely selection of artichoke hearts, turkey pepperoni, onion, black and green olives, fresh mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, shredded Italian blend cheese, sliced mushrooms, sliced orange and red peppers, basil from her garden, cherry tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. I’m sure there was more – if you were doing this yourself, you of course choose whatever you like best for your toppings. I’m thinking turkey Italian sausage (I’d brown it in advance and drain the fat), onion, black olives, and mushrooms. Yum!
So how, you ask, did Debra make the pizza crusts?
Debra’s Tasty Thin Pizza Crust
makes 12 small balls, for pizzas about 8″ in diameter
- 1 packet yeast
- 1/2 t. sugar
- 1-1/2 c. warm water
- 4 c. flour
- 1-2 t. salt
- Mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water.
- Let the mixture sit until foamy (about 5 – 10 minutes)
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the foamy yeast mixture, and mix together about 5 minutes. Debra – who has every kitchen contraption known to man – used the dough beater on her mixer. I don’t have a dough beater, so just kneaded the dough with my hands. It works fine.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about 30 – 60 minutes.
- Make 12 dough balls from the mixture. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until use. Should keep well for 3 – 5 days.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough ball out to a circle roughly 8″ in diameter. Top with your favorite toppings and bake either in your cast iron griddle or directly onto the surface of the hot pizza oven, using a pizza peel to slide it in and remove it once done. Voila, that’s it!
Notes for making on your cast iron griddle
- If you want a crispy crust, preheat your griddle until it is nice and hot, spray with Pam (or oil of your choice), then flip the pizza dough onto it. I did not do this, because I wanted to spread the crust out to the very edges of the griddle. Obviously, if the griddle was hot, I would have burnt my fingers to a crisp.
- When I made my pizza, I sprayed my griddle with Pam and then placed the rolled-out dough onto it, spreading it to the edge with my fingers. One nice thing about this Lodge griddle is that it has a slightly raised lip. Worked great for pizza – no messy spill-0ver!