Total: 2hr 25 min
Active: 52 min
Yield: 8 servings
To prepare the pan:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons medium grind cornmeal
For the dough:
3 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups warm water
6 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
For the sauce:
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1 1/4 cups favorite store-bought tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
8 ounces uncured pepperoni, thinly sliced
12 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend (or 6 ounces each of shredded mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flake salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grease the cast-iron pan with butter. Sprinkle the cornmeal in the pan and press into the bottom and sides. Set aside.
To make the dough: Pour the yeast into a liquid measuring cup with the sugar and water. Gently stir to combine. Allow to proof for 10 minutes until foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, add the flour and salt. Mix to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the proofed yeast. Mix for 3 minutes on low speed, then increase the speed to medium. Mix for 6 to 8 minutes until the dough has adhered to the hook and feels elastic. Remove the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with a towel, and place in a warm environment to rise until doubled in size, 1 hour.
Prepare the sauce: In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. Season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place the oven rack in the middle.
To assemble the pizza: Punch down the dough, releasing any air pockets. Cut off two-thirds of the risen dough, leaving one-third remaining. Lightly flour a clean work surface, and use a rolling pin to roll out the larger portion of dough into a 1/4-inch-thick round. Place the dough in the prepared cast-iron pan, pressing down and around the sides. Trim the overhanging dough, leaving 2 inches around.
Spread half of the pepperoni onto the bottom of the dough. Top with 6 ounces of shredded cheese.
Roll out the remaining one-third of pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4 inch thick. Press the dough over the cheese (creating a second layer of dough, like a shelf). Trim any overhanging dough, leaving 1/2 inch. Fold the bottom overhang of dough inward and down, over the overhang of the second layer of dough, making sure to create an even crust.
Poke holes in the dough to allow steam to pass through and cook the dough.
Pour the tomato sauce on top. Finish with the rest of the shredded cheese and top with remaining pepperoni. Season with black pepper.
Brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with flake salt.
Bake on the middle rack for 40 minutes. If the cheese and pepperoni are browning too quickly, lightly cover the pizza with foil.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before enjoying.
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