Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Best Pizza!

If you have a large, cast-iron skillet and you aren't baking deep dish pizza at home, you are missing out darling. Truly. Here is how to make an amazing dinner for four regardless of your kitchen experience. You're going to need two skillets (one iron), some flour, yeast, salt, olive oil and honey for the crust. For the pizza you'll need sauce and cheese (store bought is fine), and some really good toppings. That is the true trick to this pizza. Any home baked crust will win out in the end, but the stars of this dish are what lives between the layer of sauce and cheese! I'll tell the story of my dinner last night and encourage you to try it as well!

In a large bowl place a few teaspoons of honey and a tablespoon of yeast. Add a cup or so of hot (but not boiling!) water and use a whisk to mix it up fast. Set it aside a few minutes, the yeast needs time to activate and turn that cloudy brew into living froth. If it doesn't look like beer foam in a few minutes, your water was either too cool or the yeast was dead. Save yourself the heartache and buy some fresh yeast packets at the grocer. It's near the flour, above eye level (usually).

When yeast is activated add flour, just half a cup or so and a few shakes of salt. Make a dough by adding flour a 1/4 cup at a time -until it feels like a non-sticky playdough. Knead it for a few moments and set it aside for a 20-minute rise.

While the crust dough is rising, preheat that over to 385 degrees. Set your cooking skillet on medium high heat and give it enough olive oil to swish around the skillet. I use a much-loved, second-hand (thanks Jim Kunstler!), wok. For this pizza I add a half pound of hot Italian sausage, uncased. It's from my own pigs and I am proud of it, excited by it. I chop up some garden kale and half some cherry sungold tomatoes from the last of the summer garden. They all get fried up together. use a wooden spoon or spatula to shuffle them around. You want soggy kale, browned meats, and roasted toms. Listen to music, sing along, crack open a home brew! Enjoy your life!

Now that the dough had some time to rest, get it and the cast-iron skillet and coat the dough in oil. I mean it. Then set the oily dough into the pan right to the edges. Sprinkle on some garlic salt and basil, if your nasty.

Now add sauce, all those toppings, and cover with a good mozzarella. Bake at 385 till cheese is turning golden brown and crust is golden, too. Take out, add fresh basil or dry basil to top. Let cool. Quarter and serve.

You will never eat takeout again.


OpenID T. Crockett said...

My partner has been on a cast-iron pizza kick for a couple months now and boy is it good! Now that I've made some sauce from the tomato bounty I'm eager for the next one.

September 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Oh lord, why have I not done this before?! I use my cast-iron pan daily, but I have never used it for pizza! I can't wait to try this out. Thanks, Jenna!

September 20, 2014 at 4:42 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

"you'll never eat take-out again"...unless you decide to go waste 5 hours on a quest for a store-bought sandwich, and damn near ruin your horse in the process

September 20, 2014 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I knew before I even clicked on your name Beth, there would be no link to any real identity. C'mon lady. If you want to sling mud, own it. I'm not scared of sharing my real story, mistakes and all. My name is Jenna Woginrich.

Yes, I made a mistake with Merlin, but "ruin your horse" is a hell of a thing to say, and certainly was not the case. Merlin is fine. We did the same drive yesterday, actually. And as a new driver with her first ever cart change with her first ever driving horse, I needed to make an adjustment and learn by checking, rechecking, and paying attention. I corrected the mistake and Then chose to share the honest story here. You chose to heckle. Way to go!

I called for the sandwich so The Farm Stand knew I was coming and to support their deli. It's a friends business and they do a lot for me as well. No one was with me on this drive, and letting them know I was on the road was a safety measure as well as my lunch date.

Using my horse on the road, supporting a local business, and becoming a better driver: these are good things - even if I had the adjustment wrong to start.

If this sounds cranky on my part, I am getting tired of assumptions made about me from strangers who have never shook my hand or stood on this farm in years. I'll defend myself without apology.

September 20, 2014 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Tricia! Let me know how it goes?!

September 20, 2014 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sara. you will love it! Excited for Arrows Rising and Antlerstock? I am!

September 20, 2014 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Karen Talamantez said...

We always make our own pizza. People are so amazed.

September 20, 2014 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Harrell said...

Jenna, I've read your books, some articles and I love your stuff! You are the kind of gal we Southerners would appreciate as a neighbor and friend. Keep on keepin on! And keep writing about your life

September 20, 2014 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Einit Borowsky said...

I have got to try this. Thanks for the great idea and recipe!!!!!!

September 20, 2014 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger lemontreelane said...

Your recipe is taped to inside our kitchen cupboard. Think you posted it many posts ago... I make it at least once a week and there's never any left over!

September 20, 2014 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

That sounds delish, Ill have to try it. Thanks for sharing it. Cheers!

September 21, 2014 at 4:03 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Absolutely excited, Jenna! Both events sound amazing, and I can't wait to see familiar faces at Arrows Rising.

I also appreciate your honesty. That's what makes your writing so poignant and heartfelt. You rock and have a ton of people from all over who support you - including me!

Haters gonna hate :/

September 21, 2014 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger Betsy Earley said...

We all know that when we deal with horses, even the best laid plans can become quickly derailed.

September 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Nancy po said...

I'll have to try this. I buy a local dough from a local pizza place, slather with homemade organic pest, cover with sliced tomatoes and cheese, top with more basil. YUMMY!!!

September 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

It is so funny to me how your stories so rankle some people! LOL! I have made your pizza recipe before and loved it. Thanks for reminding me to make it again SOON

September 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM  

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