Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Sausage Pizza and March Foodie Penpals — Damn Delicious

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Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Sausage Pizza and March Foodie Penpals

I was finally able to cross off homemade pizza dough on my bucket list, but more on that later. Let’s first talk about these awesome goodies I got for March Foodie Penpals.

If you’ve never heard of this program, here’s how it works:

  • You send a box of goodies to your matched up penpal on the 15th of the month, in which there is a $15 spending limit. You can send fun foodie things, local food items, or even homemade treats, and the box also has to include something written. It can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box to a fun recipe.
  • Then on the last day of the month, you get to post about all the wonderful goodies you received from your penpal.

I had the honor of being Quinn Berensten’s penpal, the author of humdrum where she shares her journeys of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She’s incredibly sweet and sent me a box filled with lots of fun goodies that I would never try on my own.

Here we have some wasabi peanuts and dried papaya,

chai tea chocolate and frosty white chocolate smoothie mix,

white chocolate raspberry vinaigrette and raw honey.

She also sent me some “cocoa tequila lime brittle.” Did you even hear of such a thing?!

Everything in the box was absolutely amazing, and I got to try so many new things. This is why I love foodie penpals. It gives you an opportunity to eat certain foods that you would never ever think to buy when you’re at the grocery store.

So what are you waiting for? Come join this awesome exchange of goodies. Just be sure to send an email to Lindsay at [email protected] by April 4th with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Blog name/address
  • Twitter handle, if applicable
  • U.S. resident or Canadian resident

Also, a HUGE thank you to Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for coordinating all this. I’m sure organizing this for 300+ people was not easy so thank you for your time and efforts for this wonderful program.

Now on to this fabulous homemade deep dish pizza.

Making pizza dough from scratch has been on my bucket list for quite some time now but I kept pushing it off because for some reason, I was so intimidated by making the dough. I’m actually intimidated with anything involving yeast, but once I saw Lauren’s post on her Fail-Proof Pizza Dough, I just had to give it a try.

Now as I was making the dough, I kept thinking, “What was I so scared about?” This dough recipe is incredibly easy, and the stand mixer takes care of everything for you. The only hard part – having the patience to let the dough rise for 2 hours. Yeah, that’s the hard part. Waiting.

Once your dough has risen, you can finally get started on your pizza. I decided to make a deep dish pizza because ever since Jason and I tried Patxi’s Chicago Pizza in San Francisco, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In hopes of trying to recreate it, I added the same toppings we had the last time we were there – sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, and lots and lots of tomatoes.

The pizza turned out to be exactly how I imagined it to be – full of depth filled with juicy tomatoes, crumbled sausage and plenty of fresh veggies. Jason said it was even better than Patxi’s! You can’t beat that!

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Sausage Pizza (adapted from Comfort of Cooking):

Yields 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 12 ounces pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough (adapted from Lauren’s Latest):

Yields 2 12-inch pizzas, approximately 1 pound of dough each

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast and honey into 1 cup warm water.

Let sit until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the salt, olive oil, and 1 1/2 cups flour.

Mix on low speed until all the flour has been incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, until the dough starts to come together. (You want it to be slightly tacky, but when you touch it, it shouldn’t stick to your hands.) If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. If the dough is too crumbly, add more water as needed.

Knead on high speed until the dough gathers into a ball, about 6 minutes. (Lauren stresses to walk away and let this knead for the entire 6 minutes. At the end of the 6 minutes, the dough should be smooth and easy to work with, and the bowl should be clean.)

Lightly coat two large bowls with nonstick spray; set aside.

Divide the dough into two, rolling into balls placing each ball into the greased bowls. (I’m incredibly OCD so I used a kitchen scale to make sure they were perfectly divided.)

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours. (A turned-off oven is perfect for this.)

Once risen, use the dough immediately or wrap in plastic wrap, then a Ziploc bag, and freeze or refrigerate. (I’m saving the second dough ball for garlic knots. Mmmmmm.)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks. ( A potato masher works really well for this.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a cast iron skillet (or cake pan) or coat with nonstick spray.

Stretch and press the dough into the pan, covering the bottom and sides.

Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella, then half the tomatoes, oregano, crumbled sausage, another 1/2 cup mozzarella, mushrooms and bell pepper, remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and remaining tomatoes.

Place into oven and bake 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. (The tomatoes produced a lot of excess liquid so I simply drained them.)

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