Cast-Iron Pizza with fennel & sausage


Y’all… i’ve had a fair share of Pizza in my life, and let me tell you. Everything from thin crust at the Pizza Press, to Buccaneer Pizza in Santa Ana, which by the way is incredible- a must try!
This tho, is home-made pizza on another LEVEL! So good.. you’ll probably never make pizza at home any other way after this.

Pizza Dough

-2 cups warm water
-1 Tablespoon Yeast
-5 cups flour (I used 1/2 “00” flour & 1/2 “All purpose”, but you can use all AP
-1 Tablespoon Salt
-2 Tablespoon Olive oil

1) Pour warm water into a large bowl, or of a stand-up mixer. Add yeast and let sit for 5 minutes
2) Add 2.5 cups flour to yeast, and mix with dough hook until combined
3) Scrape down sides of mixing bowl, add salt and remaining 2.5 cups flour. Continue mixing with dough hook until ball forms.
4) Place dough ball on floured surface and kneed for 4-5 minutes until soft/silky ball forms.
5) Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let rise for 1 hour. Should become twice the size
6) Flour surface, kneed dough again for 30 seconds to deflate, and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll each one out to about 10’’.

Pizza Time!
I used a 10’’ cast-iron skillet, if your pan is bigger or smaller, adjust amount of dough used per pizza. Now for the fun part! the TOPPINGS! Go wild.. why not
-The key to this pizza is cooking the sausage in the cast iron first. I used 1 lbs of sweet italian sausage, out of the casing. Cooked in the skillet with some chopped garlic, and fennel seeds. A little black pepper.
-Remove sausage from pan, don’t worry about removing the grease and crispy bits, we want those for the pizza!
Other ingredients:
-Marinara/pizza sauce
-Roasted garlic (which i always have on hand in a mason jar in the fridge, super easy to make! Place garlic in a oven proof dish, cover with half good quality olive oil, half canola or other nutural oil, cover with foil, and bake 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until tender, sweet and soft. Pour oil and garlic into sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to a MONTH of delicious garlicy goodness!!)

-Garlic sauteed Mushooms
-Roasted fennel (slice thin, toss with oil, salt & pepper, roast in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until tender)
Fresh Mozzarella
-Arugula & fresh torn Basil

Now for the fun part.
-Return cast-iton to medium-high heat, stretch your rolled out dough to cover the bottom and come up the sides a little of the pan, it should start to sizzle! Create your pizza like you would, just inside the pan. Sauce, sausage, mushroom, roasted fennel, garlic cloves, a drizzle of that delicious garlic oil, torn chunks of fresh mozzarella and a sprinkle or oregano! (Save the Arugula, Basil & drizzle of balsamic reduction for after the pizza is done)
-Let the dough sizzle until you’re done building the pizza, you want the bottom to get a nice crust by the end! you’ll see the dough start to fry in the delicious sausage fatty flavor…. and bubble on the sides.. ohhh man!! Pop it into the oven.

475 degrees. 10 minutes

You’ll thank me when it’s over, trust me