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Chicago-style pizza made right in your own cast iron skillet! You can use either a 12-inch or a 13.5 inch cast iron skillet. If you choose to use a 13.5 inch skillet, note that the cooking time will probably be shorter. Make sure to watch the dough to ensure it does not burn if you use the larger size skillet.
FOR THE CRUST:
Sift the flour, 2 teaspoon of salt, and sugar into a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Pour the warm water into a large glass bowl. Add the packet of yeast and mix together. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, or until tiny bubbles start forming. Add the sifted flour mixture in 3 small batches while slowly stirring with a wooden spoon. When it becomes less sticky, mix with your hands. Add the corn meal and olive oil and mix with hands until the dough is thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth. Place dough into a greased large glass bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise to about double its size. This will take 45 minutes to an hour.
MEANWHILE, FOR THE PIZZA SAUCE:
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a small saucepan over medium heat. Mince the 5 cloves of garlic and add to pan, sauteing for about 1 minute, or until golden brown. Add half of the 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes. Add the 1 teaspoon of salt, dried oregano, and red chile flakes, and stir. Add the tomato paste, and mix until everything is well incorporated. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered until sauce thickens (about 15 minutes).
Grease your 12-inch cast iron skillet with a bit of olive oil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle. Now, using your hands (you can use your fists and lay the dough over them and allow gravity to do the work), make a circle with the dough. This technique is what you see the pizza chefs do in restaurants – when they twirl the dough and throw it in the air. Transfer dough to the cast iron skillet. Spread dough around the bottom of the skillet and up the sides, making it as even as possible. Let the dough sit and rise another 15 minutes.
When the dough has risen, brush the bottom very lightly with the pizza sauce. Layer the pepperoni on top of the sauce. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese blend followed by 1 cup of the mozzarella. Spread the rest of the pizza sauce evenly on top of the cheese. Add the onions, mushrooms, green bell pepper slices, and olives, spreading it evenly on top of the pizza sauce. Add the remaining cup of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. You can also sprinkle fresh or dried parsley on top for added color.
Bake on the bottom rack (or bottom 1/3 of the oven) for 15 minutes. Then move to the top rack (or top 1/3 of the oven) for 5-10 additional minutes until the cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown, or to your liking. Let the pizza rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Cut and serve.
**Note: I like to mix together olive oil, garlic salt, dried basil, and dried oregano, combining them to taste. After the pizza bakes on the bottom rack, and before transferring to the top rack, I brush the rim of the pizza with this mixture. I also brush the rim of the pizza again after the pizza is done and immediately comes out of the oven.