Pizza is easily my favorite food. There is nothing more satisfying than one straight from the oven with bubbling sauce, a pull of cheese and all your favorite toppings. This crispy, cheesy cast iron pizza with ombre cherry tomatoes is my version of the 2020 Recipe of the Year from King Arthur Baking Company.
As a Flour (flower) Child from Vermont (yes, I just did that), I have been a lifelong fan of King Arthur’s products and grew up baking with their flours. It’s the one I reach for most and it’s particularly wonderful in bread and pizza recipes.
The protein content in the all-purpose flour is what gives the pizza dough a luxurious stretch and structure. (They do have a gluten-free version of this recipe on their website). The crust turns out super tender because of the olive oil in the dough. I like to use an oil that’s fruity and vibrant, both in the dough and to coat the cast iron skillet it’s baked in, but you do you and go with a mild oil if you choose, the pizza will still be sexy.
The real genius of this recipe is putting a layer of melty cheese between the nearly no-knead dough and the pizza sauce. The cheese creates a barrier, so the crust stays tender and crisp, without fear of getting soggy from the pizza sauce and abundant juice from the cherry tomatoes. I saw the rainbow of bright tomatoes and they made me so happy. I did nothing more than slice and arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheesy, crisp crust, then a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. I left the stems on some for drama.
More Pizza Recipes
If pan pizza isn’t your thing, no problem! I’ve got you covered with a whole bunch of styles of pizza, from cracker-thin to Chicago deep dish.
On season 1, episode 7 of Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network I head to a pizza farm in the Twin Cities to learn how to use my brand new wood-fired pizza oven from Fortana Forni. Then, I get inspired to create a pizza farm experience in my own backyard for a group of friends.
Making Pizza on Zoë Bakes
Want to learn more about my Pizza Farm experience? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter where Extras subscribers get access to an exclusive Q&A with Pleasant Grove Pizza Farm owners Bill and Emily Knudsen.
Pizza Making Equipment
Once you’re ready to bake, make sure to have a pizza stone hot and ready. I recommend a ceramic pizza stone or a pizza steel. You need to let them preheat thoroughly, which can take up to an hour for a really heavy duty stone. This is key to the best crust when baking in a home oven. The stone conducts and retains heat, so your pizza bakes quickly and evenly to give you a crisp crust without burning or getting tough.
That’s about all you’ll need. One of the joys of pizza is how little equipment it requires. You can also visit my Amazon shop to find all the tools I use for making beautiful, delicious pizzas.