In a large bowl add
Water (1 1/2 cups)
Active Dry Yeast (1/2 tsp)
. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
Kosher Salt (3/4 tsp)
All-Purpose Flour (4 cups)
to the bowl. Stir to combine.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and begin to knead, adding a little bit of flour if the dough becomes too sticky. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky.
Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and then place it in a zip-top bag to rest in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, or up to 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 525 degrees F (275 degrees C) and sprinkle a 10-inch cast-iron pan with a tablespoon of the
Cornmeal (2 Tbsp)
Cut the dough into two equal pieces. Press one of the rounds of dough into the bottom of the pan, pressing it out towards the edges and up the sides as best as possible.
Set stovetop heat to medium-high and wait a few minutes for the pan to heat up. As the pan and the dough heats up, continue to press the dough more evenly onto the bottom of the pan and up the sides to form the crust.
Let the dough continue to cook for a few more minutes until it starts to puff up and bubble slightly. Using your fingers, create some divets in the dough and then drizzle it with
Olive Oil (1/2 cup)
and sprinkle with
Kosher Salt (1 tsp)
Ground Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
The crust is now pre-baked and can be either topped with sauce and toppings and finished in the oven, or it can be removed from the pan to allow for the pre-baking of the other pizza dough for the second pizza crust.
Once the crust is pre-baked, top with
Marinara Sauce (1 cup)
Mozzarella Cheese (2 cups)
. Each pizza should take about ½ cup of marinara sauce, 4 ounces of sliced fresh mozzarella, and ½ of the tomato that has been sliced. Alternate the slices of tomato and mozzarella on top of the sauce.
Sprinkle the crust with 2 Tablespoons of the
Parmesan Cheese (1/3 cup)
and bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Pre-baked crusts can be finished in the oven in the cast iron pan, a sheet pan, or directly on the baking rack.
Top pizzas with
Fresh Basil Leaves (1/3 cup)
and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.