2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (~1 packet)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-155 degrees F/40-46 degrees C)
1 tsp white sugar
1/8 cup olive oil (about 2 Tbl)
2 1/2 cups bread flour (or any high gluten), plus extra as needed
1 Tbl sea salt (or kosher)
All-purpose flour for rolling and shaping
1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup provolone cheese, shredded
10-12 large, fresh basil leaves
Pinch of oregano
Make the dough: Proof the yeast by pouring the yeast and sugar into the warm water in a bowl of your stand mixer and gently stir until the yeast dissolves. Let the yeast and water stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast doesn’t foam, it is either inactive of you have used water that is too cold or too hot; start over with fresh yeast.)
Once the yeast has bloomed, add in the flour and fit your mixer with a dough hook. Mix on low just until loosely combined.
Add in the oil while the mixer is running stopping if need be to scrape down the sides. After 3 minutes of mixing, add in the salt. You never want to add the salt directly to the yeast as that will kill it on contact. Mix until a soft, smooth elastic ball forms; ~8-10 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but still be wet/tacky to the touch. If need be add a Tbl of flour or so to help combine. If it’s too dry, add a Tbl of water.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a very lightly floured surface. Give it a few kneads to form the dough into a smooth ball tucking the ‘ends’ underneath.
Divide the ball in half and gently reshape to 2 uniform smooth pieces of dough.
Add 1 Tbl of olive oil in 2 10″ Cast Iron Pans OR 2 10″ Round Cake Pans (be sure the cake pans can tolerate 550F). *550F is the max of my oven. Place 1 ball of dough in each pan and turn to coat evenly with oil. Using a flat palm, press the dough around the pan, flattening it slightly and spreading oil around the entire bottom and edges of the pan.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough sit at room temperature for two hours. After 1 hour has passed place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 550°F. Yes, your oven will be on for an hour. You need a really, REALLY hot oven for this!
After 2 hours the dough should be mostly filling up the pan to the edges. Using the tips of your fingers, press it around until it fills up the entire bottom of the pan, popping any large bubbles that appear. Lift up one edge of the dough to allow any trapped air bubbles to escape. Do this all the way around.
Equally divide the sauce on top and spread it all the way to the edges (leave like a 1/4” space). Add the cheese, pepperoni and pinch of oregano.
Bake 13-18 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and crisp (use a thin spatula to lift).
Top with basil leaves and bake for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from the oven.
To get a super crispy crust, place the cast iron pan on the burner (medium heat) and kind of move the pan around in a circular motion (like you’re making old fashioned popcorn) for a couple of minutes. Remove the pizzas from the pans and place on a serving board.