Skillet Pizza with Eggplant and Sausage

I am pretty much an equal opportunity pizza fan. I'll take it with a thin or pillowy crust; with red, white, green or no sauce; with mozzarella or some other cheese; wood-fired, grilled or oven baked; and with pretty much whatever toppings you can think of. As long as the crust has some flavor and isn't soggy, give me the damn pizza.

That being said, I recently discovered King Arthur Baking's Crispy Cheesy Pan Pizza (their 2020 Recipe of the Year), and I am kind of obsessed. Their dough recipe is great, but you can follow their method using pretty much any pizza dough (homemade or store-bought). The key for me is really in their method. You do a final proof of your dough directly in a well-oiled cast iron skillet and then layer your ingredients (cheese first!) onto the dough and just toss the thing in a preheated oven. Because the cast iron isn't preheated, it heats up as you're baking the pizza, and you end up with this amazingly crispy-yet-pillowy crust into which that first layer of cheese just melts. Not to mention the cracklingly crunchy cheesy edges.... Yummmmm.

So, what follows is my take on the original King Arthur recipe, using my own dough and some of my favorite toppings. I highly encourage riffing on the toppings selection using whatever sounds good to you.

One note: Even if you're using store-bought pizza dough, this recipe does require a little bit of planning ahead since you need to let your dough rest in the skillet for about 2 hours before baking. So unless you're working from home this might not be a weeknight meal.

Skillet Pizza with Eggplant and Sausage

Makes one 12-inch pizza with a relatively thick crust (about 1 inch) or two 10-inch pizzas with slightly thinner but still pillowy crusts