Or rather, I discovered that I’ve had one for years and didn’t know it. How could that be?

I have wanted a pizza stone for a long time. It’s one of those things that we’ve never gotten around to buying; they’re kinda big, and they’re mostly single-purpose, and the good ones aren’t cheap. So, we procrastinate. We think about it, and then never go to the store to buy one. This practice is extremely effective at keeping us from spending money on a whole host of marginally useful items. We talk, we say “we should get,” and then religiously avoid the stores where the object is sold. I’m not really sure why we do this, but we do. It saves money and keeps our house free of clutter, so I think it’s a useful habit in general. But it hasn’t gotten me a pizza stone.

And then, yesterday I decided to catch up on blog reading (this really does follow, I promise…). Ysolda wrote about a blog that she reads that was using cast iron pans as pizza stones. Huh.

Well, it just so happens that my favorite piece of cookware is a cast iron dutch oven. You can cook a million things in there, and they all come out great. Except for tomato sauce. But that’s a story for another day. How could I resist making the list of things I love to cook in cast iron a million and one long?

Tonight, we did a little experiment. We made pizza dough and toppings as usual, except that I rolled out the dough instead of stretching it in the pan, and I preheated my two cast iron pans along with the oven (both top and bottom of the dutch oven are functional pans…it’s brilliant, I tell you).

When the pans were hot, we brought the pizza dough over to put into the pans. And I’d rolled it about 6″ bigger than the pans. Hmm.

Never one to be deterred by details like dough not fitting in the pan, I decided to try it anyway. Branden said we could call it “deep dish” (there’s a reason I married him…).

After putting in the first crust, I decided to try to make this all look like I’d planned it. We put in filling all the way up to the edges of the pan, and then folded the extra dough down over the top, leaving just a little bit of the center exposed. Voila! Stuffed crust deep dish pizza!

We now have a new favorite way to make pizza. The crust is perfectly browned, the cheese is deep in the center, which makes it feel like an extra cheese when it isn’t, the crust has filling inside, and I don’t need to find a place to keep a new pizza stone! And, because the pan is hot when the bread goes in, there’s no oil to keep the dough from sticking, which makes it much lower fat than the usual deep dish pizza that practially swims in oil. Perfect.

I have to say that this would be a really good way to make a low(er) fat quiche…bread dough rather than pie crust. The crust reminded me just a little bit of monkey bread, too, light and fluffy and piled on top of itself. Maybe fruit pizza with cinnamon sugar for weekend breakfasts? Cheese danish? This could go all sorts of yummy places…