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Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

January 4, 2010

I love pizza.  Like, top-3-favorite-foods-of-all-time love pizza.  I could eat pizza every day for at least a month, if not longer, and not get tired of it.  I could go on and on about pizza and then maybe you’d understand just how much I love it, but then you’d be bored and you’d probably think I’m crazy.

At any rate, when I saw a recipe for Chicago-style deep dish pizza in Cooks Illustrated, I knew I had to give it a try.  Not like “meh, maybe I’ll make this when I get a chance” had-to, but rather “I need to clear out my schedule and make this tomorrow” had-to.  And make it, I did.

We made a sausage pizza and a kalamata olive and mushroom pizza.  I liked the sausage pizza better (I think Nate did too, since that one was gone first), and I think the veggie pizza would have benefited from either more flavorful mushrooms or some pepperoni.  With so many flavorful ingredients, the toppings have to be bold or they just get drowned out.  I really liked the recipe provided for the sauce, and even though grating onions makes you cry even more than chopping them does, it is worth the effort. 


Oh man, was it phenomenal.  The crust was flakey, moist and crispy all at the same time, the sauce was perfect, and the cheese was oozing all over.  All the main ingredients were already in the cabinet, and the dough was amazingly easy to work with.  I’d previously had a bad experience with laminated dough, but this was so easy, it bordered on absurd.   That said, I will never go to Pizzeria Uno’s again.  

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

(Taken from Cooks Illustrated)

3 1/4 cups (16 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces) yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 cups water (10 ounces), room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, plus 4 tablespoons, softened
1 teaspoon plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  Table salt
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  Ground black pepper
1 pound mozzarella cheese , shredded (about 4 cups)
1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)

FOR THE DOUGH: Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add water and melted butter and mix on low speed until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. (Dough will only pull away from sides while mixer is on. When mixer is off, dough will fall back to sides.)

Using fingers, coat large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil, rubbing excess oil from fingers onto blade of rubber spatula. Using oiled spatula, transfer dough to bowl, turning once to oil top; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.

FOR THE SAUCE: While dough rises, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, then season with salt and pepper.

TO LAMINATE THE DOUGH: Adjust oven rack to lower position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Using rubber spatula, turn dough out onto dry work surface and roll into 15- by 12-inch rec-tangle. Using offset spatula, spread softened butter over surface of dough, leaving 1/2-inch border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten cylinder into 18- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with 1 half, fold into thirds like business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes.

Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into 13-inch disk about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pan by rolling dough loosely around rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.

For each pizza, sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. Sprinkle any other toppings you want to include over the cheese.  Spread 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce over cheese and toppings and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa R. Gibson permalink
    January 5, 2010 11:05 pm

    That pizza recipe looks yummy. I am going to have to try it!

    • January 6, 2010 11:00 pm

      It is highly recommended 🙂 Definitely the best deep dish pizza I’ve made at home yet!!

  2. January 25, 2010 8:50 pm

    Does this make enough pizza for four people?

    • January 27, 2010 4:34 pm

      Yes, as long as the four people are only moderately hungry 🙂

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