Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Deep dish lovers rejoice!  This is a recipe that rivals one of my favorite pizza chain’s specialty pies, Lou Malnati’s.  Seriously.  This is good.  Make it.

I know that some people prefer thin crust to deep dish, but around here we’re pizza lovers of all sorts.  We don’t discriminate based on crust thickness.  This recipe is a keeper, and it makes two 9 inch pies, so you could put one half of the dough in the freezer if you didn’t want to make both at the same time.  The crust has a great buttery, flakiness to it.  And we thought the sauce tasted and smelled just like you get from Lou’s!  I spiced mine up with a little red pepper, but I am sure it is good as is also.

So whip this up for dinner this weekend and enjoy!  I promise the dough isn’t that much work and it tastes so much better when you make it from scratch with your own two hands.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

For the Dough

  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water (10 ounces), at room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, (3 melted, 4 softened)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil for bread
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil for baking pans

For the Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, grated on box grater (this works great!)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon sugar 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil Ground pepper to taste

Toppings

  • 1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • your choice of other toppings (i.e. sausage, pepperoni, spinach, mushrooms, etc.)

To make the dough, add all your dry ingredients to a bowl or a stand mixer and mix well, then slowly add your water and melted butter until the dough ball comes together. Knead this for 8-10 minutes until the dough is glossy and smooth.

Beat it for 5-6 minutes with the dough hook on medium speed.

Next let your ball of dough rise in an lightly oiled bowl, for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to roughly a 16 by 12 rectangle. Then spread on your softened butter leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges of the dough. Roll up the dough into a log shape.

Then cut the dough roll in half. For each half fold into thirds, like a letter. Then pinch the seams around the dough to form a ball. If you wanted you could freeze your dough at this point for future use or return them to your lightly oiled bowl to rise again.

To start, melt your butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Then add your onions along with your dried spices and pinch of salt. Let that cook for a few minutes until the onions are slightly browned. Then add your garlic, tomatoes (including juice), and sugar. Bring that to simmer and let it reduce for 25 minutes or so on low heat.  Once it is reduced, stir in your chopped basil and olive oil and ground pepper. Set aside to cool.

Get all your toppings ready and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take the dough ball out of the fridge. Roll it into about a 15 inch diameter circle.  Add 2 Tablespoons of oil to your cake pan, or spray oil on the whole pan and then add your pizza crust. Don’t skip the oil, or you’ll never be able to get your pizza out of the pan once it’s baked.  It also helps crisp up the bottom of your crust.

Place the dough into the pan and crimp it around the edges.

Then add about two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese to the bottom, then your choice of toppings, followed by 1 1/2 cups (or about half) of your marinara sauce.

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown on the edges and the cheese is evenly melted.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting into it.  Enjoy!

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