The crust is an enriched pizza dough with some cornmeal added in for both flavor and texture. And, sorry Papa Hathi! It’s made with all-purpose flour. I’ll work on a whole wheat one soon, I promise! It’s easy to bring it together, but it is important for it to be kneaded enough for the gluten to develop really well, otherwise the pizza crust will take more cake-y and less crust-y. A stand mixer is very handy here. So is allowing the dough time to rest.
The sauce is something that I took a little bit of liberty with in terms of flavor. After my trial and error resulted in one too many pizza ‘soups’ instead of solid pizza, I learned to use canned crushed tomatoes instead of canned whole tomatoes. To this I add some herbs and garlic to amp up the flavor.
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 1 10 inch pizza, feeds 4||Total:|
An almost perfect Chicago style deep dish pizza pie with a cornmeal crust, plenty of cheese, and an herb filled pizza sauce. It's ready to top with any flavor that you like!
- For the Crust:
- 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1/3 cup (55 g) coarse yellow cornmeal
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
- 2 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
- ¾ cup warm water
- For the Sauce:
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, drained
- ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil (or 2 tsp. dried basil)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried oregano)
- ½ Tbsp. fresh marjoram (or ½ tsp. dried marjoram)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced (or 1 Tbsp. garlic powder)
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella
- 1-2 slices provolone cheese, torn into medium pieces
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional toppings: sausage, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, etc. The sky is the limit, but take a look at the notes first!
- Make the crust:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, instant yeast. Mix well with the paddle attachment to blend. When all the dry ingredients are well incorporated drizzle in the olive oil while beating with the paddle mixer. Drizzle in the water while mixing on low speed with the paddle mixer. When all the water has been incorporated, and the dough begins to come together, switch to the dough hook on the stand mixer. Mix the dough on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. If the dough still seems wet after this, add a bit more all purpose flour and mix again for another minute. Repeat as necessary until the dough forms a nice soft ball that isn't too wet or sticky. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, mix on medium speed for two minutes. Take a small portion of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it breaks easily, mix again for 2 minutes until the dough easily stretches without breaking until it is quite thin.
- Rub a large bowl with some olive oil and transfer the dough to that bowl to rise. Allow to rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. After the dough has doubled, preheat the oven to 400F. Turn the dough out onto a well floured counter top. Roll until it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Gently transfer the dough into a very, very, very well buttered 10 inch cake pan, spring-form is easiest but standard cake pans will work quite well. The dough should be about 1-2 inches tall along the sides, see picture above for reference. Prick all over with a fork and bake in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Make the sauce:
- While the pizza crust is rising, open up the crushed tomatoes and empty into a medium mesh sieve. Allow excess fluid to drain from the tomatoes. Transfer to a bowl and add all of the other ingredients to the drained crushed tomatoes. Set aside until ready to assemble the pizza.
- Assemble the pizza:
- Place the shredded mozzarella and the provolone directly on top of the par baked crust. Add your other toppings on top of the cheeses (unless using spinach* which should be directly on top of the crust). Carefully spread the sauce on top of the toppings. You should not use all of the sauce, there will be some left over. Sprinkle the parm on top of the sauce. Admire your creation.
- Bake the pizza:
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and has pulled away from the edges of the pan. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slice, serve, and devour.
For toppings that leak a lot of fluid like mushrooms, cook them first.
If you plan on using spinach, I recommend using frozen, chopped spinach. Allow it to thaw, squeeze to drain as much liquid as you can, and then layer on top of the crust.