Chicago Style Deep-Dish Pizza

So let me preface this by saying I only make this pizza on weekday evenings, I realize that sounds insane to most people – what she is cooking a yeast risen dough on her evenings does she have no life? And of course the answer to that my dear friends is why would I bother to have a life when I have FOOD. I understand that to all of you this is a trifle non-sensical. We subsist on food but why revel in it? Why go to beach if you don’t like the sand in your toes, I reply.

This pizza is A-MAZING. For real. It makes me swoon – every time. It is perfect dough covered in cheese and rich delicious tomato sauce and then more cheese. The crust is flaky and fresh from the oven this pizza is a delight (it isn’t too bad cold either… you know because you get two whole pie pans of the pizza following this recipe).

Boyfriend and I will almost always consume one of the two pizzas this recipe makes for the dinner it has been intended for then use the rest as lunch and dinner for the next day. The cheese firms up and the sauce becomes closer to ketchup then anything else without actually becoming ketchup – its a sauce that only has a slight variation to my 3 Ingredient Tomato Sauce. I’m in love with it. Pair the whole thing with a salad and well, basically it is LOVE. And the scents as they permeate the air as the dough rises, the sauce thickens, and the pizza bakes… well let’s just say you’ll want to devour the pizza the INSTANT it comes out of the oven (PS not something I recommend, unless you are NOT overly fond of your tastebuds – in which case HAVE AT IT).

This pizza is awesome as a low-work (I know you’re thinking yeast can’t be low work you crazy person) no fuss recipe on those gross rainy spring evening that tend to sneak up these days. Have fun. And try it, be surprised. It’s delicious.

Chicago Style Deep-Dish Pizza
Adapted just barely from Cook’s Illustrated
Note: This is a pretty forgiving yeast dough – most pizza dough is if made correctly, and DO NOT get intimidated by the length sometimes its just easier to be wordy. Also if you can’t figure it out leave me a comment!
Make 3 Ingredient Tomato Sauce with grated or finely chopped onions instead of just half onions and let it simmer until it has reached a thick almost pudding like consistency (an extra 20-30 mins).
3 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (either yellow, white or blue)
1 1/2 tsp Table Salt
2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast (1 package if you use those)
1 1/4 cup tepid water (a little warmer than room temp but not more than 115 degrees)
3 Tbsp Melted butter plus 4 tbs softened and set Aside
1 tsp plus 4 Tbs Olive oil set aside
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cornmeal) in the bowl of a stand mixer until even, this takes 1-2 mins with a dough hook, by hand with a wooden spoon it would probably only take a minute. Add the water and melted butter and mix to fully combine on low speed another 1-2 mins scraping the bowl occasionally to check for pockets! Increase your mixer speed to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and glossy, I can never get the glossy quite *that* glossy, until it looks even and not lumpy really 3-5 mins (by hand I think it would be much the same kneading time). Coat a large bowl with the 1 tsp of olive oil and stick the dough in there and let is rise somewhere warm until doubled, 45-60 mins.
Make your sauce now!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
After your dough has risen to the appropriate size turn it out onto a dry (NOT FLOURED) work surface and roll it out into a 15×12 inch rectangle. Spread the 4Tbs of softened butter (remember that butter I had you set aside, hell-o let’s use it ALL) over the dough, using your hands is easiest, leaving a border of about 1/2 inch overall. Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder (but not tight enough to squeeze out the butter, that would be bad). Flatten the cylinder out and halve it with something sharp. Tuck the ends of both halves into the bottom of the dough so you get a ball, add both balls to the greased bowl and toss that in the fridge while you go watch an episode of Buffy (about 40 mins). This is called lamination, fancy right?
Ok, you watched Buffy – was it the Hush episode?, that’s one of my favorites. Right laminated dough. Your dough is laminated (which means we let the gluten calm down) so roll out one of the balls so it will fit into a pie plate of a 8 inch round cake pan and press that dough into the cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 pound of grated of finely cubed Mozzarella cheese on the dough and cover it with half of the sauce you made earlier. Grate a little bit of Parmesan on top and stick it in your now blisteringly hot oven (so watch your fingers) for 45 mins to an hour, until the Parmesan is lightly browned and the crust is golden.
Let it rest for ten minutes and ENJOY. The leftovers of this ROCK!
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