Monday, September 29, 2014

No Debating


A few weeks ago, my husband asked me to try my hand at Deep Dish Pizza.  Since I'm pretty daring, I said, why not.  I researched the crust, prepped the ingredients and got to work.  The dough is something I'm not that familiar with, so I was a little worried that it wouldn't work.  But it did work (whew!).  I let our son build his own.  I got two 8-inch pizzas and one 6-inch pizza.  My husband and I shared one of the 8-inch pizzas (we couldn't finish it) and my son ate the other 8-inch pizza (he finished it) and our daughter ate the 6-inch. They turned out great!

Now, I know all about the rivalry between Chicago deep dish pizza and New York thin crust pizza.  And I'm not sure how close or far away this pizza crust is from Chicago crusts.  But I'm not here to debate or try to be truly authentic all the time. I just like to cook food we like.  In fact, I very rarely stick to any dish and cook it exactly the way it was intended.  I just cook.  

So, with all that in mind, here is my recipe.  I am not going to give you measurements on the toppings since that is a very personal thing.  I'll just tell you what we used, and you should be as creative as you want with your toppings.  I am aware that Chicago deep dish pizza is built backwards from American pizza and the cheese goes on the bottom, sauce on the top.  We just did layers and ended with cheese.  The crust was slightly crispy on the outside and very soft on the inside.  There's no debating...this pizza was good!

DEEP DISH PIZZA
FOR THE DOUGH:
3 teaspoons highly active yeast
1 1/4 C warm water, about 110-115 degrees
2 teaspoons sugar
4 C flour
3/4 C cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
3 T melted butter
5 T softened butter
(Plus additional melted butter for brushing on the baked crust)

FOR THE PIZZA:
Marinara sauce (click here for my recipe)
Cooked and crumbled bacon
Cooked and crumbled Italian sausage
Pepperoni slices
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Black olive slices

NOTE:  I got two 8-inch pizzas and one 6-inch pizza, since those are the pans I had.  You could easily get four 6-inch pizzas with this recipe.

Put the yeast, warm water, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Let it sit about five minutes.  Add in the flour, cornmeal, 3 T melted butter, olive oil, and salt.  Knead with the dough hook until the dough comes together in a ball. Place it in a greased bowl and let it rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  

On a floured board, roll the dough into about a 12 x 15 rectangle.  Brush the softened butter all over the surface of the dough.  Roll the dough back up into a ball and knead well to get the butter all through the dough.  Divide the dough into three or four portions (depending on your pans) and put them into greased pans.  Cover and let them rise until they spread to the edges of the pan and are quite fat, about 30-45 minutes. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Press the dough down and up the insides of the pan, extending to the top edge of the pans.  Traditional Chicago deep dish pizza layers Mozzarella, meat and other veggies, then sauce, then Parmesan on top.  I layered mine with sauce, meat and veggies, sauce, then Mozzarella and Parmesan, as well as extra pepperoni, on top.  Bake the pizzas for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is browned.  Brush melted butter on the crust and let cool slightly before cutting.

2 comments:

  1. My family absolutely loves deep dish pizza. We usually order it from a local takeout but it doesn't have that fresh, homemade flavor. I can't wait to try this recipe.

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    1. Well, I hope you love this recipe, CheeseSticks! I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

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