Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Making deep dish pizza has been on my to do list for quite some time. I started scouring the internet for recipes a few weeks ago in anticipation of making this for dinner. There are quite a few recipes out there but the one that I chose to use came off of a cooking forum. The main advice giver seemed to have a lot of knowledge about what constitutes a Chicago-style deep dish pizza so I went with all of the forum's advice rolled into one.

And I can say that the pizza definitely delivered! Not that I've ever been to Chicago and would know an authentic deep dish pizza, but it was a tasty dish. I wasn't sure how it would be with the cheese as the bottom layer and the sauce as the top layer since in my neck of the woods we do pizza the opposite way. I also didn't know how the olive oil drizzled on top would turn out, but all in all it worked out just fine. 

You definitely need to plan ahead since the crust takes 6 to 7 hours to rise. Definitely worth it though. Enjoy!

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
Total Time: about 7 hours (6 hour dough rise, 30 to 45 minutes baking)

1 1/2 cups (scant) water (room temperature- about 70-F to 80-F)
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (don't use bread flour, we want a biscuit like dough)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooking oil (9 Tbsp Corn or Canola oil and 1 Tbsp Olive Oil)

Add sugar and yeast to water, stir well. If not using instant yeast, allow the yeast to bloom in water for about 15-minutes. If using instant yeast, you can use the water mixture right away.

Stir in flour and salt. Mix well.

Stir in cooking oils.

Mix for 1 minute then knead for 2 minutes. You can use a stand mixer or by hand. Add more flour or warm water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed, to make a workable dough. (Don't over-knead, you want a biscuit like dough for deep dish pizza.)

Form dough into a ball, place in a large mixing bowl, coat dough lightly with oil, cover bowl and let dough rise in a warm place for 6 hours.

Punch down dough and allow it to rest 10 to 15 minutes.

Pizza Filling:
1/2 pound sliced Mozzarella cheese

1/2 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild, crumbled
1/2 pound pepperoni, sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, cut into thin rings
1/2 green bell pepper, cored and cut into thin rings
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup black olives, thinly sliced

Sauce: (makes 3 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds or fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 (28 oz) can Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes, lightly squished
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the herbs, seeds, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Roll out or press dough into a 12-inch deep-dish pizza pan. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up inner sides of deep dish pizza pan.

1st - Add a layer of sliced mozzarella as the bottom layer, on top of the dough. Place the cheese in tile-like layers covering the dough on the pan bottom.

2nd - Add toppings, evenly distributed across pizza, as the middle layer.

3rd - Ladle the sauce evenly, as the top layer on the deep-dish pizza.

4th - Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake the deep-dish pizza in a preheated 475-degrees F oven until the top is golden and gooey and the crust is a light golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Makes one 12-inch Chicago deep dish pizza