I’ll admit – I’ve never actually been to Chicago (aside from airport layovers), and therefore have never had authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. My husband, however, goes to Chicago a few times a year for seminars, and have sampled the local delicacy many times. He would return for his trips just raving about the pizza, so I knew I had attempt to make it at home.
The results? Amazing! This pizza is so sinfully delicious, and probably one of my favorite meals that I’ve made recently. Brad vouched that it tasted very similar to the pizza that he’s had in Chicago. The crust is buttery and flaky, and servers as a bowl to fill with cheese, sauce and any of your favorite toppings. I had all intentions of saving the leftovers to get better pictures the next day int he daylight, but there were no leftovers to be found – it was that good!
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
Yields: 1 9-inch deep dish pizza
For the dough:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. water, at room temperature
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
For the sauce:
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
For assembling and topping:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella,
shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)
To make the dough, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed. Mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the water and melted butter and continue mixing on low speed until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4-5 minutes.
Coat a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, oregano, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare the dough, turn the dough out onto a dry work surface and roll into a 8- by 6-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula or your hands, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- by 2 inch rectangle. Fold into thirds like a business letter, pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until nearly doubled in size, 40-50 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. To assemble, coat a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the dough ball to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the pan. Lightly press the dough into the pan, working into the corners and 1 inch up the sides. If the dough resists stretching, let rest 5 minutes before trying again.
Spread the shredded mozzarella over the surface of the dough. Spoon the tomato sauce over the cheese and top with Parmesan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
*Freezer Friendly Tip* – Freeze a whole, unbaked pizza for a quick dinner. Just defrost before baking, and bake as directed.
Source: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated