Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Posted by Vanessa in Cooking, March 25, 2011

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We had this last night.

Oh.  My.  Word.

It was awesome. I was really excited all day about it and was hoping I wouldn’t get let down with that first bite.  But quite the opposite occurred.  We all, as in every one of us, even The Phoenix who warned me he didn’t really like deep dish pizza, loved it.  The crust is more biscuit-like than bready and the sauce has surprisingly great flavor from just a can of crushed tomatoes.  Very good stuff here, my friends.

I must say, as you’ll soon see from the length of the recipe, this isn’t a 30 minute meal.  Not even close.  I started it early afternoon for a 5:00 dinner.  You’ll need to be home all afternoon to make this and probably need to enjoy being in the kitchen.  By no means is this all hands-on time, there is dough rising time and sauce simmering and such built in there, but I just want you to know it’s a fairly intensive dish. And totally worth it.  Tonight I was already thinking about when I’d make it again.

A few recipe notes :

This makes 2 9-inch pizzas.

I used part-skim mozzarella, but I’m sure whole milk mozzarella would be even better.

Even though the recipe calls for fresh basil, I used dried because it’s March and my garden doesn’t exist yet this year.  It was just fine with dried, but I’ll definitely be using fresh come May.

Give this one a try!  That is, unless you live in Chicago.  Then head over to Lou Malnati’s for dinner and take a nap in the afternoon instead.  I’m just saying.  That’s what I’d do.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

recipe from Cooks' Illustrated, January and February 2010
  • Ready in 0 Minute.
  • Makes: 6 Servings
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons, softened
  • 1 teaspoon plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup grated onion (grate on the large holes on a box grater)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound mozzarella, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • FOR THE DOUGH : Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add water and melted butter and mix on low speed until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of the bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. (Keep your hand on the mixer so it doesn\'t wobble off the counter!)
  • Using fingers, coat large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil, rubbing excess oil on hands. Transfer dough to bowl, turning once to oil top; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • FOR THE SAUCE : While dough rises, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  • TO LAMINATE THE DOUGH : Turn dough out onto dry work surface and roll into a 15 X 12 inch rectangle. Using your fingers, spread softened butter over surface of dough, leaving 1/2 inch border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten cylinder into 18 X 4 inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with 1 half, fold into thirds like a business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Adjust oven rack to lower position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into 13 inch disk about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pan by rolling dough loosely around rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
  • FOR EACH PIZZA : sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. Spread 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce over cheese and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rise 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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