A few years ago, I went to Chicago for the first time and fell in love with deep dish pizza. Previously, the only deep dish I’d ever had was from Pizza Hut and Uno’s, and after trying the real thing, I now realize that’s sort of like saying the only hamburger you’d ever had was from McDonald’s. The real deal was a glorious pie of molten mozzarella cheese, big chunks of tomato, a flaky, corn-breadish crust…Sure, it’s not an every day meal like a NY-style slice, but definitely worth the occasional expansion in belt size.
Except, as far as I can tell, no one is making Chicago-style pizza in New York. Seriously, in a city that has lobster sandwiches as good as anything in Maine, I’m amazed no one has taken up the challenge. After much experimenting, this is the best recipe I’ve come up with for doing it at home, and the good news is that it tastes pretty darn close to the actual thing (as opposed to making thin crust at home, which always tastes like thin crust made at home).
Enjoy, and by all means, suggestions are very welcome!
- 2 packages of rapid rise yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 5+ cups flour
- 2 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 lb ball mozzarella (fresh!!)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/8 c grated Parmesan cheese
- basil, salt, pepper for flavoring
- Any additional toppings you want
Finally, you need a deep pan to cook it in. This recipe is for a 10″ pan. I found this bad boy at a kitchen store, which is nice because you can remove the sides and easily slice the pizza. But anything about 2″ deep works.
MAKING THE DOUGH
1) In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups warm water and two packages of the rapid rise yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.
2) Add in the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil…
3) Add in the 1/4 cup of olive oil…
4) Add in the 1/2 cup of corn meal (more if you like the corn-bready taste)…
5) Finally, add in 2 cups of flour and begin mixing the whole thing together. If you’re using a mixer, use the dough hook attachment. If you’re doing it by hand, you can start with a wooden spoon, but you’re going to just want to knead it by hand after a while.
6) The dough will start out super sticky at first, but don’t get discouraged. Keep adding the rest of the 5 cups of flour and mixing thoroughly until it is no longer sticky. This may require the entire 5 cups, it might need more, it might need less. Stop when it’s not longer sticky. I have a fancy mixer now, but I did this by hand for years.
7) Punch the dough down into a ball on a floured surface…
8) And cover it. Leave it to rise for about 45 minutes.
9) After it’s risen, it’s time to make the pizza
MAKING THE PIZZA
1) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F
2) Punch the dough down again into a ball, cover, and allow it to rise again while you’re doing the rest of this
3) Now prepare the ingredients. First, open both cans of whole peeled tomatoes and dump them into a colander. Then, get in there and start mushing these things to pieces. Seriously, squeeze them as hard as you can, break them up, DESTROY THEM. Get as much of the liquid out as you can, otherwise you’ll have a really watery pizza.
4) Grate the mozzarella ball completely:
5) Mince one clove of garlic
6) Finally, prepare any additional toppings you like. I’m a fan of peppers and onions…
…plus a little sausage:
7) Take your pan and lightly grease it with vegetable oil
8) Take about half the dough and make your crust. You want to have it at about 1/4″ thickness covering the entire pan and sides, maybe about two inches tall. It’s going to want to bunch up. Keep mushing it flat, or else you’re going to have a very thick pizza.
9) After you’ve got your crust in place, add the cheese, evenly distributing it on the dough:
10) Next, add whatever toppings you have. As I said, I’m a big fan of sausage, peppers and onions; my girlfriend is not:
11) Now add your tomatoes, making sure to fully cover the pizza:
12) Finally, add the minced garlic (you don’t have to use the whole clove if you don’t like garlic), about 1/8 cup of Parmesan cheese, plus some basil, salt, and pepper to your liking. I wish I had exact measurements for this, but I just make it up each time. Drizzle some olive oil on top with a spoon.
13) And that’s it! Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown…
14) Let it sit for about 5 or 10 minutes, then enjoy!
Couple of notes:
1) The dough recipe, derived from PizzaMaking.com, makes enough for two 10″ pies;
2) How long you keep the pizza in the oven depends on your oven; some recipes tell you to leave it in for like 45 minutes, but I’ve only ended up with burnt pizza. Your goal is to have the crust be crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and 25 minutes seems about right for this.
3) This pizza seems to always have some moisture on the top. I have no idea why this is – maybe from the mozzarella ball or the whole tomatoes? I usually just dab this away with a paper towel, but if anyone has advice, let me know!