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Deep-Dish Pizza

Deep-Dish Pizza

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare the topping, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion, green bell peppers, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the sausage is browned, breaking up the lumps with the back of a spoon. Drain the sausage mixture, and set aside.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until the moisture evaporates, stirring frequently. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl and set aside.

Set the saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, and fennel. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Unroll the pizza crust dough and press it into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish lightly greased with cooking spray. Spoon the sausage mixture evenly over the dough in the bottom of the casserole dish, and then spoon the mushrooms over the sausage. Place a single layer of the mozzarella slices over the mushroom mixture (approximately 6 slices). Pour the sauce over the casserole and top with the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

The 5 Best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipes to Make in Your Lockdown PJs

Want to try a Chicago deep dish pizza recipe? Now is your chance because Deep Dish Pizza Day is right around the corner! That&rsquos right, the fifth of April is National Deep Dish Pizza Day in the US, and we couldn&rsquot be happier about it.

Ike Sewell, a wonderful baker from Chicago, is credited with inventing the Chicago style deep dish pizza in 1943. The pizza is characterized by having a buttery crust that can be three inches tall. It also has a large amount of flavorsome sauce, delectable toppings, and cheese. The Chicago style deep dish pizza is utterly different from its competitor, the super-thin New York style, and while we love them both we certainly appreciate how decadent and wonderful deep dish pizza is. The luxury of the rich sauce and creamy cheese is something else, especially when you&rsquore eating it in your jammies!

In this article, we&rsquore going to talk through some stunning deep dish pizza recipes for you to try at home any day of the week.

Recipe Summary

  • Dough:
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces), divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • Topping:
  • ½ pound turkey Italian sausage (about 2 links)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

To prepare dough, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl let stand 10 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and salt to the yeast mixture, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, stirring until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes) add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down cover and let stand 5 minutes.

To prepare topping, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage and onion cook for 5 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain set sausage mixture aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms cook 5 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring frequently. Remove mushrooms from pan, and set aside.

Return pan to medium heat add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add garlic cook 30 seconds or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in oregano, fennel, and tomato sauce simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce mixture is slightly thickened.

Coat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle cornmeal over oil. Place dough in skillet, gently stretching edges to evenly coat bottom and sides of pan. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bottom of dough top evenly with sausage mixture and mushrooms. Top mushrooms with sauce mixture sprinkle Parmesan over sauce. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until crust browns and topping is bubbly. Let pizza stand 10 minutes before serving.

How to Make Deep-Dish Pizza

Yes, you can create authentic Chicago-style pizza in your own kitchen.

What Is Deep-Dish Pizza?

Traditional pizza starts with a thin- to medium-thick crust spread in a large flat pan topped with a thin layer of sauce, then a thin layer of meat or vegetable toppings. The final touch is a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. As the name suggests, deep-dish pizza is a much thicker product -- about 2 inches high. Like regular pizza, it starts with a layer of dough, but that&aposs where the similarities end. On a deep-dish pizza the crust goes on the bottom as well as up the sides. Cheese is the next ingredient. In fact, some people think of deep-dish pizza as an upside-down pizza because the cheese is the first layer on the bottom crust rather than the final layer. The pizza then gets filled with the usual ingredients, including pizza sauce, Italian sausage, and veggies such as green peppers and onions. Like their thinner cousins, deep-dish pizzas are now available in a bounty of variations, including chicken and vegetarian spins. Do make sure you plan for the extended baking time, which is about 40 minutes.

Also known as Chicago-style pizza, the deep-dish pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943. In the mid-1970s, two Chicago chains, Nancy&aposs Pizza and Giordano&aposs Pizzeria, experimented with deep-dish concoction and created the stuffed pizza. Piled even higher with toppings, the stuffed pizza has an additional layer of dough on top.

Following are the steps to make delicious deep-dish pizza at home.

What Pan to Use

Choose a 10x2-inch heavy round cake pan to make this pizza. A 10-inch springform pan works well, too when you remove the side of the pan, it&aposs easy to cut and serve the pizza. Generously grease the pan with vegetable oil. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with cornmeal set aside.

Recipe Summary

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 12 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 14.5 ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes or 1/2 of a 28-ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes, drained and cut up
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese
  • Sliced mushrooms or chopped green sweet pepper (optional)

Generously grease a heavy 10x2-inch round cake pan or 10-inch springform pan with olive oil or vegetable oil and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in the 1 cup warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat for 2 minutes on high speed, scraping the bowl frequently. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Cover let rise in a warm place until double (50 to 60 minutes). Punch down. Cover let rest for 5 minutes.

Turn dough into prepared pan. Using oiled hands, press and spread the dough evenly over bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of the pan. Cover let rise in a warm place until nearly double (30 to 35 minutes).

In a medium skillet, cook Italian sausage until meat is brown. Drain fat. Pat with paper towels to remove additional fat.

Arrange mozzarella cheese over dough. Spoon meat filling and tomatoes over cheese. Top with oregano and basil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 500°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges of crust are crisp and golden brown and the filling is hot. If you like, sprinkle the pizza with sliced mushrooms or chopped green pepper during the last few minutes of baking time. If necessary, cover with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. If using, remove side of springform pan. Cut into wedges.

The pizza sauce:

Choose high quality san marzano style whole peeled canned tomatoes. Then crush them up by hand or a few pulses in a food processor or blender and set it to drain in a fine mesh strainer for 5-10 minutes. A bit longer is okay too!

Don&rsquot over process the sauce because that will make it too watery. Deep dish pizza should have a slightly chunky sauce!

Use whole canned tomatoes because these are the best quality tomatoes. One large can of tomatoes (

28 oz) is enough for one 12-inch pizza.

Add some garlic, oregano, and salt. I also added some fennel this time around for a hint of sausage flavor. If you add fennel I recommend lightly crushing it first. You could also add some dried basil for more Italian-seasoning!

  • ingredients for tomato sauce
  • crush tomatoes by hand or in food processor/blender
  • pulse sauce ingredients if using food processor/blender
  • drain the sauce in a fine mesh strainer
  • you&rsquore left with a thick sauce for topping your pizza!

Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces broccolini, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (13.75 ounces) artichoke hearts in water, drained and patted dry, quartered if whole
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lightly packed chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 recipe Deep-Dish Pizza Dough
  • 8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, such as Polly-O, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 cup Easy Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (a scant 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in lower third lined with a pizza stone or baking sheet. Brush a 9-by-2-inch springform or cake pan with oil.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Swirl in oil. Add onion, bell pepper, and broccolini season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and pepper soften and broccolini is crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add artichokes, garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano cook 1 minute more. Transfer mixture to a plate let cool completely.

Turn dough out into prepared pan (do not punch down) and flip once to evenly coat. Starting in center of pan and using both hands, press down and outward with fingertips, working dough until it's evenly distributed along bottom and two-thirds up sides of pan.

Sprinkle half of mozzarella evenly over bottom of dough. Toss vegetables with remaining mozzarella and spread evenly in pan. Dollop small spoonfuls of sauce evenly over vegetables sprinkle with Parmigiano.

Bake until dough is puffed and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cut into wedges serve.

Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza

No discussion of iconic Chicago foods would be complete without talking about deep dish pizza and quibbling over who makes it best. Is it Pizzeria Uno, the originator of deep dish pizza? Or maybe it's Geno's East, with their signature cornmeal crust? Or perhaps it's Giordano's, and their double-decker stuffed deep dish? Each pizza is unique in its own way and all of them have a devoted fanbase, but with extra cheese, an additional layer of dough—and some aggressive franchising—many are now calling Giordano's Famous Stuffed Deep Dish Pizza the best Chicago deep dish in America.

Deep dish pizza is traditional flat pizza’s heftier cousin. The crucial elements are still there—crust, sauce, cheese, toppings—but there’s more of it, and the ingredients are stacked in a different order in a deep pan, and baked for a long time, like a pie.

Chicago-style deep dish pizza had already been popular for 31 years when Giordano’s arrived in town in 1974. Italian immigrants Efren and Joseph Boglio adapted their mother’s Italian Easter Pie and created a deep dish pizza with lots of melted mozzarella baked between two layers of flakey dough. Through decades of hard work, the brothers made Mama Giordano’s secret recipe a Chicago favorite, and Giordano’s restaurants multiplied to over 70 stores in Illinois and around the U.S.

With so many fans of the pizza, I knew it was crucial to get two specific things very right in this famous pizza knock-off: the dough and the sauce. Proper construction of the deep dish is also an important step, but without top-notch good dough and sauce, the rest of it wouldn’t matter.

To make a home version you’ll need to plan ahead a little bit because this dough needs to hang out in your fridge for a while to get right.

Let’s start there. With the dough.

The dough is tricky because it’s not traditional pizza dough. It’s flakier, like pie crust, which means we’ll need a good amount of fat in the mix.

I played with the proportions for 28 batches before finally landing on the best ratio of flour-to-water-to-yeast-to-fat.

You make it by dissolving the sugar and yeast in the water, and that goes into the flour with margarine and oil and salt. Easy so far, right?

Form the dough into a ball, then cover it with plastic wrap and get it into your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Wait, what?

Why can’t we just cover the dough and place it in a warm spot in the kitchen for about an hour like most of the other pizza dough recipes?

Sure, we could do that, but we’d get a different type of pizza crust—one that’s chewier and yeastier. And we don’t want that here.

By allowing the dough to rise slowly in the refrigerator we’ll slow down fermentation to get a mellower, more tender deep dish pizza crust. Just like the crust of the real thing.

Ideally, you want the dough to proof (rise) covered in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours and no more than 48 hours.

I promise it’ll be worth the wait.

You’ll have plenty of time to make the sauce. Make it at some point while you’re waiting for your dough to rise, and then you can chill it until you need it.

Keep in mind that the sauce will only be as good as the canned tomatoes you choose, so be sure to get a quality product. San Marzano-style tomatoes work great here.

Add the whole can, heat up the tomatoes until they’re soft, then crush the attitude out of ’em with a potato masher. (San Marzano tomatoes are notoriously cocky.)

That feels good. Better than a stress ball.

When your tomatoes are nicely crushed, add the diced tomato, oil, garlic powder, dry basil, salt, and black pepper. Cook that for 10 minutes, then add the fresh basil.

You may have noticed that the only herb in this sauce is basil which comes in two forms: dry and fresh. The combination adds more complexity since dry and fresh basil taste slightly different, and have different functions. The fresh basil adds color to the sauce along with a light basil flavor, while the dried herb contributes a more intense basil taste.

When the sauce is cool, chill it alongside the dough in your fridge until pizza time.

A couple of hours before it’s time to make pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator so that it can warm up closer to room temperature.

Before you begin to build the pizza, place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat it to 425 degrees F.

Why a pizza stone? The direct heat from the hot stone will help brown the crust on the bottom of the pizza, giving it a crispier texture. If you’ve got a pizza stone, definitely use it here.

If you don’t have one, don’t worry about it. You’ll still get great deep dish pizza.

And you won’t have to think about where to store a big, heavy pizza stone. So there’s that.

Our dough is no longer cold. So let’s roll it out.

First, use a knife or a scraper to slice off one-third of the dough and set that chunk aside.

We’ll start with the big portion of dough.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface, making a circle that is 16 inches across.

Now you need to get the dough into a 10-inch deep dish pan.

Before you add the dough, rub the pan with a coating of soft margarine. This will keep the pizza from sticking while adding flavor and a tender crunch to the outside of the crust.

Next, fold your dough circle in half, lift it into the pan, then unfold it.

Once your dough is in place you can add toppings, which in this pizza, don’t go on top.

Unlike traditional pizza, the toppings in a deep dish are baked into the middle of the pizza, underneath the cheese and sauce.

To keep it simple, I’ll just use pepperoni in this pizza.

But you can add whatever you like.

Here are some of the most popular toppings.

Add a single layer of whatever you fancy, then it’s cheese time.

Giordano’s pizza is packed with a lot of cheese. It’s 100% mozzarella that’s made in Wisconsin, and it’s really good cheese.

Because the cheese is such a big star in this pizza, don’t skimp. Get the best mozzarella you can find and don’t get it pre-shredded.

Pre-shredded cheese is dusted with cornstarch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the bag. That might make the cheese look better and sell better, but it also keeps pre-shredded cheese from melting as smoothly as freshly shredded block cheese.

Get a block of the best mozzarella you can find and shred it yourself. Then make sure the cheese comes to room temperature before you load it into the pizza, or it may not get as warm and gooey as you want it.

Roll the leftover dough into a 12-inch circle and place it over the cheese.

Pinch the dough together all the way around, then trim the top, flush with the top of the pan.

Without any way for the air to escape, the dough will bubble and the sauce will slide around on top.

We can fix that by cutting a few ventilation holes into the dough with a sharp knife.

Now you can spoon some sauce over the dough. Just add enough so that you can’t see the dough.

It will take about half of the sauce to cover the pizza.

Which means you’ll have enough left over to make another one.

And you’ll probably be much better at it the second time around.

You have just one pie in the oven, so it’s not likely you’ll forget what’s inside of it.

But at Giordano’s all the pizzas look the same, and with a lot of them in the oven at once, it gets very confusing.

And that’s why they add one piece of each of the fillings to the top of the pizza. Everybody always knows which pizza is which.

Finally, it’s time to bake the pizza.

Place the pan on the pizza stone in the hot oven for 40 minutes or until the top of the sauce begins to brown in spots.

Finish off your pizza with a sprinkling of a grated Parmesan and Romano blend.

Let the pizza cool for 5 minutes, then slip a large spatula under the pizza as you tip the pan to remove the pizza.

Once the pizza is out of the pan, use a large sharp knife to slice across it three times, making six slices.

You are now a Chicago deep dish pizza master. Humbly accept your praise, and dig in.

Origins of Deep Dish Pizza

Naples, Italy is credited with the origination of pizza in the late 1700s to early 1800s. But it may have been inspired by a similar flatbread-style dish served by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Italian immigrants then brought pizza to the US in the 19th-20th century.

It was in Chicago that deep dish style pizza was created. The first deep dish pizza is believed to have been created by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo in 1943 at their restaurant Pizzeria Uno (but the origin is debated). The concept became wildly popular and Pizzeria Uno now has over 200 locations worldwide!


Tomato Sauce

Put a 28oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes into a bowl and crush by hand until the tomatoes are bite-sized pieces.

Finely chop half a white onion and smash and peel a few cloves of garlic. Into a high walled sauté plan, put a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium until shimmering.

Once shimmering, add chopped onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes or until translucent around the edges, then add crushed garlic and sauté for an additional minute until fragrant. When fragrant, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flake, a shake of oregano, a shake of basil, and 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook together for one minute.

Add the crushed tomatoes along with a tablespoon of sugar. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent scorching, until the raw tomato flavor has cooked off and the sauce is thick. You know it’s thick enough when you drag a spoon through the sauce, it will part.

Crust and Assembly

Into a stand mixer bowl, add 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) of active dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to 8 ¼ ounces of room temperature water. Let bloom for 10 minutes until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together 12 ½ ounces of all-purpose flour, 2 ½ ounces of medium grind cornmeal, 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of cream of tartar. Pour dry ingredients into yeast mixture. Then add ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Using a dough hook, stir the mixture on low speed for 1-2 minutes until dough is off the side of the bowl. Then, put speed to medium for 7-8 minutes to knead until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too hydrated, lightly flour a cooking surface and knead by hand for an additional 1-2 minutes until consistency is soft and tacky, but not sticky.

Stretch dough into a ball and put it into a lightly oiled bowl, tossing to make sure it’s fully covered in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and sit out at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

Lubricate a 12-inch cast iron skillet with vegetable oil. Grease your hands and coax the dough out of the bowl and into the pan. Push into the shape of a pizza by stretching and pushing the dough up to the sides of the pan. Let rest under cover of plastic wrap for 20-30 minutes. While this rests, you can start your tomato sauce (see recipe above).

Press dough to sides of the pan, and it should easily hold its shape. Optional: Lay down a layer of raw mild Italian sausage into a nice even layer before the cheese.

Place a layer of deli-style sliced Provolone cheese on top next, then follow with a thick layer of low moisture mozzarella. More cheese = more cheese stretch!

Generously top cheese with tomato sauce until cheese is hidden. Then, sprinkle pre-grated parmesan on the sauce and drizzle olive oil on both the sauce and around the edge of the crust.

Put into 425°F oven for 25-35 minutes, rotating once during baking until cooked through. Run a thin spatula around the outside edge to make sure that there’s no sticking. Slide pizza out the pan and wait at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving pizza. Enjoy!

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