Chicago has some of the most unique recipes which are highly influenced by mexican way of cooking. Some of these recipes have managed to become world famous but one of the dishes of Chicago which has a very unique cooking procedure is the deep dish pizza.
This pizza is baked in a deep dish, due to which its crust becomes very thick and deep. So, if you have been eating the same kinds of pizza, you can try something new and unique by indulging yourself in a delightful deep dish pizza.
Level Of Difficulty: Medium
Yields Per Recipe: 1 8-inch pizza
Preparation Time Required: 2 hours
Baking time Required: 35-45 minutes
1 8-inch deep dish pizza pan
1 large mixing bowl Plastic cling film
1 potato masher
1 medium sized bowl
1 pizza cutter
1lb. of Italian sausage, cooked and sliced
2/3rd teaspoon of dried oregano
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2/3rd teaspoon of dried basil
2/3rd teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 lb. of mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups of tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1-2 teaspoons of white granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
For The Pizza Dough
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 packet of active dry yeast
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of cornmeal
4 teaspoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 cup + 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water
1/4th cup of melted butter
1. To prepare the dough, pour the lukewarm water in a large cup and then add 1 teaspoon of sugar to it. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely in the water and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Give a light stir to mix-in the yeast and then set aside the solution in a dark and cool place to let the yeast rise up for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes foamy. While the yeast is becoming foamy, take a large bowl and place a wire sieve over it. Tip the all-purpose flour into the sieve and then sift the flour by slowly shaking the sieve.
2. Once the entire flour is sifted, add 2 teaspoons of salt and the cornmeal to it and then stir the mixture to combine the salt and the cornmeal. Once you are ready with the yeast, pour it over the flour and cornmeal mixture and then add the vegetable oil, melted butter and the olive oil to it.
Stir the mixture vigorously to combine all the added ingredients and make sure that the mixture is not very sticky and watery. You may add a little bit more flour to make the mixture less watery. Once the entire mixture is moistened, try to assemble it in a ball.
3. Once the ball is formed, tranfer it to a lightly floured surface and then knead the ball until it coverts into a smooth and non-sticky dough. This may take 10-15 minutes but make sure that your dough is very smooth. Knead the dough by pushing it with the heels of your hands and then pulling it towards yourself.
This helps to make the dough very soft. Once done, pull up some of the portion of the dough and pinch it at the bottom part of the dough. Continue rotating the dough while pulling up and pinching it from all sides and then press down the bottom part to secure the air inside the dough. This process helps to give a clean and smooth surface to the dough and also helps to make it more spongy.
4. Once you are done kneading the dough properly, grease it entirely by rubbing generous amounts of oil over it and then take a large bowl. Grease the bowl thoroughly with either cooking spray or oil and make sure that you grease the walls of the bowl as well.
Once done, drop the greased dough into the bowl and then tightly cover up the bowl with a plastic cling film. Then set aside the bowl in a cool place to let the dough rise up for 2-3 hours or until it doubles up in size. You will be able to understand that the dough has risen if the dough retains the mark on pressing it down with your finger.
5. Once the time elapses, uncover the bowl and then transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough once more by pushing and pulling it with your hands and then put it back into the same bowl to let it rise for another 30-60 minutes or until it swells up to 1/3rd of its earlier size.
Cover up the bowl once again with the plastic film to let it rise properly. In the meantime, take the deep dish pizza pan and oil its base and walls thoroughly with some vegetable oil. Once the pizza dough swells up, uncover it and then transfer it to your working table.
6. Press down the sides of the dough with the tip of your fingers by retaining 1 inch distance from the edge of the dough. This will help you create the border for the pizza dough and then press down the rest of the dough to get a flat disc. Once done, stretch out the dough into a large disc but be careful not to stretch it too much; otherwise, it will tear. Once done, slowly insert the pizza base into the greased pizza pan and then push it up the walls of the pizza pan.
7. After that, cover it up loosely with a plastic film to let it rise for another 15-20 minutes. While the dough is resting, set a preheating temperature of 425 degrees Fahrenheit on your oven. Once the time elapses, uncover the pizza pan and then push up the crust to stick it onto the walls of the pan. Once done, insert the pizza pan into the preheated oven to bake the crust for 10-15 minutes or until it turns slightly golden brown around the egdes.
8. You can prepare the filling while baking the pizza crust. For that, take the tomatoes and diced them after removing all the seeds from them. Follow that by peeling and mincing the cloves of garlic.
Once done, tip the diced tomatoes into a bowl and then add the salt, sugar, dried rosemary, dried oregano, minced garlic and the dried basil to the diced tomatoes. Toss the mixture slightly to combine the herbs and the seasonings with it and then smash the tomatoes either with your fingers or a potato masher. Once done, set aside the filling for later use.
9. Once you are ready with the pizza crust, remove it from the oven and spread the mozzarella cheese all over its base. Top that with the sausage slices. Make sure that you spread the sausage slices evenly over the crust and then follow that by spreading the tomato mixture. Finally, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top and then drizzle some olive oil over the filling.
Once done, pop the pizza pan into the oven to bake the pizza for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the cheese at the top turns bubbly and slightly brown in color. Once ready, take out the pizza pan from the oven and then remove the pizza from the pan. Let the pizza sit on a wire rack to cool it down before cutting it into wedges.