Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chicago inspired deep dish pizza

I used a recipe by Emeril Lagasse Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizzas as my muse and then added my own tweaks.  This recipe makes 2 (10-inch) deep dish pizzas.  I don't think Emeril's sauce recipe makes enough for two pizzas; so, I doubled it.  Although, there will be a bit left over (probably need to 1½ it).  I also used kalamata olives in place of the tasteless black olives, but only ½ as much since they have a more intense flavor.  I also used a red bell pepper in place of a green one.  And, I increased the amount of sugar in the sauce.

The recipe says it makes 2 12-inch pizzas; however, I had a lot of difficulty spreading the dough in that size of pan.  So, I think making 10-inch pizza's is a lot easier.  The crust will be a bit thicker - but, it's a tasty crust, especially infused with all of the goodness from the toppings and sauce.

I don't have a deep dish style pizza pan; so, I've used both a cast iron frying pan and a springform cheesecake pan.  Oiling the pan plus the oil in the dough makes it come out of the pan very easily.

The first time I made this pizza, I put the mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion in raw; but, this resulted in a lot of liquid in the finished pizza which we had to mop up with a papertowel.  The next time I made it I precooked the mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion.  I also cooked the sauce longer to remove more of the liquid.

  • Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Dough, recipe follows
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic (about 5-6 cloves)
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, salt free
  • 2 tablespoons wine (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
  • 8 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin slices
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin rings
  • ½ cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 pound crumbled hot Italian sausage
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  1. While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the herbs, seeds, salt, and black and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.  Smash tomatoes and then continue cooking until thickened, about 30min to 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.
  2. Meanwhile, precook sausage in a frying pan, remove from pan leaving as much of the oil as possible.  Then precook mushrooms in same pan with leftover oil from sausage.  Remove mushrooms leaving as much of the liquid as possible in the pan, then pour mushroom liquid into simmering sauce
  3. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  4. Place onion and red pepper slices on a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper lightly sprayed with cooking oil and bake for about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned
  5. Oil 2 seasoned 12-inch round deep-dish pizza pans with the extra-virgin olive oil. Press 1 piece of dough into each pan, pressing to the edge and stretching about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top each with half of the pepperoni, mushrooms, bell pepper rings, onions, black olives and sausage. Ladle the sauce evenly over each pizza and top with Parmesan.
  7. Bake until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, slice and serve hot
Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza Dough: 
  • 11/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to grease bowl
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1.  In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the cornmeal, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, ½ cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough starts to pull away from the bowl.
  3. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
  4. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Divide into 2 equal portions and use as directed.
  • I read recently it's best to use canned whole tomatoes, instead of chopped, whenver possible because they use the best tomatoes to can whole and the rest for other styles.
  • Be sure to use good quality (i.e. name brand) canned whole tomatoes.  I tried making it with Walmart Great Value brand - and it just didn't taste quite as good as when I made it with a name brand.
  • If you can't find salt free canned whole tomatoes then try leaving the salt out of the sauce
  • Precooking the onion, red pepper, and mushrooms is important as it removes as much moisture as possible - otherwise there will be a lot of liquid in the finished pizza.
  • I used kalamata olives packed in olive oil.  After pitting and chopping the olives, I used the olive infused olive oil in the dough to impart a bit of an olive taste.

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