Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

With my recent success with yeast, I’m starting to go back to all the yeast using recipes I’ve wanted to attempt. As a friend said, “It was a crime that someone so experienced in cooking wasn’t comfortable with yeast.” These are words that couldn’t be any more true! Done are my days using a prepared pizza dough from Trader Joes. Homemade pizza dough is the only way to go in this house going forward!

With that said, I decided to come close to home by making a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza from scratch. I used two small round stoneware pans for individual pizzas. Although it came out amazing, I would probably make one large pizza next time. I didn’t like how ‘stubby’ the pizza slices were because the pan was small. However the dough itself was wonderful. My husband even suggested marketing the pizza (silly guy!). But I can’t take all the credit as I used an Emeril recipe. Who knew Mr. Bam could have a good Chicago style recipe?

One thing to note for those that are interested in making a pizza dough from scratch is that not all pizza doughs are the same. Some are better used for thin crust and others for pan or deep dish pizzas. The following recipe is best for pan/deep dish pizzas

Chicago Style Pizza
dough recipe from Emeril/Food Network

Pizza Dough:
1 1/2 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 semolina flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 teaspoons to grease bowl
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the semolina, 1/2 cup of the oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.

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.

Divide into 2 equal portions and use as directed.

Pizza Sauce:
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian style diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chiffonade fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves minced garlic

– While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce.
– Drizzle olive oil in a hot sauce pan over medium high heat.
– Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
– Add whole can of tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, fresh herbs and salt/pepper.
– Stir and heat through. Set aside until ready to use.

Pizza Toppings:
1 lb pork sausage
1-2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon garlic salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup sliced white buttom mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper strips (frozen is available at Trader Joes)
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

– In a medium bowl, combine sausage, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, ground pepper and fennel seeds. Mix thoroughly to fully season sausage.
– Divide the sausage mixture in half and shape each half into a large flatten disk of sausage. Set aside.

Assembling Chicago Style Pizza:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

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.

Layer the mozzarella & colby jack cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top each with half of the mushrooms and bell pepper strips.

Top the pizza with the dish of sausage.

Ladle the sauce evenly over each pizza and top with remaining mozzarella if you’d like.

Bake until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve hot.

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