Don’t live in Chicago, but want some of their delicious pizza, This Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza hits the spot!
I’ve been told that real Chicago deep dish pizza isn’t about a fluffy crust – it’s about thick awesome filling piled into a medium crust with chunky sauce and piles of cheese. If I wanted thick chewy bread I could have ordered out from the pizza chain down the street. No, I was on the quest for as close to the ‘real deal’ as I was going to get with minimal travel expenses.
When I’m looking for authenticity, I trust Cook’s Illustrated – and a few friends. The dough has a slick layer of butter in the between rises that creates perfect flaky layers – and don’t let that amateur border fool you – it was perfect underneath. Just thick enough to barely hold the pile of mozzarella, sausage, and thick sauce on top. Truthfully, this was attempted without utensils, but was finished with a knife and fork before returning for seconds.
And trust me, you’re going back for seconds.
Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
- 3 ¼ cups flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 ¼ teas instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 teas sugar
- 1 ½ teas salt
- 1 ¼ cup water room temperature
- 3 tbs unsalted butter melted plus 4 tbs butter, softened
- 1 teas plus 4 tbs olive oil
For the Sauce
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- ¼ cup minced onion
- ¼ teas dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ teas sugar
- 2 tbs chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
For the Toppings
- 1 lbs mozzarella shredded
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lbs hot Italian sausage casings removed
- Fit your stand mixer with the hook attachment and mix the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed. Make a well in the center and add the water and melted butter. Mix until combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead dough for 4 to 5 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides while the mixer is running.
- Using fingers, coat a large bowl with 1 teas olive oil. Turn out the dough, form into a ball and place in the bowl, cover tightly and let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up into bite sized crumbles with a spatula. When cooked through, remove from skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and reduce heat to medium. Melt the butter in the pan and add the onion, oregano, and ½ teas salt. Cook until onion is softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until sauce has reduced to 2 ½ cups, about 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in the basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Back at the dough: Adjust the oven rack to lowest possible position and preheat to 425 degrees F.
- Turn the dough out to a clean dry surface and roll into a 15x12" rectangle. Spreed the softened butter over the dough, leaving a ½" boarder. Starting at the short end closest to you, roll into a tight cylinder. Roll the dough and press into an 18x4" rectangle. Seam side down, cut in half. Take one half and fold into thirds, much like folding an envelope. Press the seams together and place in the bowl again. Repeat with the other half, covering the bowl tightly and placing in the fridge for another 40 minutes, and almost doubled again.
- Coat 2 9" deep cake pans with 2 tbs olive oil each making sure to come up the sides. Take 1 ball of dough and roll out to a 13" disk. Carefully place in the greased cake pan and press gently, working into the sides. Repeat with the remaining dough and cake pan.
- Sprinkle each pizza evenly with the mozzarella and sausage. Coat with sauce and sprinkle Parmesan on top. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes each until crust is golden brown.
- Remove pizzas carefully from oven and let cool 10 minutes each before serving.