A Tradition in Family Baking

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Here’s how to make authentic-tasting Chicago deep dish pizza. Complete with the buttery crust, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and a thick layer of cheese.
Yield: Two 9-inch pizzas
Ingredients
Pizza Crust (makes 2)
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 package (2¼ tsp, ¼oz, 7g) RED STAR Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, divided (1/4 cup melted, ¼ cup softened)
  • Olive oil for coating
Tomato Sauce for both pizzas
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, grated (about ⅓ cup)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes (see notes)
  • ¼ tsp granulated sugar
Toppings for both pizzas
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (see notes)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • optional: handful of pepperoni per pizza, 4 slices cooked and then crumbled bacon (2 per pizza)
  • additional optional toppings, add enough to suit your tastes: cooked and crumbled sausage, thinly sliced green peppers and/or onions, sliced mushrooms
Instructions
  1. Step 1: Please read through the recipe completely before beginning. You will need two deep dish 9x2-inch round cake pans if you are making both pizzas at the same time. You can also use 9-inch springform pans.

  2. Step 2: For the crust: Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use your hand mixer and a very large bowl. If you do not have any mixer, you can do this all by hand. Again, use a very large bowl. Give those ingredients a quick toss with your mixer on low or with a large wooden spoon. Add the warm water and ¼ cup of melted butter. The warm water and melted butter should be around 120-130°F. On low speed, mix (or stir) the dough ingredients until everything begins to be moistened. Continuing on low speed (or remove from the bowl and knead by hand if you do not own a mixer), knead the dough until it is soft and supple and gently pulls away from the sides of the bowl and falls off of the dough hook- about 4-5 minutes. If the dough is too hard (it will be textured from the cornmeal), but if it feels too tough, knead in a teaspoon of warm water. Alternatively, if it feels too soft, knead in a tablespoon of flour.

  3. Step 3: Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside, turning it around so that all sides of the dough are coated in the oil. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size.

  4. Step 4: Once the dough is ready, lightly flour a large work surface. Remove dough from the bowl, set the bowl and aluminum foil/plastic wrap aside (to use later). Gently punch down the dough to remove any air bubbles and roll the dough into a large 15x12-inch rectangle. Spread ¼ cup of softened butter on top of the dough. Roll it up lengthwise. Cut the dough log in half. Form the two pieces of dough into balls and place back into your greased bowl. Cover with aluminum foil/plastic wrap and allow to rise in the refrigerator (not in a warm place) for 1 hour until they are puffy as you make the sauce.

  5. Step 5: For the sauce: Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and allow it to melt. Once melted, add the grated onion, salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Once the onion has slightly browned after about 5 minutes, add the garlic, tomatoes, and sugar. Turn the heat down to low-medium and allow it to simmer until it's hearty, fragrant, and thick- about 30 minutes. You'll have about 2 and ½ cups of sauce at this point. If you have more than that, keep simmering until the amount has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to be used. You may store the sauce in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days if planning to make the pizza another day. You may freeze this sauce for up to 2 months as well.

  6. Step 6: Preheat oven to 425°F.

  7. Step 7: Assemble the pizzas: After the dough balls have risen in the refrigerator, they should be puffy. Keep one ball of dough in the refrigerator as you work with the first one. Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface, working it into a 12-inch circle. Using your rolling pin as a guide, place over a greased 9x2-inch deep dish cake pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into the cake pan. Make sure it is nice and tight fitting inside the pan. Trim any excess dough off the edges with a small knife. Repeat with 2nd dough. Brush the top edges of the dough with a little olive oil, which gives the crust a beautiful sheen. Fill each pizza with ½ of the cheese (about 2 cups per pizza), then your toppings which are listed as optional in the recipe ingredients. On top of those optional toppings is the sauce. Pour about 1 and ¼ cups of sauce on top of each pizza. If you do not like that much sauce, you can reduce to ¾ cup per pizza and have leftover sauce. Sprinkle each with ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

  8. Step 8: Place the cake pans on top of a large baking sheet with sides, which will catch anything potentially spilling over the sides of the cake pans. Bake for 20-28 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Feel free to loosely cover the pizzas with aluminum foil after the 15 minute mark to prevent any heavy browning and uneven baking. Remove the pizzas from the oven and allow to cool in the pans placed on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, slice, serve, and enjoy.

  9. Step 9: Place any leftover pizza in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 300°F oven for 15-20 minutes or until hot.

  10. Recipe created by Sally's Baking Addiction.
Notes
Use basil-flavored crushed tomatoes. If using plain crushed tomatoes, add 1 – 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh basil (or about ½ teaspoon of ground dried basil) when you add the tomatoes.

For the cheese: you may use sliced mozzarella or shredded. Whatever it is, slice or shred it yourself from a block of real mozzarella cheese. Pre-shredded mozzarella is just fine, but the taste of sliced or shredded fresh mozzarella is just unbeatable.

FREEZING AND MAKE AHEAD: Dough may be prepared through step 4. In the last part of this step, the dough needs to rise in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You may leave it in the refrigerator for up to 1 full day, making sure to punch it down to remove any air bubbles before rolling out as directed in step 7. You may freeze the pizza doughs after preparing them through step 4, and instead of allowing to rise in the refrigerator, simply freeze for up to 2 months. Then, allow the doughs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing with step 7. Make-ahead and freezing instructions for the sauce are written in step 5.
 

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