Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Version of Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

I'm still on a quest to make the perfect deep-dish pizza, coming as close as possible to making a home version of the fabulous pizzas at Lou Malnati's or Gino's East. Chicago style deep-dish pizza has a crust that it almost biscuit-like. It's much more tender than regular pizza crust. And, the mozzarella goes directly on top of the crust, followed by the tomatoes (not tomato sauce), and grated Parmesan cheese.

This is the closest I've come so far to authentic Chicago pizza. The crust was very tender and biscuit-like, but it wasn't quite crispy enough--I'm thinking that I didn't have the oven hot enough. Next time I make it I may try par-baking the crust for 10 or 15 minutes. The toppings were perfect, though I used less tomatoes just because I always like pizzas with very little sauce best.

I made a double batch of dough and used the second half to make a pan pizza topped with fresh tomatoes, ricotta, Parmesan, and zucchini slices. It was really good with a nice crispy and fluffy crust.

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza (adapted from The Ultimate Pizza by Pasquale Bruno, Jr.)

Makes one 14-inch deep-dish pizza

1 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup corn oil
2 teaspoons olive oil

Pour the water into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add the flour and salt to the water and stir to combine. Add the corn oil and mix until a dough is formed. Knead the dough for a full 6-7 minutes or until it is completely smooth and satiny.

Lightly dust a large bowl with flour. Place the dough ball into the bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Let sit on the kitchen counter for 20 minutes. Place the dough in the fridge overnight.

The next day, take the dough out of the fridge. Don't punch down the dough. Lightly oil a 14-inch pizza pan that is 2 inches deep using olive oil. Remove the dough from the bowl by slipping your hand underneath it and place it in the center of the pan. Using your palms, stretch and push the dough toward the edge of the pan (as the dough warms up it will be easier to stretch.) Pull the dough up the sides of the pan, pressing it against the sides with your fingers (only about 1/4 inch of the pan sides should be showing) until it is quite thin. Cover and set aside. (The dough can be prepared to this point and held, covered, for about an hour or until the toppings are ready.)


2 28-ounce cans Italian-style plum tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/8 inch thick
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
veggies or your choice (optional)

Put the tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Crush completely with your hands and drain. Crush some more and drain again. You should have almost 2 cups. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Arrange the cheese slices, overlapping them slightly, over the crust. Spread the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle on the Parmesan.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of a preheated 450F oven for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let the pizza sit for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. I like the one with zucchini, looks very tasty!

  2. mouth watering pizza Michele! tempted to pick!

  3. They both look really delicious! I like to par-bake thicker crusts because I can't stand a doughy crust.

  4. Both the pizzas look great... this may turn out to be a pizza weekend :)

  5. That looks sooo good!! Peace, Stephanie

  6. Really tasty and delicious pizza! I posted two days ago spicy flavour pizza too...on 31st March

  7. I had no idea you put the mozz directly on top of the crust! And speaking of, that crust is goooorgeous! It looks so awesomely fluffy!

  8. Looks great. I'm not an expert on deep pan, but perhaps some butter in the dough might make it more crunchy? Just a thought..

  9. Have you attempted the butter crust? That I would love to be ablet o make at home since I no longer live in Chicago! :-( Jen