Although thin crust on the grill is my favorite (grilled pizza recipe) , this Chicago Style deep dish is a very, very close second. It takes a while to make but is well worth the effort!
2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 teaspoon
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Measure water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top. Stir in sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix in flours, half at a time until a soft dough is formed. Chop pine nuts, add to the dough and continue kneading for 5 minutes. Place dough ball in a bowl that has 1 teaspoon olive oil in the bottom, turn to coat the dough and the bowl. Allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and butter together until smooth and set aside. Punch down dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 18 by 9 inch rectangle. Brush butter mixture over entire surface. Fold dough into thirds then press out with your hands into a larger rectangle again. Fold one more time into thirds and place back into oiled bowl. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes, (28 to 30 ounces total)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon chopped sun dried tomatoes
Heat olive oil in a 2 quart sauce pan until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes over medium high heat or until onion is translucent. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Using a blender stick, puree the sauce until smooth. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Assembly and Filling:
One recipe crust
One recipe sauce
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms or red bell pepper strips
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
12 to 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
4 to 6 ounces turkey pepperoni slices
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Saute sliced mushrooms or strips of red bell peppers in 2 teaspoons hot olive oil until soft and caramelized at the edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside. Oil the bottom and sides of two 9 inch cake pans with remaining olive oil. Cut dough in half and place a half in each pan. Using your fingers, push dough over bottom and up sides of pans gently until the crust is about even thickness all around. (The dough will have a tendency to spring back and it is helpful to use hands opposite each other to counteract that tendency.) Make sure there are no tears or holes in crust. Top each pizza with the following in the order given (yes, cheese first!): 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella slices, 6 to 8 ounces shredded mozzarella, half of the sauteed mushrooms or red bell pepper strips (drain liquid if accumulated), half of the sauce, half of the pepperoni slices, 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes then decrease heat to 350 and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
I had invited my son and his family to dinner and planned to experiment with the deep dish recipe. Scott called a couple of hours ahead and asked if he could bring two clients along. "Well sure, if you don't mind my experimenting on them." They came and we had a really nice dinner; the pizza turned out well and they were such interesting, personable guys from Pennsylvania and Texas (both by way of D.C.) Nice to meet you Michael and Alfredo! All my best.