Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

This is an amazing deep dish pizza recipe. I love the crust this recipe makes, it browns well and is not very bread-like ( by that I mean thick and chewy ) unlike some recipes.

I have tried a lot of deep dish pizza recipes and this is by far the best among them. That said , it is still not the crust that you get at UNO's. But it is close. Thanks to Cook's Illustrated for putting out this recipe earlier this year, which I got through Annie's Eats blog. I have modified the recipe a little to my style and the results were great.

My husband knows of my struggles to make the perfect pizza crust and Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza crust has always been my downfall. So when I announced that morning that we are having this for lunch, he took an extra serving of breakfast. I think he thought he will have to go hungry at lunchtime or he will have to make a quick trip to Taco Bell !

So when it was done and out of the oven he peered at the dish suspiciously and then took a tentative bite and said with a surprised note in his voice ' that's pretty good! '. Well thank the culinary gods for this recipe for I do not know for how long he would have tolerated eating either burnt crusts or half baked crusts in my quest to find the perfect crust for a deep dish pizza.

This is quite simple to make and does not need days of proofing. I made a lot of sauce and used about 3/4 of the sauce recipe on the pizza. I bake my pizza in an aluminium cake pan. Next time I will make it using the original Cook's Illustrated recipe, from 30 Bucks a Week's blog, which makes 2 pizzas, as it was so delicious. Use a good quality crushed tomatoes can for this recipe.

( UPDATE : I made this again and this time made some changes to the crust and it is even more Pizzeria Uno type. Loved it....made the necessary changes below. )

Makes one 9x2 inch deep dish pizza


For the dough

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp / 8 1/2 oz / 241 gm all purpose flour ( maida )
1/4 cup / 1 3/8 oz / 39 gm yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp / 3.75gm salt
1 tsp / 5 gm sugar
1 1/8 tsp instant yeast ( the rapid rise yeast )
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp / 5 oz water, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp / 22.5 gm unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp olive oil
6 tbsp / 84 gm unsalted butter, chilled and sliced.

For the sauce

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, grated or very finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1 can ( 28 oz ) crushed tomatoes
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder
4 tbsp fresh basil leaves coarsely chopped

salt to taste

For assembling

2 tbsp olive oil
6 oz fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 of the prepared sauce
2 tbsp / 1/4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated


For the dough
  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer ( use the dough hook ), combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast and mix it well together.
  • Add the melted butter and water and mix till its fully incorporated. Knead this for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer this dough to a well oiled bowl, coating the dough with oil too. Cover with a damp cloth and set it in a warm spot or room temperature till it is nearly doubled in size. This might take up to an hour.
  • Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl onto your work surface and roll it out into an 8x6 inch rectangle. Place about  3 tbsp of the chilled sliced butter over the surface of the rolled dough , leaving an a 1/2 inch  border from the edge. Now roll the dough into a cylinder.
  • Roll out the cylinder to a rough rectangle of 9x2 inch and spread the remaining of the butter slices across the surface, leaving a little border along the edges. Fold this like a business envelope, that is pick up one side and fold it 1/3 way in and pick the other end fold over lapping the first fold ( pic shown below ).
  • Pinch all the seams close and return it back to the oiled bowl. Cover again with the damp towel and let it sit in a warm spot or at room temperature until it doubles in size again. This will take another 40-50 minutes.
  • While that is proofing, make the sauce and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9 x2 cake pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Once the dough has doubled transfer it to your working space and roll it out to a 13 inch diameter round which is about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer this disc into the prepared pan, pushing it to the edges and 1 inch up the side of the cake pan.
For the sauce
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onions and garlic to it. Saute till it turns pale pink in color.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, cayenne and oregano and let the it cook till it thicken to sauce consistency. This can take anywhere between 20-30 minutes on medium low heat.
  • Add the basil in the end and remove it from the stove and let it cool down.

For assembling
  • Lay the sliced mozzarella on top of the prepared dough in the cake pan. Next ladle the sauce over the cheese ( I used only 3/4 of the sauce made ) and lastly sprinkle the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the crust turns golden brown. This will take anywhere from 20 - 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes before you slice it. Sprinkle some basil leaves as garnish and serve.

Roll dough in a rectangle 8x6 inches roughly

Spread some softened butter. ( UPDATE : I found that chilling the butter and slicing the chilled butter and placing it across the surface makes the crust more crispy )

Roll it up.

Spread the remaining softened butter. ( UPDATE : chill the butter and slice it thinly and place it across the surface )

Fold this in thirds.

Pinch all the seams and put it in a well oiled bowl for further proofing.

The dough in the prepared cake pan.

Fresh Mozzarella cheese layered on the bottom.

Ladle the sauce next.

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and bake till golden brown.


  1. Perfect pizza, delicious with juicy tomato sauce at the top..... Love the addition of basil leaves. Such a great dish :-)

  2. Home made pizza's are the best..

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