My husband and I have recently been trying to plan a weekend trip to Chicago, Illinois. One of the many places we want to experience is their famous deep-dish style pizza they are famous for. Thankfully we were able to try it out at home first. This just makes it that much more prudent that we plan this trip. Just so you know, this is not the first homemade pie crust I have made, but it certainly was the softest and tastiest. However, this is the very first deep dish my husband and I have ever had (restaurant or otherwise). Even though we have no comparison, we do know what we like .. and this is it!! It is so weird to put the toppings on the pizza dough and top with the sauce but really it was delicious. It did make the pizza a little unamageable by hand and we ended up with forks, but all in all it tasted fantastic!
Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
For the dough1.5 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal *
1 tsp sugar
1 1/8 tsp instant yeast (not quite 1 packet, although next time I will use the entire packet)
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp water, at room temperature
1.5 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, softened
For the sauce
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp onion, very finely chopped
pinch dried oregano
1.5 cloves garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
2 tbsp basil
1.5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch ground black pepper
For assembling and topping
2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 oz mozzarella, shredded
2-4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
pepperoni and sausage (or any other toppings you like)
To make the dough, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment on low speed. Mix for about 1 minute (until well blended) and add the water and butter and mix an additional 1-2 minutes until blended. You may scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium-low and knead for 4-5 minutes until the dough will easily pull off the hook and sides of the bowl. Using hands, coat a medium bowl with 1 tsp (do not use more than this) of olive oil and coat the dough with the oil. Cover bowl with saran wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature. Dough should have nearly doubled.
While the dough is rising, you may prepare the sauce mixture. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, oregano and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds to allow to become fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and sugar and increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a slight simmer and then lower heat to low and continue to simmer until liquid is reduced (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat and add basil and oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to desired taste.
To laminate the dough, turn the dough out onto a dry work surface that is slightly floured. Roll into a 8x6 inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter over dough surface, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Starting at the shorter end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder and leave the seam side down. Flatten the cylinder into a 9x2 inch rectangle. Fold into thirds (similar to a business letter) and pinch the seams closed to form a ball. Return to oiled bowl, cover tightly with saran wrap and let rise in the refridgerator until nearly doubled in size (50 minutes).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To begin to put pizza together, coat a 9-inch round cake pan (or we used a 9x9 baking dish, square) with 2 tbsp olive oil. Transfer dough ball to dry work surface that is slightly floured. Roll into a 13-inch disk about 1/4-inch thick and transfer to the pan. Lightly press the dough in the pan, working into corners and 1 inch up the sides. If dough resists stretching you may let it sit for 5 minutes and try again.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese onto pizza dough. Place any toppings you desire on top of that (pepperoni, onion, sausage, etc). Top with the tomato sauce mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until crust is golden brown. remove from oven and allow to sit 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
* Not sure if it is a real substitute but I used Jiffy's Cornmuffin Mix instead of buying a $5 bag of yellow cornmeal (no thank you). Worked fine for me.