Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chicago or Bust!

The hubs and I are headed to Chicago for this glorious 4th of July weekend! I've never been but I'm looking forward to the Cubs game we've got planned, the relative/friend visits we've got going... I have to admit.. I am most excited about some Chicago deep dish pizza!

In the spirit of that - Here's a recipe for Deep Dish pizza in your own home. It may not be Gino's but if you can't hop on a plane - it'll tide you over!

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast

  • 3 cups unbleached flour, divided

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

  • 1.5 cups warm water (110 degrees)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup spicy Italian sausage, browned and drained

  • 9 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion

  • 1/8 cup chopped green bell pepper

  • 1/3 cup diced pepperoni

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce


In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in 1 cup warm water. In a separate bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water. Combine the two bowls , mix together and set aside for 20 minutes. In yet another bowl (hello dishwasher!), combine the remaining 2.5 cups of flour, cornmeal and salt. Remove 1/2 the mixture into yet another bowl (or really, even a big plastic Ziploc bag will work here!). Add 1 cup of sugar into the half of the mixture into the bowl. Add the Ziploc mixture back in and mix all together. Add yeast mixture in and stir until combined. Turn the dough out onto a workspace coated with flour and knead until the dough is stretchy - about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour some olive oil into a large bowl and use your hands to coat the sides of the bowl with the oil. Turn the dough out into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

The Good Stuff

In a gigantic bowl, combine the bell peppers, onions, pepperoni, sausage, cheeses, oregano and garlic. Mix it all together.

Put It All Together

Remove half the dough from the bowl and press the dough into a lightly greased deep dish pan (I use a high sided Springform pan). You want to make sure that the dough is going up the sides of the pan and is pressed into the pan. Bake in the 450 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. Add all the 'good stuff' in and cover with the second crust. Make sure that you press the top and bottom crusts together to form a seal. Add a few slits in the top crust to allow the steam to vent, top with tomato sauce and bake for 45 minutes on the lower rack of your oven. Set it aside for 5 minutes and then dig in like crazy!

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