Monday, April 8, 2013

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

It was our turn to host dinner club and we chose to bring back an oldie but goodie theme...Restaurant Copycats!  Last time we contributed Outback's Blooming Onion with Dipping Sauce and as a bonus I made some Clone of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.  Our friends made Carraba's Chicken Bryan, P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps among others and it was by far one of the best dinner clubs because it was like having the best of what every restaurant had to offer.

Oddly enough, when it came time to pick the main dish that I was going to serve, I was at a loss as to what to make!  So I asked my wonderful facebook fans for advice.  Fans suggested everything from Cheesecake Factory's Cajun Chicken Pasta to Olive Garden's Chicken Scampi to Outback's Alice Springs Chicken and more.  All excellent ideas and then it dawned on me that there was one recipe I had bookmarked long long ago that I kept seeing on multiple websites and that would fit the bill.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza made famous by restaurants like Uno's Chicago Grill and Giordano's and Lou Manalti's.  There's even local takes such as Chi-nnati's Chicago-Style Pizza in Cincinnati.  Now, I won't get into an argument on whose pizza is best, whether Chicago-style means just deep dish or stuffed, or whether corn meal goes IN the crust or not because in the end, all that matters is that this particular recipe is pretty awesome!

I created one cheese pie and another with pepperoni.  There are a number of pizza aficionados in the group (with my husband and our friends Daniel and Scott).  The boys agreed this was pass-along-the-recipe-please worthy pizza and better than some of those that we bought in restaurants.

First of all, I LOVE that it uses a plain 9-inch round cake pan to make this.  No fancy equipment needed!  The crust is thick, buttery, and full of airy pockets from the laminating process (don't let it scare you and check out step-by-step photos in Brown Eyed Baker's post; it's easier than it seems!).  The simple homemade sauce is chunky and full of flavor.  And the cheese, well, you cannot go wrong with cheese and I was told this was just the right ratio of crust to cheese to sauce for a deep dish pizza.

Tomorrow is my 4th blogiversary so come back for a sweet (literally!) recipe and giveaway in celebration.  Then on Friday, I pay homage to National Grilled Cheese Day with another recipe copycat that is so radical you won't want to miss it!

In the meantime, if you can't get enough copycat recipes, be sure to check out my copycat label!  I make sure each post is tagged with key words to make it easier for you to find recipes with similar ingredients and/or themes.  You can find these tags at the bottom of each post or the full list can be found on the right side bar below the Archive section.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza


For the Dough:
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon + 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste (optional)
For the Toppings:
  • 1 pound (4 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, green peppers...whatever you want to add inside if you like to load your pizza with toppings.  Personally, I'm a purist!
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  1. To Make the Dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add water and melted butter.  Using a dough hook, mix on low speed until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally if needed.  Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. If you do not have a mixer, you could use a food processor or knead by hand. Coat a large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
  2. To Make the Sauce: While dough rises, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.  Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to about 2½ cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat then stir in the basil and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. To Laminate the Dough.  Turn the dough out onto a clean dry work surface and roll into a 15x12-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the surface leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten the cylinder into an 18x4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with one half, fold into thirds like a business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. To Bake the Pizzas: Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to work surface and roll out into a 13-inch circle. Transfer dough to the pan by rolling the dough loosely around a rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax for 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
  5. For each pizza, sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. If you're using any toppings, layer them now on top of the cheese. Spread 1¼ cups tomato sauce over the cheese (or toppings) and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. 
  6. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: Cook's Illustrated, January-February 2010 as seen on and adapted by Brown Eyed Baker


Rebekah said...

Drooling over here... that looks fantastic!!

Lisa said...

OMG, how cool is it to have your own deep dish pizza.