While I live in Michigan, I love, love, love a good Chicago Deep Dish pizza. Very few restaurants know what a real deep dish pizza is....the ads, the coupons for deep dish is really just a thicker crust. It's disappointing.
When I was growing up, my aunt would take me to Downtown Detroit and we would wait forever to get a table at Pizza Papalis. They make real Chicago Deep Dish pizza. I loved it. As did many people for they are still open, years later, with everyone you talk to saying they've also been downtown for that fabulous pizza.
I've taken my friends and family to that restaurant, I've brought home leftovers, I've flown on a plane with one, but most importantly, I've tried to make that pizza at home.
My dough recipe needs work. It's not perfect, but it's very good. A bit of bready-ness/bit of crusty-ness.
1 Tbs sugar
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 1 /4 tsp active dry yeast, same as one packet
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 tsp salt
Bit of olive oil for bowl to rise dough in
1 lb cooked meat (sausage, ham, pepperoni - I suggest only 2)
8 oz mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
1 bell pepper, chopped and sauteed
1/2 onion, sliced and sauteed
You can use more or less fillings but will need to adjust the cheese amount. I aim for about 4-5 cups of fillings including the meats.
About 6 sliced provolone cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated (3-4)
1 big handful grated parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz crushed tomatoes
3T tomato paste
Crushed red pepper
Sauce: Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and stir till fragrant. Add tomatoes and seasoning. Thicken with the tomato paste if needed and let simmer at least 20 minutes.
Dough: Mix sugar, water, yeast and 1/2 cup flour in mixing bowl. Let stand until foamy (proofed), approximately 15 minutes.
Add cornmeal and salt, stir into flour mixture. Gradually stir in enough more flour to make dough stiff enough to work with hands (dough will be sticky, flour your hands). Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic - about 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Need: Springform Pan
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Punch dough down. Pinch off approximately 1/3 of the dough and set aside. Pat dough into a 14-inch circle. Allow to rest 2-5 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled springform pan. Gently stretch and pat dough into bottom and up sides of pan.
Lay the provolone cheese slices on the top of the dough. This layer prevents soggy crust. 1/3 of the pizza sauce next. Then arrange meat and vegetables. Half of the mozzerella cheese and then 1/3 of the sauce. Other half of the cheese. This may not fill the pan to the top. That's okay because you need expansion room.
Roll out the other piece of dough into a 12-inch circle, allow to rest 2-5 minutes. Place top pizza crust over filling. Fold side edges over top crust, pinch and fold around the pan to seal pizza.
Spread the top crust with the last of the pizza sauce and then sprinkle with the parmesan. Cut 3 slits in the top of the pizza for steam. Bake at 500 degrees for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 425 and continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and pulls away from sides of pan. Allow pizza to cool 5-10 minutes before cutting. Remove springform ring. I slide a THIN plastic cutting sheet between the pizza and springform bottom before cutting. I don't like to cut right on my springform pan bottom. This takes a serious knife to cut through.
This pizza takes some time to make. This isn't something you can whip together in 10 minutes. I raise my dough, pre-cook my fillings, simmer my sauce, etc. You may wish to use jarred sauce, which is completely fine but whatever fillings you use, need to be pre-cooked. Sometimes I mix all the veggies together and saute but they turn out better to be cooked seperately so they each have their own individual taste.
Things that can change the success of this recipe are the cheeses. If you use fresh mozzerella, just keep in mind the moisture level is higher than a bag of shredded mozzerella. Sauce thickness/thinness can take a role. Watch your pizza bake through the oven door. Rotate it if you need to. You will be rewarded!