Chicago-style Deep-dish Pizza

It’s recipe time here on my blog.  For those of you far-flung FS families, this is a a pretty easy deep-dish pizza recipe that produces fantastic results every time.  For those of you who live in the States, or worse, in Chicago, shut up.  I hate you.  Go order some Malnati’s already.

Special equipment: 14-inch cast-iron skillet or pizza pan.  9-inch round cake pans will work too.  Food processor.

For the dough:

2 1/4 cups bread flour (all-purpose works in a pinch)
2 1/2 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. instant yeast
7.5 fl. oz. lukewarm water
4 tbsp. good olive oil, divided

Combine the dry ingredients in the working bowl of a food processor.  Run the processor for 30 seconds to combine dry ingredients.  Add the water and 1 tbsp. oil, run processor constantly until the dough forms into a ball that rolls on top of the blades.  Keep running for about 30 seconds more.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead once or twice, then form into a ball.  Put 3 tbsp olive oil into a large metal bowl.  Place dough into bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with saran wrap, and let rise until doubled in size (about an hour at room temp.).

After dough has risen, punch it down on a floured surface (if using 2 9-inch pans, divide the dough in half now), form it into a ball once again, sprinkle with flour, and cover with saran wrap.  Let rise for another hour or so.

Meanwhile, make the filling:

1 28-0z. can of whole tomatoes, drained
1 package of sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 medium white or yellow onions, sliced thinly
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. olive oil

Remove sausage from casings, and saute in olive oil over medium heat, pressing with the back of a spoon to break up.  When almost all the pink is out of the sausage, lower heat to medium-low, and add the onions on top.  Cover, and let cook for 5 minutes or so without disturbing.  Add dried herbs, increase heat to medium, and stir to combine.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add tomatoes.  Cover, and let cook for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, crush tomatoes, being careful of the splatter (it’s hot!).  Bring to a low boil and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced.  Remove from heat, drain, cover, and set aside.

Cheeses:

1 lb. shredded whole-milk mozzarella
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

To assemble the pie:

Punch dough down one more time, and roll out into a 16-17 inch round (or 2 11-12 inch rounds if using the smaller pans).  Liberally grease the bottom and sides of your pan with either Crisco (preferred) or olive oil.  Place the dough over the pan and gently press down into the greased pan, being careful not to tear it (it should extend just a little over the lip of the pan).

Peel back the crust from the sides a little, and sprinkle a little bit of mozzarella between the dough and the side of the pan.  Make sure you go all the way around the pan, trust me, it makes a big difference.  Press the dough back up against the sides of the pan.  Take a fork and make numerous small holes on the bottom of the pizza dough (docking the dough), place crust into the 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes (crust should be lightly colored).  Remove from oven, lower oven to 350 degrees.  Spread remaining mozzarella evenly over the bottom of the pie (or half in each pan if using 2 smaller pans), spread tomato-sausage mixture evenly over the mozzarella (or divide evenly between the 2 pies), then sprinkle the Parmesan over the pie (or divide evenly between the 2 pies).  Put back in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is browned and bubbling in places.

Let pizza rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.  It’s hard, I know, but it’s also necessary.

Enjoy!

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