Deep Dish Pizza

Deep dish pizza, the heavyweight champion of the pizza world, is a culinary icon that hails from the vibrant streets of Chicago. With its thick, buttery crust, layers of gooey cheese, and a blanket of rich tomato sauce, this pizza is an indulgent treat that’s as hearty as it is delicious. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey to master the art of making deep dish pizza, from crafting the perfect crust to achieving that mouthwatering cheesy filling. Get ready to elevate your pizza game and delight in every bite of this Windy City classic.


For the Crust:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F or 43°C)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Toppings (Customize to Your Liking):

  • Sliced pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and melted butter.
  3. Stir the ingredients until they come together into a dough.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size.

Step 2: Preheat and Prep

  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). Place a cast-iron skillet (10-12 inches in diameter) in the oven while it preheats.

Step 3: Roll and Fit the Crust

  1. Roll out the risen dough on a floured surface to form a circle slightly larger than the skillet.
  2. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and grease it with cooking spray or a small amount of oil.
  3. Gently press the rolled-out dough into the skillet, making sure it covers the bottom and goes up the sides.

Step 4: Layer the Fillings

  1. Begin with a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  2. Add your desired toppings. Sausage, pepperoni, and vegetables are classic choices.
  3. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the toppings.

Step 5: Add the Sauce and Bake

  1. In a bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes with dried oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Spread this sauce over the top of your pizza.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Step 6: Cool and Enjoy

  1. Allow the deep dish pizza to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips for Perfect Deep Dish Pizza:

  • Patience with the Dough: Letting the dough rise is essential for a tender crust.
  • Layer Carefully: Place the cheese at the bottom to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
  • Customize Toppings: Make it your own by choosing your favorite pizza toppings.
  • Cast Iron Magic: A cast-iron skillet is perfect for creating that crispy, golden crust.

Deep dish pizza is more than a meal; it’s a culinary experience that transports your taste buds to the heart of Chicago. With this comprehensive guide and a few tried-and-true techniques, you’re equipped to craft a pizza that’s nothing short of spectacular. Share the magic of deep dish pizza with friends and family, and savor each sumptuous bite of this Windy City classic. Enjoy!

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