Making that Chicago Deep Dish Pizza #AmCooking

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So I love pizza like most fat Americans do lol but there is one kind of pizza I love the most and that is Chicago Style Deep-dish Pizza. Ever since my first trips to the Windy City as little kid the Deep Dish Pizza has become a sort of symbol of Chicago for me. When I think of Chicago I think of Navy Pier, The Art Institute, and The Bears and yes the best pizza in the world. I’ve been to most of the more well-known pizza spots and I know every Chicagoan has their favorite place. The first place I ever went was Ginos East on Superior Street when I was 8 or 9 but the old version before they were remodeled and took away its soul I think.

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One of the things I’ve always wanted to try was actually making a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza at home. Thanks to my mom, Stacey and I were able to finally try that since we got a stone deep-dish pan and a deep-dish pizza cook book for Christmas. I’ve been chomping at the bit for nearly a month to try it out and the other night I finally did.

 

I used a recipe from the book and modified that with a recipe I found on Pinterest. I am not a baker and was initially worried that the crust, arguable the most important part of a deep dish pizza, was beyond my abilities. I figured If I followed the directions I would not have too many issues. I was a little wrong but not horribly.

http://jovinacooksitalian.com/2013/05/03/chicagos-little-italy/   (The article is really interesting when comes to the history of Chicago Style Pizza)

So for this post I will share some of the process of making my first Chicago Deep dish Pizza, share the recipe and of course pictures of the process and my thoughts on the end result. This was the first of many pizza’s I will make I think.

Recipe

One of the recipes I used was a variation of the recipe from the founders of Uno’s pizza who are the creator of the Chicago Style Deep-dish Pizza (there is some arguments on whether they invented it or not). I found this ingredient recipe on Pinterest.

1½ cups tomatoes, ground

1 teaspoon oregano, dried

1 teaspoon basil, dried

2 tablespoons Romano cheese, grated

5 oz. part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella, sliced

5 oz. provolone, sliced

24 ea. pepperoni slices (about 2 oz.)

What I changed here was I used Sausage Patties (pre-cooked) instead of Pepperoni, I used no provolone and used parmesan cheese instead of Romano. Added Olive Oil because it’s Merica. I also added onions and mushrooms which I sautéed with olive oil, basil and oregano on the stove. Later I’ll explain what worked and didn’t and why…..at least I think why.

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Dough/Crust Recipe (From the Great Chicago Style Pizza Cookbook)

1 ½ packages dry yeast

½ cup warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

3 ½ cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup yellow cornmeal ¼ vegetable oil

½ warm water

 

I won’t put the exact instructions on how to make the dough because…well I don’t feel like typing it. I feel like it’s a pretty straightforward pizza dough recipe though.

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As you can see from the pictures the pizza turned out ok. It was edible and really that’s all that matters but it wasn’t quite perfect or as close as what I would like. I learned a few things during the process and after once I saw and thought about it.

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Post eating thoughts.

I feel like I should have drained the tomatoes better…or at all. This left the pizza a little more watery than what I had hoped for. Another thing that I think I skimmed on was the cheese on the bottom. I don’t think I used nearly enough and next time might mix provolone with mozzarella. Another thought on the cheese and a mistake I noticed in retrospect was that I don’t think I used low moisture mozzarella. I use fresh whole pieces but it was pretty moist…..moist. 😉

When it comes to the meat for this first pizza I used pre-cooked sausage patties to try and re-create the sausage pizza from Gino’s East which is a layer of its own. This was a big mistake on my part. You don’t get points for short cuts and on this I did. Even Stacey was a little put off by my sausage; it was spongey and just not good. Next time I will at least get fresh sausage and layer it in some way first no more precooked sausage.

The last part which I wasn’t pleased with was the crust. Taste wise it wasn’t bad horrible once the sauce and cheese soaked in. Having never made pizza from scratch I learned quickly I knew nothing about kneading dough no matter how many episodes of Ciao Italiana or Lydia’s Italy I have watched on PBS. It wasn’t nearly thin enough and I probably used to much flour as Stacey pointed out. One my favorite things about most deep-dish pizza in Chicago is the crust. Specifically the corn bread crust. I don’t think the recipe I used called for enough corn meal. There just wasn’t that yellow tint and slight corn bread taste. This could, of course have come from me using too much flour and just over took the corn meal. So if anyone is reading this that has advice on the crust please leave a comment I’d love to get some advice.

Example of how its supposed to look. Gino’s East version

 

If you have never been to Chicago or had the pizza there I urge you to make the trip. Between the pizza and city you wont regret it. There are many options to choose from the in Chicago metro area

 

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2 thoughts on “Making that Chicago Deep Dish Pizza #AmCooking

  1. Big ups on getting in there and getting your hands dirty! You have to use precooked sausage, you really don’t have an alternative….commercial pizza ovens, let alone home ovens can’t cook fresh sausage safely when it’s buried under cheese, sauce and dough.

    On a normal pizza? sure…because fresh sausage is the last thing put on top of the pizza besides a little cheese, it’ll get enough heat to cook all the way through. Cooking a Chicago-Style Pizza with fresh sausage is just asking to get really sick. This is of course, assuming you’re trying to make a “pie” with an extra layer of dough on top (covered with sauce and cheese)….if you’re not making a pie and just a regular pizza….you can use fresh sausage, just make sure it’s the last thing you put on there and make sure that your oven cooks it at a high enough temperature to cook it all the way through.

    This is years of pizza-making experience talking here, although I haven’t made a pizza in a very long time, I literally grew up in pizza places in GR…this is Alex, if you haven’t figured it out by now, hah. Have a good night man

    oh btw….next time you give this another crack, stop by G.B. Russo & Sons on 29th St. They have the good stuff there….I miss that place like you wouldn’t believe. They have nothing like that in Tennessee where I live.

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