Classic Deep-Dish Pizza
An adaptation of the Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza.
Makes two 10-inch pizzas
FOR THE Deep-Dish Pizza Dough
4 cups unbleached bread flour
2/3 cup fine-grind yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt or 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
5 tablespoons corn oil
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (90Â° to 95Â°F or 32Â° to 35Â°C)
For the crushed tomato sauce
one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder, or 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice, or a combination
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
For the pizza
2 Deep-Dish Pizza Dough balls, 18 ounces each
2 1/2 cups coarsely shredded full-fat or low-fat low-moisture mozzarella cheese
4 cups Crushed Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Asiago, or other dry aged cheese
MAKE THE dough
- With a large metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4-quart bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined. If mixing with an electric mixer, fit it with the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes or until the dough forms a coarse ball and clears the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add more flour or water by the tablespoonful as needed. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then mix again on low speed for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, stretchy, and tacky but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test. ( a small piece of dough vaulted at a window, should stick)
If mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the spoon into room-temperature water and use it much like a dough hook, working the dough vigorously as you rotate the bowl with your other hand. Continue mixing for about 4 minutes, or until the dough forms a coarse ball, adding more flour or water by the tablespoonful as needed. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then transfer it to a lightly floured counter. Dust the top with flour to absorb the surface moisture, then knead the dough by hand for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is smooth, stretchy, and tacky but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl brushed with olive oil. Roll the dough in the oil to coat the entire surface, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and round them into balls. Rub the surface of the dough balls with olive oil, place them on the countertop, and cover them with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before making the pizza.
Make the crushed tomato sauce
- In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients, starting with 1/2 teaspoon salt and adding more to taste. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make the pizza
Place a baking stone, if using, on the middle shelf of the oven (unless you know your oven well enough to place it on a different shelf) and preheat to 400Â°F (200Â°C). If you do not have a baking stone, position 1 oven shelf in the center of the oven and a second in the lowest position.
Oil two 10-inch round cake pans. Roll out each dough ball with a rolling pin, working from the center outward, into a disk about 14 inches in diameter. If the dough resists rolling or becomes too springy and elastic, cover it with a towel and let it rest for 5 minutes before resuming. Lay a finished disk over a prepared pan, lower it gently into the pan, and then press the dough snuggly into the bottom, corners, and then up the sides. Ideally the dough will drape slightly over the rim; crimp the overhang to form a thick edge around the top of the rim. Prick the entire surface with a fork to minimize bubbling in the oven.
If you like a thin crust, bake immediately. If you prefer a thicker crust, cover the dough-lined pans with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Bake the crusts on the middle shelf of the oven for 3 to 4 minutes to set them. The rim of the dough will slide back down into the pan somewhat, but this is normal and will form the edge.
Place each crust in its pan on the counter and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Evenly spread the mozzarella cheese in the bottom, then ladle in the tomato sauce to fill the pans. Sprinkle the grated aged cheese evenly over the top of the sauce.
Place the pans in the oven on the baking stone or, if not using a stone, on the lowest oven shelf. Immediately reduce the heat to 375Â°F (190Â°C) and bake for 15 minutes. Then, if baking on a stone, rotate the pan 180 degrees. If baking directly on the shelf, move the pans to the middle shelf and rotate them 180 degrees. In either case, continue to bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until the edges of the crust are a deep brown (but not burned) and the cheese is golden.
Remove the pizzas from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the pans by loosening the crust with a metal spatula and then gently sliding the spatula under the pizza to lift it out. Serve the pizzas on a cutting board, or cut and serve directly from the pan.
RICOTTA AND CHEESE: Cut the quantity of mozzarella cheese in the master recipe to 1 1/2 cups and stir it together with 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese or full-fat or low-fat small-curd cottage cheese. Add 2 eggs, beaten, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Fill the prebaked shells with the cheese mixture and ladle the tomato sauce over the cheese to fill the shell. Omit the grated aged cheese, if desired. Bake as directed.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE: This is the most popular deep-dish topping in restaurants. You can make it two different ways. For my favorite method, shape 2/3 pound Italian pork sausage meat (removed from the casing) into 2 patties the diameter of the deep-dish pans. Layer the mozzarella cheese, the tomato sauce, and the dry aged cheese in the pan as directed, then lay the patty over the top like a lid. Brush the patty with olive oil and bake as directed. The sausage will have taken on a dark, rich color when the pizza is ready.
For the second method, which is less fatty, fry 2/3 pound Italian sausage meat in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring to break up any lumps, for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the contents of the pan to a sieve placed over a bowl to drain off the fat. Layer the mozzarella cheese and the tomato sauce in the pan, scatter the cooked sausage over the top, and then finish with the grated aged cheese. Bake as directed.
You can substitute ground beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper) and minced fresh garlic or granulated garlic powder to taste for the sausage in either method.
SPINACH: In a bowl, stir together 12 ounces thawed, frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry, with 2 1/2 cups shredded full-fat or low-fat low-moisture mozzarella cheese. Season to taste with minced fresh garlic or granulated garlic powder to taste, if desired. Substitute this mixture for the mozzarella cheese in the master recipe and then continue as directed.