Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza
2 packages Quick Rise Dry Yeast
2 cups tepid water (90 degrees)
1/2 cup salad oil
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cornmeal
5 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 pound sliced Mozzarella
2 cups 1-inch red bell pepper pieces
2 cans plum tomatoes -- drained and squished
1 teaspoon Basil
1 teaspoon Oregano
Salt to taste
2 cloves Garlic -- peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese for Topping
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
For the Crust: In the bowl of a KitchenAid or other Heavy Duty mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the oils, cornmeal, and 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Mix for 10 minutes. Add the dough hook and remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour and continue kneading for several minutes with
the machine. The dough is rich and moist and difficult to knead by hand.
Pour out the dough on a countertop and cover, or proof in a large oiled bowl, until doubled in bulk.
Punch down and allow to rise again. Punch down a second time and it's ready to use.
Oil round cake pans (for individual pizzas) or a very large pan. Put dough in the pan(s) and press down, using your fingers (no rolling!!). Bring the crust up the sides of the pan(s).
Filling: Place the cheese in tile-like layers on the bottom of the pie. Next put in the tomatoes and basil, oregano, garlic, and salt, reserving the parmesan cheese for the top. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the pie and you are ready to bake.
Additional Topping Ingredients:
Before you put on the Parmesan Cheese and oil drizzle, you might like to add any or all of the following:
Italian Sausage, hot or mild
Yellow Onions, sliced
Pepperoni, sliced thin
Green Sweet Bell Peppers, cored and sliced thin
Olives, pitted and sliced
Baking the pie... Bake the pie in a 475°F oven until the top is golden and gooey and the crust is a light golden brown. This should take 35 or 40 minutes.
Note: Keep in mind that if you make a large pie instead of smaller ones, the baking time will be longer. I cube thick slices of pepperoni and scatter the cubes all over the pie as opposed to putting it on in slices. If you put the loose sausage meat in a thin layer on the top of the pie, pre-cooking is not necessary. If the sausage is in the deeper part of the pie, you may want to pre-cook it. If you prefer your mozzarella on top of the pie, add all the topping ingredients except the mozzarella and bake until almost done. Then, scatter your mozzarella over the top and bake until just melted and still white. (In New York, when we get a pizza with brown cheese on it, we call it "burnt".)
One more thing...I usually use 1 cup of cornmeal to 5 cups of flour, which gives a "toothier" crust.
Yield: "1 large deep dish pizza"
Source of recipe: Chiffonade, adapted from Frugal Gourmet