I was in Chicago only once a few years ago for just a few days. While I was there I think I ate pizza every day. There were so many pizza joints one person could probably spend 3 weeks in Chicago and eat pizza every day without eating the same place twice. It was incredible! When I started looking for a place I went straight to the yellow pages in the phone book (before smartphones when you still needed a phone book) and I think there was a solid page of just pizza places. Of course the one thing that was sure to happen was me eating Chicago style deep dish pizza.
Without a doubt this stuff is legendary. Think about it, a pizza style known for its geographic location. One place I remember specifically was Giordano’s. I hadn’t heard of it before visiting but I haven’t forgotten about it since. Here in my hometown a place opened up calling itself Chicago style. Of course we went to try it and surprisingly it was very authentic.
I had to try this at home. Amazon has all sorts of resources for making this too. I bought a book called The Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook (not affiliate link, just a helpful resource). Playing around with these recipes was fun and challenging at first. The first few times I made it the dough was too thick. More playing around with the dough led to better results and finally think I have it now.
The recipe here will make a 14 inch pizza or, if you are using a 12 inch spring form pan, there is enough dough to make another small pie. When you get ready to form the crust oil the pan and spread the dough with your fingers. You could also roll it out with a rolling pin until about the size of the bottom of the pan then spread it out with your fingers. Press it into the corners then press firmly to pull the dough up the sides. Let it rest for about 30 minutes then press into the edges again and again pull up the sides. Make the sides very thin without ripping the dough. Prick the bottom with a fork and par bake the crust for 4 minutes before loading any toppings.
You can use a prepared sauce or make a simple one by mixing crushed tomatoes with some herbs. I have a quick pizza sauce you can follow too. Really easy to make and tastes great. This size of pizza will use about half of the sauce.
When you get ready to put the toppings on put thinly slices mozzarella down first then any other topping such as peppers or sausage and ladle on the sauce to cover the other toppings. Bake at 475 degrees then out comes a beautiful Chicago style pizza at home anywhere.
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
- 1 cup water
- 1½ teaspoons yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In the bowl of a stand mixer mix water and yeast and let rest a few minutes until it begins to form bubbles. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low for about 1 minute to fully mix the ingredients together. Turn the speed to 2 and let it mix for 2-3 minutes. The dough should be smooth at this point. Cover with plastic and let rest until about doubled in volume.
- When the dough has risen fold dough onto itself, cover with plastic again and let rise for about another hour until doubled again.
- For a 12 inch pan use a large grapefruit size dough and use the rest for another small pizza. Use the entire recipe if making a 14 inch pizza. Spread out the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan then begin pulling the dough up the sides. Cover with plastic and let rest for about 30 minutes while oven is preheating to 475 degrees.
- After the rest press dough into corners of pan again and pull dough up the side of the pan to form a thin crust. Prick with a fork several times in the bottom and par bake for 4 minutes. After baking arrange thin slices of mozzarella cheese on the bottom, top with any other ingredients (if using) then ladle on sauce to cover. Sprinkle freshly grates Parmesan cheese over sauce and bake on lower third of oven for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden brown.
- Let rest for a few minutes before eating. It will be very hot.