Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza
Homemade Chicago style deep dish pizza with Italian sausage.
Can we please start off by discussing where April went? I’m all for warmer weather and longer days, but April seriously flew by.
So I’ve made the jump to level 2 of 30 day Shred. I have this new plan that I think will work wonders for me to get through it. I’m currently doing rotations of 5 days per level with the weekends off, then I’ll repeat. Of course I’m only on day 2 of level 2 but that’s my plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes. If our treadmill ever gets delivered my workout plan will likely change but until then…!
Also, this level is definitely easier in a way, but it’s kind of obnoxious in other ways. I mean double jump roping? Not happening. I’m way more sore after these two days than ever after doing level 1. I’m not really complaining because that’s a good thing but jeez. I can only imagine what I’ll feel like after level 3 starts. I guess that’s a good thing. Also… there is still one segment of jumping jacks, which I think we’ve established how much I hate for some really odd reason. I think those should be banned. I’m dealing though.
So, I’ve been wanting to make a deep dish pizza for the longest time. Obviously it wasn’t for me… I mean hello, there are tomatoes in there and you know how I feel about those. But it’s the concept of it all that intrigued me. The weirdest part, in my opinion of course, is the layer of ham on the bottom. I remember seeing an episode of some food show where they were having a deep dish pizza showdown between two big name Chicago pizzerias and there were layers of so many different things, so I knew I was at least sort of on the right path. I’m not claiming this is a true Chicago pizza, but to me… deep dish pizza is Chicago, thus Chicago style pizza. If it’s close to classic, well hey… great!
The crust… it’s pretty much amazing. I’ve never in my life tasted something like this. The huge difference with this over any other crust I’ve made… it has cornmeal! It helps make it crisp and flavorful. Ahh I want to make a tomato-less version just to eat the crust.
So what about the filling? You already know there is a layer of thick sliced ham. The main layer is a mixture of sautéed veggies, hot Italian sausage and crushed tomatoes. It is of utmost importance that you use whole milk mozzarella. No other cheese will do, so don’t let me catch you cheating and using part skim. If you want truly incredible pizza… this pizza or any other, it must always be whole milk mozzarella. Trust me.
Items used in this recipe:
Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 30 minutes active
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes, plus
Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza
Homemade deep dish pizza with Italian sausage.
1/2C warm water
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 - 1 1/2C all purpose flour
3 Tbsp cornmeal
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2C button mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
8oz Italian sausage, casing removed
1C onion, chopped
1C red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2C whole milk mozzarella, shredded
3/4C crushed tomatoes, divided
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
4oz sliced ham
Parmesan for sprinkling
Prepare pizza dough; begin proofing yeast by dissolving yeast and sugar in warm water. When puffed up and foamy, add olive oil to proofed yeast.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine dry dough ingredients. With mixer running on low, slowly add liquid ingredients. Mix until a smooth ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add additional flour as needed. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled or roughly 1 hour.
Begin preparing filling while dough rises. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown mushrooms with olive oil and salt to taste. Remove to a large bowl. Using the same skillet, saute sausage in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Drain and transfer to the bowl with mushrooms. Saute onion, pepper and garlic with optional red pepper flakes for 10 minutes or until tender. Transfer to large bowl, mix with sausage, mushrooms, 1 cup mozzarella, basil, oregano and 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes. Cover and set aside.
When dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a 9" springform pan. Shape dough to fit the bottom of the pan and at least 3/4 up the sides. Lightly fork dough throughout. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
Reduce heat to 400 degrees. Lin the crust with ham. Top off with sausage mixture. Cover with additional 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and crust is golden and crisp.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to removing the sides of the pan and slicing. Slicing on a cutting board with drain grooves is recommend for this pizza.
Adapted from Cuisine Magazine
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