I have been making pizzas quite a bit on the blog. My old roommate Mark asks me each time I post a pizza, when are you going to write about the Chicago style pizza you used to make back in college. Well Mark, this one is for you. Quite frankly I was scared to recreate this meal, as it contains over 5lbs of food. Granted I could only eat one slice, but come on, it is pizza. So here is my recipe for the Deep Dish.

This one topped out at 5.5lbs. Now that is a pizza.

Deep Dish Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup warm water – (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 1/2-3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Pizza Pie

  • 1 dough – (Recipe Above)
  • 1 package fresh hot Italian sausage
  • 6oz pepperoni slices
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2lb mozzarella cheese slices
  • 1 tbs fresh basil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese

Dough Time

The first step is to make the dough.  Pour the water, yeast and 1/2 cup of the flour into a bowl.  Let a sponge form, about 5 minutes. Then add 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, salt and 1/2 cup vegetable oil.  Mix by hand or in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Once everything starts to incorporate, slowly add another 1/2 cup of flour.  Continue doing this until the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl and does not absorb any more flour.

Dough ready to go
Dough ready to go

Then roll it out onto a hard floured surface and knead until smooth.

Place in a oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.

Time for the sauce

To make the sauce first drain the can of tomatoes.  If you don’t your pizza will get soggy.  Next place them in a bowl with salt, pepper, the basil and the garlic.

Fresh Basil Makes the Sauce Pop
Fresh Basil Makes the Sauce Pop

Using your hands or a pastry blender, squish the tomatoes and create a rustic sauce.

Crush the tomatoes to make the sauce
Crush the tomatoes to make the sauce

Time to form the Dough

Next find a good pizza pan.  I have found that the best pan for me is a 12in spring form pan.  It works great, has high edges and the pizza always slides right out.  Otherwise if you have a nice pizza pan go for it.  they usually come in 12in and 15in pans.  If you want the real Chicago experience go for the 15in Deep Dish pan.

The Spring Form Works Great
The Spring Form Works Great

Now that you have the perfect pan, grease it with vegetable oil. Next place the dough in the center of the pan.

Slowly punch down the middle and work it toward the edges. Next bring it up the sides about 2-3 inches.

Bring the Dough up about 2-3 inches on the edge
Bring the Dough up about 2-3 inches on the edge

Time to fill

Start with the cheese.  Traditional Chicago style deep dish pizzas start out with the cheese on the bottom so that it doesn’t burn during the long cook time.  So layer the cheese down first.

First add the Cheese, thick layer on the bottom
First add the Cheese, thick layer on the bottom

Next add the pepperoni in a thick layer.

Pepperoni Time
Pepperoni Time

Now add the slightly cooked sausage.  Traditionally they add the raw sausage to the pizza, but my home oven can not reach the temperatures of the ovens in the pizzerias in Chicago.  So if you use raw sausage it probably won’t cook through all the way.  Further by the time that it does cook through, your crust will be burnt.  So slightly cook the sausage until no longer pink on the outside.  Then layer it into the pizza pan.

Sausage Time
Sausage Time

Now cover the pizza with the pizza sauce.  It will probably require all of it.

Covered with Sauce
Covered with Sauce

Finally dust the top with the Parmesan cheese.

Dust with Parmesan Cheese (the fake stuff works great for this)
Dust with Parmesan Cheese (the fake stuff works great for this)

Place into a preheated 500 degree oven for 15 minutes.  When the time is up turn the oven down to 400 degrees and continue to bake for 25 minutes.

Right out of the oven
Right out of the oven

This is an amazing pie weighing in at 5 1/2 lbs.  That is a lot of pizza.  I have taken the liberty of photographing the finished pie next to my beer to show you the true scale of this beast.

Now that is how to make a pizza NY
Now that is how to make a pizza NY

When cut it makes some big slices.

So many layers of meat
So many layers of meat

Not very many people can say that they had the same pizza for four meals.  I am proud of this one.  It is amazing.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

11 Comments

  1. That's not a pizza….it's a small country! Great pizza and a fantastic job detailing the "how to's" in this post.

    I could go for pizza for breakfast.

  2. Nice work kid, other than Gino's East, this is one of the best deep dishes I have ever had, and I am a Chicago kid. and Michigan still sucks, that was terrible

    • Thanks for the comments regarding the Pizza, Mark. As for Michigan, well you just cheer for the wrong team. Sorry ND fans.

    • Why thank you Colleen. Totally a Michigan Fan. Are you a fan of the Maize and Blue too?

  3. Well, I grew up loving the Wolverines but then went to Michigan State. I guess you could say I’m a Michigan fan whenever they’re not playing the Spartans. 🙂

  4. I made this for dinner for my family last night i made one with susage and another with steak they came out amazing definatly going to make them again

  5. My husband and two daughters are vegan, and we love pizza, we have gone out and have paid 30.00 for vegan pizza's, but this was by far the best,!
    Thank you,
    Angela

  6. nah, i’ve come to only like regular or thin crust margherita or plain cheese, kalifornia kitchen frozen bake at home. good enough for me.

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