Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza My Way

**I have to give Cook's Illustrated some credit here, but I do mess around with this recipe.

My husband makes the time-intensive, complicated version of this and it ROCKS, but recently it was just me and the girls and Sam for dinner, so I made it quicker. My friend Eva Gavin (remember, she’s my daughter Eva’s godmom and has a son I’m trying to marry her off to so her name will be … Eva Gavin Junior) and I stood in the kitchen and chowed down on it. Here’s my version:


3 ¼ cups wheat flour

½ cup yellow cornmeal

1 ½ teaspoons table salt (as opposed to chair salt)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (one small packet)

1 ¼ cups water, room temperature (lazy me just puts in warm tap water)

3 tablespoons butter, melted (I accidentally put in about a whole stick of butter and it was amazing!)

Olive oil for coating the dough bowl later


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup grated onion

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons or more minced garlic (I love the stuff that comes in the jar!)

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I was out so I had to use tomatoes from our garden)

¼ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (we grow them in a pot; you can get them at the grocery store … don’t skip them, though, because they MAKE this sauce!)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings: whatever you want! Make sure you have mozzarella cheese; otherwise, we like black olives, pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, whatever is around.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Add water and butter and stir some more. Aron’s recipe says to use a stand mixer and go to town for several minutes, but you know I’m not havin’ any of that! I just stir and then knead with my hands, preferably after just changing a poopy diaper (just kidding!). Coat sides of bowl with some olive oil. Then put some oil on the top, flip the dough upside down, spank it and put some oil on the top of the bottom. Kapish? Okay, let’s move on.

Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, until it doubles in size. While you’re doing that, go ahead and start the sauce.

Heat butter in medium saucepan until melted, then add oregano, onion and a couple shakes of salt. Cook a bit then add garlic and cook a minute, then add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer for like 20 minutes until it reduces and isn’t runny. Make sure you stir it often so you don’t let the sauce stick (Goodfellas, anyone?). When it looks ready, take it off the burner and add the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Aron’s version has you “laminating the dough” and letting it rise again and folding it like an envelope and massaging it with butter and …

Whew. I just wait til it rises, punch it so it knows I’m boss, then split it in half and put it in 2 round pans coated with cooking spray. Here’s the important part, folks, so WAKE UP:

Put the cheese on NEXT. The beauty of this pizza is that the hot sauce goes over the cheese, and the cheese comes out fabulously melty and gooey! Let’s recap:





Cook at 400 degrees for 20-plus minutes. When you take it out of the oven, let it rest a few minutes before you cut it. It’s worked hard and needs a break. While it rests, go put on your big-girl or big-boy pants because you will be filling them out!

*Oops! I used rosemary instead of basil. Guess we don’t grow basil, but one of my homeschooling pals does and showed me the error of my ways! Rosemary was fine, but get some basil!
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