Some may say that Naples, the hometown of pizza, has the best pizza you can find on earth. Others will argue and say that Chicago style deep dish pizza is far better. It’s up to you to decide which one is your favorite. If you voted for the latter, you’re on the right page!
Nothing can compare to the flaky crust and abundance of marinara sauce in a Chicago style deep dish pizza. The pizza gains its name from the city of its origin – Chicago. It is prepared in a deep dish (duh), allowing lots of space for cheese and tomato sauce. If you’re in the mood for a hefty meal, this will fill you right up.
How to make Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza?
1.Combine your flour, cornmeal, yeast, salt, and sugar using a stand mixer on low speed.
Add in your water and melted butter, and mix.
Scrape the sides of the wall and give the dough another mix on low.
Knead the dough on medium speed until it’s smooth, for about 5 minutes.
Coat the insides of a large mixing bowl in olive oil.
Transfer the dough to the mixing bowl, coat it in oil, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit for an hour.
While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the pizza sauce in a saucepan. Combine olive oil with butter, minced onion, red pepper, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes and sugar. Wait until the mixture starts to simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add basil and olive oil. Cover the pan.
Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees.
Roll your dough into a rectangle.
Spread softened butter over the dough, leave half an inch of space along the edges.
Roll the dough into a tight cylinder from the short end.
Create a ball and put it in the oiled bowl.
Cover the ball with plastic wrap and let it rise in the fridge for 45 minutes.
While the dough is rising, sauté chunks of Italian sausage in a skillet until cooked. Drain.
Get a 9” skillet or cake pan and coat it with olive oil.
Roll the dough ball into a round disk.
Transfer the disk to the skillet and press it in. Make sure the dough reaches all around the walls of the skillet.
Put shredded mozzarella in the skillet and cover it with pizza sauce. Sprinkle the Italian sausage on top, along with olives and parmesan.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Let the pizza cool for 10 minutes and serve!
Is deep dish pizza easy to make?
Not exactly. This recipe has 24 steps for a reason. If you’ve never made a pizza before, you might find it quite difficult. Even if you are a skilled professional, it will take a significant amount of time. But, that’s not a reason not to try it!
Can you substitute some other protein for the sausage?
Yes, of course! You are welcome to use another protein or meat substitute if you prefer. Ham and bacon do really well in a Chicago style deep dish pizza. You can also spring for regular grilled chicken or meatballs. Even ground beef will do just fine!
What else can you add to a Chicago style deep dish pizza?
The flavor of a Chicago style deep dish pizza is very specific, so you have to be careful with new additions. Some vegetables that will complement the taste are jalapeños, spinach, mushrooms, and red onion.
- For the Dough:
- 1 ⅓ cups warm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine salt
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, or as needed, divided
- 4 cups pizza sauce, or to taste
- For the Fillings/Toppings (in Order of Application):
- 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 4 ounces shredded part-skim, low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, mix the flour, corn meal, salt, yeast and sugar until blended. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons room temperature water and mix until combined. If the dough seems dry, add an additional tablespoon or two of water. The dough should feel soft and very slightly sticky, not stiff or dry.
Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil in a clean bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl, turning to coat all over with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until puffy.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 9x12-inch rectangle. Spread 2 tablespoons of butter over the surface of the dough. Starting at the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder.
Place the cylinder with the seam side up, press it flat, and fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Shape into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook the sausage until no longer pink, breaking it up with a fork or rubber spatula to crumble it. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Set the oven at 425°F. Generously spray a 9x2-inch cake pan with vegetable oil.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit it into the cake pan, pressing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Once the dough has relaxed, press it again into the sides of the pan to keep it from shrinking when it is baked. Layer the cheese slices on the bottom, top with the cooked and crumbled sausage, and spread the sauce over the top of the pie. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust browns and the filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the sauce to settle before gently removing it from the pan in one piece, or slice and serve it from the pan. To remove in one piece, run a knife around the circumference of the pan. Carefully slide a wide, thin spatula under the dough and lift it out of the pan. Transfer it to a large plate.
Make Ahead Tips and Tricks To refrigerate the dough: After laminating (step 3), the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Let it come to room temperature (about 1 hour) before rolling. To freeze the dough: Before rolling wrap the dough in a double layer of plastic for up to 2 months or you could roll it and freeze it flat on a sheet pan, and when completely frozen, wrap it well in double layers of plastic. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour before rolling. To refrigerate or freeze the sauce: Store the sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.