Chicago Style Pizza

I remember the first time I saw Chicago Style Pizza.  On "Man vs. Food."  Yes, I'm an Adam Richman junkie.  BUT, in my defense, some of the best places I've eaten at have been on his show.  The minute I saw this bohemith of a pie, I knew I had to try my hand at it.  First things first, I had to get my hands on a deep dish pizza pan.  And I wanted one that had been used.  I think it's the only thing I've bought for my kitchen that has been used.  I hopped on Ebay and found one that had been used by a pizza place back East.  Nice and seasoned.

Then, I went on a mission to create the best deep dish crust.  First trial - fail, to chewy.  Second trial - EPIC fail, burned.  Third trial - combined the first two with a little tweaking and I got a winner!  This dough is so nice and buttery, not too heavy with a little crisp to it.  Load it up with cheese then toppings.  Then the sauce.  It's not your typical pizza sauce.  Chunks of tomatoes.  It just makes the whole thing rich and yummy.  One slice will do.  I promise.

Oh, word to the wise, don't try to roll out this crust.  Seriously, work with your hands.  Go to the sink, wash them well because you are going to be elbow deep into this deep dish pizza.  Don't be afraid of overworking it.  I seriously spend most of the assembly time just getting the dough settled into the pan.  But it's so worth it.

Chicago Style Pizza



2 cups water
2 tsp. yeast
2 tsp. sugar
3 tsp. salt
4-5 cups bread flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cornmeal


4 cups finely shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced olives
2 cups diced grilled chicken


2 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
1 jar pizza sauce


1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar.  Allow yeast to activate.

2. Add salt and olive oil.  Add flour, starting with 3 cups.  Mix until incorporated.  Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough is elastic and smooth.  Place in large bowl, sprayed with cooking spray and covered with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rest for 2-4 hours or until doubled.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle cornmeal in deep dish pizza pan.  Place dough in pan, spreading to edges with your fingers.  Press dough up the sides of the pan.

4. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over dough.  Then add the toppings.  Finally, combine diced tomatoes with pizza sauce and spread over top.

5. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is browned.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8