Buttery crust, chunky sauce, and a ton of mozzarella make this Chicago-style deep dish pizza a culinary crush. Best of all the crust requires no rising!
I’ve never been to Chicago and up until a couple of years ago the only type of deep dish pizza I’d ever had was from chain restaurants. Not great. But after seeing an episode on Food Network dedicated to Chicago’s most appreciated contribution to the foodie world, I had to get my hands on an authentic recipe. I sampled a couple that turned out great. This one is a blend of 3 or 4 recipes/methods to accommodate my particular needs. I’m certain you’ll enjoy.
Making Chicago deep dish pizza
One thing you need to know about me is that I’m 110% about finding the most efficient less tasking and time reserving way to do life. I ain’t got time for hours in the kitchen unless absolutely necessary. If I can shorten time on any9thing, best believe I will find a way. Introduce Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast. This little package reduced my recipe time by a few hours. No rising time needed!!!! No seriously. Mix. Roll. Bake. That is all.
Through my research, I’ve found that there are three elements to make a perfect Chicago-style deep dish. 1. A buttery crust, 2. A mountain of mozzarella, and 3. A chunky sauce. This dough is kneaded with butter and brushed with butter. It’s buttery for sure.
I use a pound of whole milk mozzarella balls. You can buy them in the cheese isle of most grocery stores. They often come packed in water or oil. The one I used was vacuumed packed from Aldi. It makes a good cheese pull.
The sauce is literally the topping on the cake or pie in this case. It’s thick, spicy, not too saucy, and just incredible. Be generous with it especially if you choose to add the sausage and peppers. A double batch wouldn’t be a bad idea if you like saucy pizza. I would probably use a third of the second batch personally but you judge how much you like; no right or wrong.
Whether or not you add meat is to your discretion. We like a super crispy sausage with green peppers and onion. Add it or don’t but you will not be disappointed if you do. I use a nice ground Italian sausage roll. A spicy version would be my preference but you know, kids. Brown the sausage first then add the veggies so that it all cooks down to a good crisp.
To assemble the pizza you have to know that the Chicago-Style is unique in that the cheese goes on the bottom. Followed by any toppings you choose them the sauce. Any other way makes it something else. Douse it with grated parm and bake until the crust is golden, the sauce is thickened, and the cheese is oozing.
Quick baking tip
A quick baking tip: aluminum foil around the edges. If your oven is as temperamental as mine you may need to protect your crust. I rolled this one a little wider than I need so it cause the dough to rise a little higher than normal. That’s not a bad thing. It just needs a little assistants. About 1/2 way through baking remove it from the oven and tent the edges with strips of foil. Continue baking as directed.
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- 2 c bread flour plus more for rolling
- 1/2 c yellow cornmeal plus more for the pan
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 pk Fleischmann’s pizza crust yeast
- 1 c hot water 130 degrees
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter softened
- 3/4 lb mild Italian sausage
- 1 c white mushrooms chopped
- 1 c green pepper diced
- 1/2 c white onion diced
- 2 tbsp garlic grated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 28 oz petite dice tomatoes canned with juiced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp garlic grated
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb mozzarella equivalent to 4 cups
- 1/2 c grated parmesan
- To a large mixing bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and yeast and blend well. Using dough hook attachments pour the olive oil and water into the dry blend and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together.
- Once the dough is formed add one tablespoon of butter at a time to the dough keeping the same mixer speed. Keep mixing for 2-3 minutes after the last piece of butter. The dough should be smooth and stretchy.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 12 inch round. Use a rolling pin to lift the dough onto a *buttered and cornmeal dusted 12 inch cast iron skillet. Be sure to press the dough into the pan bottom and sides to release air pockets. Brush with more butter.
- Heat one table spoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and brown the sausage. When the meat is fully cooked add the mushroom, peppers, onion, and garlic. Season with the salt, basil, and oregano.
- Mix well and allow it to cook covered over low heat for 20 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking by giving it a good stir then recover. Meat should be crisp and the vegetables should be slightly caramelized. Set aside for assembling.
- Pour the contents of 2 14 ounce or 1 28 ounce can of petite diced roma tomatoes including the liquid into a saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Turn the heat to medium and allow the sauce to bubble. Drop the heat to simmer and allow it to cook for 30 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. The sauce will thicken and become glossy. Remove from the heat and set it aside.
- Assemble & Bake
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place one pound of fresh mozzarella cheese onto the crust. Top with the cooked sausage and peppers. Spread the sauce onto the sausage. Sprinkle with grated parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Edges should golden brown.