Next time a craving for pizza takes over skip the local pizza place, forget the boxed cardboard frozen stuff and make your own! Thick crust that is loaded with toppings, cheese and tomatoes. Baked to gooey perfection. Forget traditional crust and make this Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
Where we live we are about 2 hours from many major cities. That means we can stay home or go visit Indianapolis, Detroit, Toledo (their craft beer scene is awesome~I highly suggest giving it a try) or Chicago. While we don’t hit Chicago very often we were able for a time to get real deep dish at a Gino’s East location that they had about a half hour from us in Granger, Indiana. Sadly though it closed. So it was up to make the thick pizza that I loved so much! Other than the sausage that comes on an authentic Gino’s East, which is amazing, I think I pulled it off a pretty good copycat.
Start off with your crust. This recipe is very similar to my White Chicken Pizza with Basil & Blackberry Sauce with the exception of reducing the flour and adding cornmeal to the dough. It gives it that crunchy texture that most deep dish pizzas have. Gather your ingredients….
Mix yeast, water & honey together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. You should see bubbles are formed on the top of the water/yeast mixture. Now add the flour, honey & salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a spatula then complete by hand. After it has formed a ball cover with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Put a towel over the bowl and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
Once the dough has risen uncover and place on a floured surface. Roll with a rolling pin to almost double the size of your pan so there is plenty to go around the deep edges of a greased springform pan. Place the dough into the pan cinching edges as not to overlap over the top of the pan. Brush crust with 2 Tbs. melted butter all over then place in a preheated 375 degree oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. Take out of the oven and now it’s time to load it up! Layer cheese, filling, more cheese then top with the drained tomatoes. It’s very important that the tomatoes are drained because you don’t want the juice making your crust soggy.
My filling is a combination of Italian sausage, hamburger, mushrooms, green peppers, olives, onions, garlic cloves mixed with Italian seasonings and tomato paste. I will put the full ingredients below but this is your pizza please add whatever you like! A great crust, lots of cheese and the crushed tomatoes really are what make a deep dish what it is. A blank slate to add whatever toppings you like. Once all your layers are on place in your oven that is already preheated at 375 degrees. And here you are….
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!
Thank you Coleen of The Red Headed Baker for hosting this week! Need more pizza inspiration? Here are 50+ more recipes to check out….
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I first made this Gnocchi, Sausage & Spinach Soup recipe as something quick to take my best friend who was sick in the hospital. I was originally going to make a pasta dish with most of these ingredients but adjusted it on the fly to make the ultimate ‘comfort food’ soup to take to her so she could skip the hospital food. I’m glad I did because it has become something that I now make, a lot.
The topping on this is homemade croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan. The croutons give it really good crunch. They are so easy to make so I almost always double the batch to have them on hand for salads.
So gather your ingredients and let’s get started!
First, let’s make the croutons so that they can cook while you whip the soup up. I purchased these 2 buns at my local store. **Tip: You know those leftover one off buns that you always end up with after eating brats or hot dogs? I keep a large freezer bag and add those to it when I get them and freeze them. When I want to make croutons I take out whatever amount I need defrost them to make this.
Cut the bread up into chunks and pour the oil & spice over the top. Use your hands to combine all the goodness.
Spread on a baking sheet and pop into the oven at 350 degrees. Takes about 20 minutes. I just leave it in the oven to let it chill out and they are usually perfect if I take them out when I’m done making this soup.
Now onto the soup. Start by melting half of the butter in a large stockpot, adding the onions and cook until softened. Add garlic now—not before it will brown to fast and get bitter.
Now add your sausage and cook until browned. This right here I could just eat with a spoon. Forget the other stuff!
Oh, but the other stuff is so good. Once the sausage is cooked I usually either drain this on a plate with a paper towel or drain in colander. I DO NOT drain out all of the oil, I leave a little bit in the bottom and add then put the spinach into the pot. I now also add the other half of my butter.
Flick a couple times with the spoon. That is literally how fast this cooks.
Chop up your tomato and add to the pot. Add your sausage back in.
You’re almost done. See how quick that was! Now just add the water, chicken bouillon and gnocchi. Bring your pot to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Now add your parmesan and take the croutons out of the oven.
Serve it up and add croutons & additional parmesan. And here you are……
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!