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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Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Deep Dish Crust
- 1 cup warm water 90 degrees
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbs butter melted to brush over crust
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage
- 1/2 pound ground hamburger
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 small green pepper chopped
- 3 Tbs tomato paste, Italian season
- 8 ounce sliced mushrooms
- 2.25 ounces black olives
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 Tbs italian herbs
- 8 ounces shredded italian cheese halved
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes, italian style drained very well
Deep Dish Crust
- Mix yeast, water & honey together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. Add 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.
- Brown sausage and hamburger. Add onions, green peppers, olives, mushroom and garlic. Cook all together the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
- Add in tomato paste, Italian herbs and sugar. Take off heat. Add to pizza in a thick layer.
- Take crust out of oven. Load with layers like this: -1/2 Cheese -Filling -Remaining Cheese -Drained tomatoes
- Once all your layers are on place in your oven that is already preheated at 375 degrees.
- Cut into 8 pieces and enjoy!