There is nothing quite like a Chicago style deep dish pizza, thick, chewy and upside down.
What Makes Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza So Amazing
What’s not to love about Chicago style deep dish pizza? First, it’s unconventional, at least to anyone who lives outside of Chicago. That’s because it assembled in a different order than non-Chicago style pizza. It goes crust, olive oil, cheese, toppings then sauce. Yep, the sauce is on top and that is a big part of what makes it so good.
Chicago style deep dish pizza crust is unlike any other pizza crust. It’s thick, flaky, crunch, chewy and SO good. The dough has butter which makes is folded into the do much like a croissant. That makes it flaky with a buttery taste. It also has cornmeal which provide a ton of texture and crunch.
I’m a big fan of grated mozzarella mixed with a little asiago and some fontina on most pizzas. For a Chicago style deep dish pizza, I’m a purist. Shredded mozzarella is all I need. In fact, many Chicagoans believe mozzarella is the ONLY cheese that should ever go into a pizza.
I like pepperoni on a pizza, and I like to cut it myself on a meat slicer. First, I think it just taste fresher that way. Second, I can control the thickness of the slice. When I’m making a Neapolitan style pizza in a wood-burning oven, I need thicker pepperoni. Why? Because thin pepperoni cannot stand up to the 850˚ F heat, not even for 90 seconds. Whether you slice your pepperoni or not, or prefer some other topping, it goes on next. That’s right, toppings go on the cheese BELOW the sauce. Just keep building your pizza. It’s truly worth it.
The thick, flavorful sauce used on a Chicago style deep dish pizza is truly something special. I make a lot of pizza and most of the pizzas that I make use a this sauce with just a few ingredients, like San Marzano tomatoes and sea salt. That sauce is thin but works well for Neapolitan style pizza. A Chicago style pizza is entirely different. The sauce is part of the taste experience and it is typically thick and rich. The onion and garlic add flavor and texture while the spices and red pepper flakes at character and dimension. This sauce is so good you will want to eat it with a spoon. But save it for the top of the pizza.
Add a little parmesan, and your pizza and ready for the oven.
Some Similar Dishes
Here are some similar dishes to try:
- Chicken Calzone
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza
- Pan Pizza
- Pizza Dough for a Conventional Oven
- Pizza Dough for a Wood-Fired Oven
Watch the video on YouTube
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in a Wood-Fired Oven
- 12 grams fine sea salt
- 300 ml water 95 degrees F
- 17 grams instant dried yeast
- 50 grams cornmeal
- 57 grams unsalted butter 4 tbs, melted
- 406 grams Caputo “00” Chef Flour or all purpose flour
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 yellow onion small, minced
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned
- 8 oz low-fat Mozzarella cheese
- 4 oz Asiago cheese
- 2 oz pepperoni sliced
- 1 oz Pecorino Romano or Parmesan grated
- Add the sea salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water and swirl around until dissolved. Add the yeast and wait 15 seconds. Swirl the mixture to dissolve the yeast. Add the cornmeal, melted butter and flour. Mix on a stand mixer using a dough hook on slow speed until the dough comes together, about 7 minutes. Scrape down the bowl several times while mixing. Coat the bottom of a large bowl with a little olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Rotate the dough several times to coat and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for one hour.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter until the butter melts. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the salt, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes, garlic and sugar. Stir well. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir again. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
- After the dough has rested, place the dough onto a clean countertop and roll into an 18 x 12″ rectangle. Spread the remaining softened butter over the dough. Starting at a short end roll the dough into a cylinder and place seam side down on the counter. Flatten the dough into a 4″ x 18″ rectangle. Turn the dough over seam side up. Roll the right 1/3 of the dough over the center then roll the left 1/3 of the dough over the center (in thirds). Turn the ball over again and roll on the countertop to tighten the dough ball. Make sure the seam on the bottom is sealed and pinch closed if necessary. Return the ball to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- Coat the inside of a 12 inch deep dish pizza pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roll the dough ball into a 15 inch round disc on the countertop, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Place the pizza pan on top of the dough to make sure the size is right. The dough should extend an inch or so around the pizza pan. Roll the dough loosely around the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared pizza pan. Unroll the dough and press into the pan making sure the corners are pushed down. There should be approximately 1 inch of dough rising up the side of the pan. Lightly brush the rim of the dough with a little olive oil. Spread the mozzarella and asiago cheese evenly over the dough though add pepperoni evenly on top of the cheese. Spoon the sauce over the pepperoni. Sprinkle the Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese on top of the sauce.
- Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until golden brown. Let the pizza cool for about 10 minutes before cutting. This pizza reheats well. Just place a slice on a piece of foil in a 300 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.