Deep Dish Pizza

In all my baking years, I've never made deep dish pizza. When we lived in Evanston, we used to frequent Giordano's for a sausage "topped" deep dish. These things are built upside down and are a hearty meal indeed. I used essentially Emeril's recipe with a few modifications. I didn't have any semolina flour on hand and left it out. I will repeat it including the semolina. But, duty calls, it's Friday night and the gang demands pizza. Also, my pizza sauce is much simpler and milder than the sauce of that wild man "Bamming!" everything in sight. He's a scary man.

water, cold, 200 g
olive oil, 25 g
salt, 5 g
honey, 5-10 g
unbleached white flour, 300 g
Fleischmann's instant active dry yeast, 2 t
Kneaded 5-6 minutes in my bread machine, rounded the dough and let sit in the fridge. I did this the night before we used it.

My Thick Sauce
Simmered "6-in-1" brand chopped tomatoes, a couple slivers garlic, olive oil (ca. 1-2 T), oregano, salt and pepper. There is always a stash of this in my freezer. I use a pretty thick brand of tomatoes and usually don't use paste. If the brand of tomatoes used is thin, just cook it down.

Assembly of Pizza
The oven was preheated to 450F (I always preheat excessively). The dough (about 500 g) was warmed about an hour. I punched it down and let it sit on the counter in a squat ca. 8" disc covered with a moist towel for about 20 minutes. It was then stretched to a 14-15" circle. I chose a heavy duty aluminum 10" diameter cake pan. Because of the high temperature and long duration baking (450F/30 minutes), I thought a dark pan would burn the crust; hence, the choice of shiny aluminum. The dough was draped over the pan and allowed to come over the edge a bit. I let it rest again for a few minutes and began topping in this order: sliced mozzarella, crumbled sweet Italian sausage (raw), tomato sauce and parmesan cheese and baked it in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. I originally intended to use 400 grams of dough per 10" pie but ended up using the full 500 grams. That resulted in the huge wave-like crust. Next time I might end the crust at the pan's edge.

I've been known to take freshly baked bread and launch it out the back door when I'm not pleased with the results. This was not one of those occasions. Trish, Frankie and I attacked this with a small salad on the side and there was some left over. I thought it was pretty awesome. Too much crust and all. Next time, I'll use less dough (like I mentioned earlier) and also use the semolina flour that was called for in the original recipe. I suspect that will result in a more appropriate crackly-crisp crust. But overall, a success. Wish you could've joined us.


Anonymous said...

How did the raw sausage work out for you?

The pizza looks awesome! Never thought about making a 'deep dish' at home. Think I may have to try this out this week.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Eric. The raw sausage worked just fine. Because it was cooked for so long (my thin pizzas are only baked about 9 minutes) I had no concerns. And, boy it was good. Definitely worth a shot.