Best Deep Dish Pizza Recipe. Ever! And Holiday Challenge Update

Last weekend Tony said that he saw on America’s Test Kitchens the secret to Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.  It’s funny because the host went to Lou Malnati’s in Chicago to get their recipe for deep dish dough recipe, and they wouldn’t give it up – all he kept saying was that their crust was “buttery.”

So they went to the drawing board and came up with this recipe.  Holy Shizz you guys, if you’ve never made homemade pizza before, you have to make this.  If Tony and I had another set of hands we would have given this pizza four thumbs up.  The crust was slightly crisp on the botten, but tender and butter on the inside.

The sausage wasn’t greasy, the cheese was gooey and the sauce brought it all together.  Sadly most of my pictures were taken after the sun went down, so while I wish the photos were better, I hope this inspires you to make this pizza.

Makes two 9-inch pizzas, serving 4 to 6  (or in our case – 2 servings for 1 pizza!)

Ingredients

Dough
  • 3 1/4 cups (16 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces) yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water (10 ounces), room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, plus 4 tablespoons, softened
  • 1 teaspoon plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup grated onion , from 1 medium onion (note, we left this out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Table salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
Toppings
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese , shredded (about 4 cups) (we used sliced mozzarella, six slices covered the bottom of our pizza)
  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage (the original recipe was for cheese only – I can’t wait to make a deep dish spinach pizza!)
  • 1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Instructions
  • 1. FOR THE DOUGH: Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add water and melted butter and mix on low speed until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 5 minutes. (Dough will only pull away from sides while mixer is on. When mixer is off, dough will fall back to sides.)
  • 2. Using fingers, coat large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil, rubbing excess oil from fingers onto blade of rubber spatula. Using oiled spatula, transfer dough to bowl, turning once to oil top; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • 3. FOR THE SAUCE: While dough rises, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  • 4. TO LAMINATE THE DOUGH: Adjust oven rack to lower position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Using rubber spatula, turn dough out onto dry work surface and roll into 15- by 12-inch rec-tangle. Using offset spatula, spread softened butter over surface of dough, leaving 1/2-inch border along edges. Starting at short end, roll dough into tight cylinder. With seam side down, flatten cylinder into 18- by 4-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half crosswise. Working with 1 half, fold into thirds like business letter; pinch seams together to form ball. Repeat with remaining half. Return balls to oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in refrigerator until nearly doubled in volume, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • 5. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons olive oil each. Transfer 1 dough ball to dry work surface and roll out into 13-inch disk about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pan by rolling dough loosely around rolling pin and unrolling into pan. Lightly press dough into pan, working into corners and 1 inch up sides. If dough resists stretching, let it relax 5 minutes before trying again. Repeat with remaining dough ball.
  • 6. For each pizza, sprinkle 2 cups mozzarella evenly over surface of dough. Spread 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce over cheese and sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over sauce. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

I know the recipe seems really long, but it comes together pretty quickly.  Here are my crappy photos below:

Because of the butter in the dough, the bowl was squeeky clean:

While the dough rose the first time, I made the sauce.  I used to not like a chunky sauce.  In fact early in our marriage I made Tony puree just about everything – but now I love it!  I scored on this brand of tomatoes  – only .99 cents.

20 minutes later, I had this delicious sauce:

The first rise isn’t really noticable – that’s okay.

Now comes the fun part  . . . the butter!

Then roll it up jelly roll style:

Then roll that – then cut in half – see all the layers!

Then roll into two balls and let them rise in the fridge for 40 minutes.  Again, they didn’t rise that much, but that’s okay.

Whenever I use sausage for pizza, I always buy bulk sausage.  It’s ground a bit thicker and you don’t have any grizzle that you sometimes get using sausage in the casing.

Before putting the dough in the fridge for the second rise, heat the oven to 425 and put your rack on the lower third of your oven.  Roll out the dough and put it in a 9 inch cake pan, pushing the dough up the sides:

Thanks to Tony for taking these next few pics of me in pizza making action – you want to make sure that you press down the sausage so that it fully cooks.

Last touch . . . sprinkling Parmesan cheese over the top.

After 25 minutes:

I let it rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, I couldn’t wait any longer.  It came out with ease.

I intended to only eat one slice to save one to take a picture in better light this morning.  Um, that didn’t happen.  This is hands down the best homemade pizza I’ve ever made.  And I’ve made a lot of pizza on this blog the past 3 years. 😀

If you’ve made it down this far – thank you!  It’s also our weekly update for the Holiday Challenge.  I did not weigh in this week, and since I was not feeling that great the exercise went out the window.  I am starting to feel better and plan to get a long walk in this afternoon – perfect fall temperatures!!

How was your week . . . need some cheerleading or have something to celebrate??

Happy Sunday. . . I am about to get Bizzy in my kitchen – I’ve got a couple soups in the works and will be making banana sweet potato muffins.

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60 thoughts on “Best Deep Dish Pizza Recipe. Ever! And Holiday Challenge Update

  1. Mmmm that looks awesome! I want that sauce!! I ran a great 10k yesterday

  2. That pizza looks amazing!
    I’m doing ok in the challenge, again the weekends are hardest because we go out a lot……….had some wine and appetizers. But all in all I’ve done pretty good. I’m still doing some exercise TV workouts. Will try to improve this week!!! 🙂
    I will be bizzy in my kitchen too today making food for a friends memorial service. 😦 He loved food and I’m going to honor the hell out of him!

  3. HOLY CRAP that looks amazing!!! I wonder if it would work with whole wheat flour… I may just have to try that this week because honestly, nothing sounds better than deep dish pizza right now!

  4. Mmm looks delicious! We found some stuffed Chicago pizza here in the frozen section for J – spinach and garlic. He loves it!

    For the challenge I’ve been doing GREAT!! Haven’t weighed myself, but that’s ok. We rode our bikes 3.3 miles 3x this week. I did the shake weight a few times. And I bought slim fast to switch out a meal a day with that. It’s crunch time!!!

  5. You are amazing Bizzy. That’s a lot of work. We don’t eat it here, but I bet my family would love it.

    I am making your sauce for our regular pizza -dang that looks good.

    Hope all is well in Chicago land! Hugs to you my friend!

  6. Holy crap Biz! That crust sounds incredible. I am obsessed with deep dish pizza. I bet the buttery crust sent it over the top.

  7. That looks a lot like Emerils that I recently made….but I’ve got to try deep-dish again with sausage…..Yum!!!!

  8. I’m licking the screen! That looks incredible.

    As for the challenge…this week was a challenge in and of itself with the broken rib and all, but I’m feeling great. I’m in no pain unless I reach or turn the wrong way. I’m going to start exercising slowly this week beginning tomorrow. I have been tracking my calories to make sure I’m not overdoing it while inactive and so far so good. I haven’t weighed myself but plan to later in the week once I start moving again.

    I really appreciate the support from you Biz and some of the challenge participants. It definitely helped my spirits. Good luck this week.

  9. Your pizza looks scrumptious!

    Re: Holiday Challenge–I’ve been watching my food choices pretty carefully and staying completely away from Halloween candy. I’ve upped my weight lifting at the gym. All systems go!

    🙂 Marion

  10. That pizza looks amazing! …seriously now my veggie soup doesn’t sound nearly as good!

    For the challenge, I was kind of a mess…with my husband deploying in the middle of last week, all plans were kind of out the door. I did lose weight though, but that was more from stress and not eating rather than eating healthy and exercising. I’m so happy for a new week. I have lots of weight to lose before he gets home 🙂 My goal for this week is to drink at least 72 oz of water and walk every day.

  11. Oh my. Bizz, you have outdone yourself!!!!!!!!!!
    I ran 14 miles today. 🙂

  12. It’s so dang tempting but we’ve gone gluten free. If I had seen this before though—I’d be all over it! I’m going to pass it on to the lovelies so they can give it a go! Meanwhile, I’ll be making the gluten free pizza crust recipe that I found. Probably good but not fantastic like the one you made! BTW, my mouth is totally watering.

  13. Man oh man that pizza looks good! So good! I need to come out there and have you make me some 😀

  14. That pizza looks amazing, deep dish is the only way to go!

  15. Yum, all that butter in the crust sounds soooo good 🙂 I’ve never made a deep dish pizza and need to change that!

  16. I’ve lost my mojo and can’t seem to find. The challenge has been a bust for me so far. I don’t know what has happened and how to turn it aroung. 😦

  17. That pizza looks like it came from Old Town West Pizza! Nice job. I have that kind of pan too. Have to try that soon. Why do you have to use the rapid rise yeast, can you just use regular yeast??

    My challenge….I’ve had ups and downs, but since my car is broken, I have to walk everywhere so that’s helped a lot!

    • I don’t know, I buy yeast in the jar because its so much more cost effective – the packets of three not on sale are 1.99 – the jar costs $7, but you get like 30 servings out of it. 😀

  18. That looks tasty!

    This week I will get my eats in order. Ryan is finally joining me! Yay! I have the workout groove now to get the rest in order! I will also drink more water- always a challenge!

  19. You had me at butter!!!! Yum!

    I’ve had a pretty rough hormonal week including lots and lots of eating. But tomorrow’s the start of a new week and I’m ready to get back on track! 🙂

  20. Is Chicago Deep Dish Pizza really saucy? It seems like it would be. I like the idea of all those delicious fillings, but I’m so not a pizza sauce person, so I wonder if I would even like it?

    • That’s just the thing, you can make it as saucy or not as saucy as you want – we probably only had about 3/4 of a cup layer on the top and we both thought it was the perfect ratio. 😀

  21. I have no stop button when it comes to pizza so I’m better off just not to have it in the house.. Boo Hoo!! The idea of my friend and I journaling everything we ate this week and then exchanging our journals really seemed to help so we are doing it again this week. Without saying anything to each other we both added the weight watcher points to our journals. Great minds think alike =). We both lost about 2 pounds. She is much better with exercising than I am so I need to step up with that.

  22. I don’t see any WW points for that pizza! More than a stick of butter? Loaded with sausage and cheese? I’m sure it tasted awesome but it looks like a heart attack on a plate to me. I don’t know exactly why but seeing this makes me sad.You know I think you’re awesome but I love your healthy recipes better 😀
    I had a busy, but good week. I need to drink more water so I’m really going to concentrate on that this week

    • Well the old me used to eat Burger King for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch, KFC for dinner, and then maybe have a late nigh snack of frozen pizza and ice cream. And I wonder how I weighed 210 pounds!

      So a once in a while treat, while not the healthiest, is okay in my book. 😀

  23. Holl hellz for that pizza! I’ve never had a deep dish pizza before…this will have to be my first!

    Holiday Challenge!
    My week was good. Some back problems kept me from working out, but the one day I was feeling good I made the hubby come with me for a quick run/walk. Toss Natie in the stroller & we had a great family outing!
    Sadly – I haven’t been weighing myself. I say sadly because though I’m enjoying the break, I fear the end result! (a gain!)

  24. that looks really good…but labor intensive! i’m not sure if i could go through all those steps when grilling pizza is just so darn easy 🙂

    but i’m still starring your recipe…maybe one day!

  25. I “pinned” this on Pinterest in my recipes to try folder. It looks delish!

  26. Wow, I am speechless over that pizza. I want it now. And then I saw Mara make it and decided the three of us need to have a pizza party!!

    Last week was really rough, but this week is a new one! I’m ready to do and feel better!

  27. […] made Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Saturday night – as a total coincidence, so did […]

  28. Yes!!! This is the BEST pizza I ever made! The crust was off the chart! Everyone loved it!
    I made pizza crust and dough in the past, even brought some from the stores , I SUCK, but this one made me a winner.
    Making two tomorrow. One sausage, onion and peppers and the other broccoli and veggies!

  29. […] know the steps to this recipe seem long, but there really isn’t a whole lot of hands on time – you just need to plan ahead a bit for […]

  30. […] I have probably the best potato soup I’ve ever made for lunch today – come back tomorrow for the recipe!  And tonight’s dinner?  Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza! […]

  31. […] late breakfast, neither of us has any lunch, so I felt I could splurge with deep dish pizza!  Here is the recipe for it – I know it sounds long and complicated, but it […]

  32. […] If you haven’t attempted to make Chicago style deep dish pizza at home, this is the recipe to make.  It sounds long and complicated, but it’s really super easy.  You can find the recipe here.  […]

  33. […] year when I first made my Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, the very day Mara read that post she made it that night!  So when she left me this comment on […]

  34. […] Best Deep Dish Pizza.  Okay, long time readers know I love pizza.  A lot.  But last December pizza making […]

  35. […] made Biz’s Deep Dish Pizza this week to use our sauce.  It was […]

  36. Maybe I missed it but,

    Since it makes two 9″ pans. If you make both at the same time, with all the ingredients, and then freeze one. At what tempurature and lenth of time should it cook?

    • I have never frozen one. I just made one, and left the second dough in the fridge, the dough lasts up to two weeks. I would guess I would cook it at about 25 degrees less, and cook 15 minutes longer.

  37. […] still had dough leftover from last week, so I made another deep dish pizza for dinner Saturday night – one piece was plenty for both of […]

  38. […] to make a traditional pizza dough.  I usually go with my no-rise pizza dough, or use my deep-dish pizza for the dough, even if I am making a thin […]

  39. I’ve made this pizza twice and it is easy and tastes great! My only recommendation is to use sliced mozzarella as it melts much better than shredded.

  40. […] You can find the step by step instructions here – it’s not as complicated as it looks.  It’s just an America’s Test Kitchen recipe so it’s super detailed. […]

  41. […] I have to start getting productive.  I need to make deep dish pizza dough since I am making deep dish pizza for our friends tonight.  And my kitchen floor looks like I haven’t mopped it in a year when […]

  42. […] dough’s at home – one thin crust for the kids (well, the baby doesn’t eat pizza yet!) and my deep dish pizza.   And then brought everything with me to assemble once I got […]

  43. The ATK recipe doesn’t even come close to the real thing. In the first place, there is no cornmeal is authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. No need for butter–the buttery taste comes from corn oil and a lot more of it than you have here (3 tablespoons per cup of flour). Also, the biscuit-like texture of Chicago deep dish derives from a short knead time (2 minutes), so there is no need for lamination. If you want to mimic Lou Malnati’s, you need to use whole tomatoes drained and crushed.

  44. […] ended up making the deep dish pizza dough yesterday morning before work.   I just left it on the counter to rise all day.  I […]

  45. […] recipe, so while the instructions seem long and complicated, it’s actually really easy.  The full recipe is on this blog post.  And I can’t believe I first made this nearly two years […]

  46. […] gets about 200 hits a day during football season.   My second most popular post is my Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza.   Both of which I forgot to mention because I was a bit nervous having a microphone in […]

  47. While your end result looks appetizing, I can tell you this. Lou’s crust has only 5 ingredients in this order – Flour, water, corn oil, olive oil and yeast. That has been confirmed from a friend who works at one of their locations. It also doesn’t rise and puff out that much along the edges, its flat and crisp not bread-like.

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