Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago style deep dish pizza is every cheese pizza lovers' dream come true! It's more like a pie than a pizza. There are various pizza crusts in the United States. NY style pizza has a thin crust, St. Louis style pizza has a cracker like crust and Chicago style pizza has a thick crust with lots of stuffing and cheese and another layer of crust on top.

I followed my usual Bob's Red Mill recipe for making pizza crust but I made 2 stuffed pizzas using a pie plate. I made my own veggie stuffing. This recipe is entirely my experiment so there are no claims for authenticity. It is based on my take on the famous Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza that we tasted in Chicago. This pizza - unlike my version below - had a thin layer of tomato paste on the top crust along with some sliced tomatoes and black olives. Also, it was lot deeper than mine![Scroll below to see the picture of the famous Chicago style pizza right from Chicago!]

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
Pizza Dough

For the stuffing
1 tbsp oil
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
1/3 cup finely chopped bell pepper
9-10 white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded fresh spinach
 pizza sauce in a jar [I used classico 14oz jar]
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp shredded fresh basil leaves
salt to taste
Shredded Mozzarella cheese, as needed
Shredded Pizza cheese, as needed

1. Proceed to make pizza dough as described here. Cover and let it rise. Punch the dough down and cut it into 4 parts. Cover and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan. Saute garlic and onion till they are soft. Add turmeric powder - if using
3. Add bell peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes.
4. Add mushroom & spinach. Saute for 10 minutes.
5. Add Italian seasoning, pizza sauce and salt to taste - remember that the pizza sauce already has salt.
6. Simmer the sauce on a low flame till it thickens up.

7. Add basil leaves. Let it cool down completely before using
8. Spray some oil onto a pie plate. Preheat oven 350F
9.  Roll one ball of dough so its diameter is larger than that of the pie plate. Make sure that the remaining balls are covered so they do not dry up.
10. Place the rolled dough onto the pie plate, taking care to cover the sides of the pie plate.
11. Spread some cheese on top.
12. Now spread about half of the stuffing. Spread more cheese on top. Make sure that the stuffing and cheese do not overcrowd the sides of the pie plate.

13. Roll another dough ball. Plate it carefully on the stuffing.
14. Pinch the rolled dough around the circumference so the stuffing is completely enclosed.

15. Prick some holes in the center of the pizza top so there is some way the steam escapes.
16. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 - 45 minutes. Keep a close eye after 30 minutes.
17. Take out pizza. Let it cool down a bit before cutting into "pie" slices using a sharp knife.

18. Serve immediately.
19. Repeat steps 9 - 18 for the second pizza "pie".

Note -
1. If you prefer a spicier version, you could add some crushed red peppers into the stuffing.
2.  Turmeric powder is obviously an Indian touch, which is added for its antioxidant properties. It is completely optional.
3. This recipe gives 2 deep dish pizzas of usual pie size diameter.
4. For authentic flavor, spread some pizza sauce without vegetables on the pizza pie after it comes out of the oven. Place some sliced tomatoes and black olives before serving.
5. In order to get a glaze for the crust, whisk 1 egg white and 1 tbsp water. Paint it on the top of the pizza pie using a pastry brush, before baking.
Chicago Style Deep Dish veggie Pizza from Chicago
Giovanni's Chicago Style Pizza

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