Deep Dish Pizza

dsc_0073RECIPE #392, DAY #568

THREE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Deep-Dish Pizza,” from Food Network Magazine, October 2016*

TIMING: 2 1/2 hours, but the dough seemed rushed to me

DIFFICULTY: Bread can be intimidating, but it’s not that hard

TOOLS: A round cake pan, a stand mixer with dough hook…

COOK TYPE: Stovetop and oven

HEALTH: This pizza has way more cheese than the average, as well as a white flour crust (which is normal). Pizza is nice, though, because it can include your grain and protein and veggies all in one package. With a salad, it’s not a bad Friday night dinner, really. But I do recommend homemade and bursting with a little meat and plenty of veggies.
dsc_0075EXPERIENCE: Let’s establish a couple things. 1) Deep dish pizza is almost not a pizza. It’s more of a bread, cheese, and tomato casserole. I find it’s best to think of it that way. 2) This is the order that you layer a deep dish pizza: dough, cheese, topping, sauce, Parmesan. Okay. Moving on.

I rated this a 3 because I thought the sauce was great but the crust was way too dense (and there was just too much of it). It was also desperate for some toppings/fillings, like pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, and onion. I added the toppings to the recipe, but I did not change the crust. Perhaps you will have better luck with it, or you may want to look further for a better deep dish crust: one that is lighter in every way.

NOTES: I wonder about a few things. Butter? Cornmeal in the crust? Not proofing the yeast? Any of these things–as well as a mistake by me (like bad yeast of a drafty kitchen)–could be the problem with the dough.

***

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together 2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 1/2 tablespoons fine cornmeal, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon safflower oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast. Mix on medium until dough comes together. You may need to sprinkle on an extra tablespoon or 2 of warm water, but don’t overdo it.
  2. Knead on low for 5 minutes.
  3. Place dough ball in an oiled bowl and lightly oil the top of the ball. Cover and place in a warm area with no drafts. Let rise for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, warm 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 pressed garlic clove and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add 15 ounces tomato puree, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and simmer until thickened, maybe 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 425F.
  6. Liberally oil a round cake pan with olive oil. Press your risen dough into the pan, cover, and let rise another 15 minutes.
  7. Punch dough down and press up the sides of the pans, creating the shape of the crust, nice and high. Line the bottom of the pizza with 12 ounces sliced mozzarella. Cover with a layer of pepperoni, then a layer of sauteed and seasoned onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Pour on the sauce, without going over the top of the crust.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, until completely cooked through.
  9. Let sit for 15 minutes, sprinkle with Parmesan, then transfer to a cutting board and slice up into gooey wedges.

***

Serve with a green salad and a can of your favorite soda.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Honestly, I’m not sure what to do. This original recipe made 2 pies, and I wrapped the extra in plastic and froze it. We’ll see how that works out.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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