Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Pizza Dough:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP corn meal (Optional)
¾ cup hot water from tap (100+ degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp Rapid Rise Instant Yeast
(spray water bottle)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix good with a large baking spatula. As you mix and roll the dough ball in the bowl lightly spray with the spray water bottle to make sure all the dried flour is absorbed by water. When done, cover the ball of flour in the bowl with plastic wrap and leave on the counter at least 3 hours. The idea is to create a moist atmosphere where the yeast can work through the dough. When ready to knead the dough, place the dough on a large floured board. Flour the top of the dough ball and knead into a smooth, firm ball. Add flour so the ball become less sticky.

Note: I stated corn meal is optional. I like the Bobby Flay recipe that only calls for flour. But, some dough enthusiast like to add corn meal and consider that the original version. I’m sure back in the day folks only had flour and oil. Keep it simple – back in the day simple…When ready to roll, flour a board and roll the dough to the size that will fit your pan.

Iron Skillet:
1 TBSP olive oil
I will use my grandma’s 100 year old iron skillet. Some like to use glassware. Oil the pan.
Note: The idea with this deep dish pizza is to make a focaccia bread with a bunch of pizza toppings versus the typical thin crust pizza. Look at this like an artisan bread pizza.

Toppings:
• Pizza cheese (minimum mozzarella)
• ( diced tomatoes – optional)
• Jar of tomato sauce, I used Ragu Old World Style tomato sauce
• 1 stick sweet Italian sausage from the deli, skinned, cut small, rolled into balls and half cooked in a non-stick fry pan w/olive oil, the remainder will cook in the oven
• Sliced pepperoni, I used pre-sliced for pizza
• ¼ green bell pepper, cut thin on a cutting mandolin setting 2
• ¼ red bell pepper, cut thin on a cutting mandolin setting 2
• ¼ yellow bell pepper, cut thin on a cutting mandolin setting 2
• ½ small onion, cut thin on a cutting mandolin setting 2
• 5 small white mushrooms, cut thin on a cutting mandolin setting 2
• Pre-sliced black olives

Place dough in skillet, add the toppings and bake 35 minutes in a 450° oven. Serve


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