How to Make Deep-Dish Pizza
By: Chef Cristian Feher
Deep dish pizza is an American favorite. If you have ever waited 45 minutes at Pizza Uno on a windy Chicago day, you know it was worth every minute!
Some say deep-dish is the best kind of pizza there is. Others claim it's not pizza at all. I've even heard it described as a "casserole", which I suppose, is technically correct. But everyone can agree, that a deep-dish Chicago-style pizza is something you have to experience.
A traditional deep-dish pizza has two endearing qualities: it's thick as heck, and it's partly fried. You see, in order to get that dough really nice and crispy, you have to bake it in a well-oiled cast iron skillet. The cheese and fillings are baked into the fried dough shell. You can also sprinkle the crust with cornmeal to give it another dimension of crispiness, but it's not always necessary.
Below is my recipe for deep dish pizza.
- A cash iron skillet or shallow casserole.
- An oven capable of baking at 400 degrees.
- 1 ball of store-bought pizza dough (or you can make your own)
- 1 Lb Italian shredded cheese blend (with mozzarella)
- Your favorite tomato sauce
- Cashew basil pesto (recipe here)
- Chopped cooked sausage, or diced ham
- 1 diced red pepper
- Sliced black olives
- Chopped white mushrooms
- Olive oil
1. Heat your oven to 400 bake (I used 400 convection bake)
2. Roll out your pizza dough, or shape it by hand, or toss it in the air! As long as you can get a flat disc of pizza dough, 2 to 3 inches wider than the skillet, you're good.
3. Swirl some olive oil on the bottom of the pan and rub it into the sides with your hands or a brush. How much olive oil? Three swirls around the skillet should do it!
4. place the dough on the skillet. I like to make sure that I carefully tuck the pizza dough into it, and then I let an inch or two hang over the sides.
5. Spread some cashew basil pesto on the bottom and sides of the pizza.
6. Spread a generous amount of sauce on the bottom and sides of the pizza.
7. In a bowl, combine half the cheese, the sausage/ham, olives, peppers, and mushrooms. Mix them up, mix in some tomato sauce 1/2 to 1 cup. Pour into the pizza. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Pinch the remaining dough to make a ring around the inside of the skillet.
8. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes - In my oven, since it's a pretty nice Kenmore convection oven, it only took 30 minutes.
9. Enjoy with an ice-cold beer or Coke! Also, you will need some hungry friends. I can eat like a champion, but have never been able to finish off a deep dish pizza by myself.