Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Deep Dish Pissha (Pizza)

I was flipping through Marisa’s old cooking light magazines one evening while watching Monsters Inside of Me and The Cooking Channel and I was really craving pizza. Lo and behold – a deep dish pepperoni pizza recipe appeared before me!

When I was attending training for my old job, we were based in Chicago for 2 weeks. Here my main goal was to eat as many deep dish pizzas as I could possibly fit in my stomach. One day I got so excited about the thought of eating my first authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza, I referred to it as “deep dish pissha”.

On that note, with the glossy magazine photos of melted cheese in a golden crust in front of me, I had two options: 1) go to south street seaport and have one at Uno’s or 2) save the recipe to make when I went home for a week. I decided it would be well worth the wait to have some home-made pizza, so I opted for #2.


San Marzano tomatoes...Sounds so exotic!

Simmering the sauce

My mom making her version of deep dish pizza dough

Cast iron skillet aka deep dish pizza stone 

SERIOUSLY fresh mozzarella.  The woman at the grocery store was hand-spinning it in front of us!

Grating the mozzarella cheese - and probably sneaking a few pieces in too nom nom nom....

Spreading the sauce around the crust

Two kinds of cheese, double the fun!

omfg.  turkey pepperoni!

Deep Dish Pizza, Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 rectangle)

  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
  • 12 ounces bread flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups Basic Pizza Sauce (see below)
  • 2 ounces pepperoni slices
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, oil, and salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms.

When we made the dough, we skipped the next step, because, why on god’s green earth do you put dough that you want to rise in a COLD place? Well…let me get into the detail. I made one dough that went into the fridge. My mom used another recipe and kept it outside, as you should with anything with yeast in it. The end result was my dough sucked and her dough was great and actually doubled in size. So, what gives cooking light? If anyone knows the answer to this, please let me know. So long story short, make the dough, but keep it outside, preferably someplace warm. This should take about an hour, so plan accordingly. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature.

Punch dough down. Roll dough out to a 14 x 11–inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Press dough into bottom and partially up sides of a 13 x 9–inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.

Place a baking sheet in oven on bottom rack. Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange 3/4 cup mozzarella evenly over dough; top with Basic Pizza Sauce, pepperoni (we used turkey pepperoni), Parmigiano-Reggiano, and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.

Place pan on baking sheet in oven; bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until crust is golden. Cut pizza into 6 rectangles. We used a circle pizza pan, so we just cut ours into a few more slices.

Basic Pizza Sauce

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove tomatoes from can using a slotted spoon, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes. Stir tomatoes, juices, salt, and oregano into garlic mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I could see this really taking off by adding some shallots instead of garlic cloves, or maybe even in addition to. Maybe even throw in some fresh herbs. The sky is the limit!

This pizza was amazing (well, honestly, what isn't amazing that you bake at home?).  Nothing is really quite as satisfying as mounds of melted cheese AND PEPPERONI melting in your mouth (as opposed to...say...burning the roof of your mouth), all on top of a disc of carbohydrated perfection!

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