Monday, March 12, 2012

Deep Dish Pizza

I'm a crispy, thin crust pizza kinda girl, but my husband LOVES deep dish. Its not what I think of when I want pizza, I think because it seems more casserole or pie-like versus a delicious crispy crust traditional version. So this was my first foray into deep dish-making, and this recipe almost has me converted. I was a little concerned about how long the recipe looked, but rest assured most of it is just the dough prep...which let's be honest, I never make my own dough. I might start though because its worth it! I really, really loved how this dough came out.

We made two batches of this dough, and created the deep dish pizza seen here as well as a regular pizza. The crust worked beautifully for both - it has a light, biscuit-y kind of texture, that when baked up also became kind of crispy so I was for sure a fan. My only change to this recipe was to add in Italian sausage between the mozzarella and the sauce, which I do recommend! Oh, and definitely don't try to shortcut and use a canned sauce, this pie needs a chunky, homemade one :)

Recipe from Pennies on a Platter

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water, at room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
1/4 tsp.salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can petite-diced tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

For assembling and topping:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 ounces Mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ lb. Italian sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/4 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tablespoons)

To make the dough:
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, until well blended. Attach the dough hook and mix in the water and melted butter on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes. Coat a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Once dough is risen, turn it out onto a dry work surface and roll into an 8- x 6-inch rectangle. To laminate the dough, spread the softened butter over the surface, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- x 2-inch rectangle, then fold into thirds like a business letter. Pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl. Cover tightly again with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator for 40 to 50 minutes.   

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onion, oregano and salt. Saute until the liquid has nearly evaporated and the onion is golden brown, stirring often, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar, then increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture just to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble and top the pizza: Preheat oven to 425˚F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil. Move the dough to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan and lightly press to line the bottom of the pan and 1 inch up the sides. If the dough resists stretching, wait 5 minutes before trying again. Sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella over the surface of the dough, then layer the sauce over the cheese. Top with Parmesan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

 Note: You can prep the dough ahead of time, and store in the fridge overnight or even freeze.

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