Week 9: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

As the title indicates, this week I made Chicago deep dish pizza.  While searching for a recipe, I came to the conclusion that there is no singular Chicago deep dish pizza.  Every recipe I saw was somehow different.  No one could agree on whether or not to include corn meal in the crust, how much oil to use, whether or not to par bake the crust, or the time and temperature at which to bake the pie.  I ended up using this recipe for the crust.  I also used a store bought sauce and sliced mozzarella from the deli counter.

This crust is a bit different since it includes cornmeal.  Also, instead of stretching it to shape, I rolled it out so that it was a bit bigger in diameter than the pie pan.

I made two pizzas this week in order to test whether or not the crust should be par baked.  The first pizza was assembled as follows: crust (in a well buttered 9 inch pie pan), cheese, toppings, sauce, and Parmesan cheese.  I then baked it in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes.

For the second pizza, the crust was assembled in another 9 inch pie pan and par baked in a 400 degree oven for 4 minutes.  It was topped with cheese and baked for 3 more minutes.  Then the toppings, sauce, and Parmesan were added and it went back into the oven.  It was cooked for another 15 minutes.

This one was the husband’s, there is also pepperoni hiding under there.

They both looked pretty similar coming out of the oven.

The non par baked crust.

The par baked crust.

They both ended up being pretty watery.  I think this is because the mushrooms lost some moisture while cooking.

Non par baked.

Par baked.

I wasn’t overly impressed by this, neither was the husband.  For starters, the crust was a bit bland.  I think it could have used more salt.  Also, it was pretty watery, but again that was probably because of the mushrooms.  There wasn’t too much of a difference between the two crusts.  The par baked one was a bit crispier, but it wasn’t that noticeable.   I don’t think I’d go out of my way to make this type of pizza again.

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7 Responses to Week 9: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

  1. You must try making Chicago style deep dish again! Try this recipe on my blog.
    http://penniesonaplatter.com/2011/01/24/chicago-style-deep-dish-pizza/

    We love it! It may seem intimidating at first, but it really isn’t hard and is well worth any extra effort. The crust is delicious, and the pizza doesn’t turn out soggy. :) Hope you like it!

  2. Evelyn says:

    Yeah, I think deep-dish pizzas are best left to the professionals. It’s just so hard to keep them from getting soggy. Even the professionals have a problem with it sometimes.

    • Golda says:

      Jeremy isn’t quite ready to “throw the baby out with the bath water” as he said. We might try again sometime with a different recipe. For me, I don’t really think it’s worth the effort since I like “regular” pizza just fine.

  3. Brenda McElyea says:

    Love deep dish pizza’s. Don’t give up!

  4. Megann says:

    Classic Chicago-style deep dish pizzas should have fresh, chunky tomato sauce. The tomato sauce cannot be cooked according to the owner of Lou Malnati’s, a restaurant that won the deep dish pizza Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

  5. Cherish says:

    Ever since I went to Chicago last year, that’s been on my list of things to try making one day. I think it would take a few tries to get it right, but you’re probably right that regular pizza is much easier so why bother.