I have a confession to make.
Even tho’ I’ve lived in greater Chicagoland for close to 20 years (!), I am not a hoooge fan o’ the deep dish pizza.
I also put ketchup on my hot dogs, but only at home, not out in public, I am not that crazy!
Still and all, Rich and I were chatting about pizza one evening (as one does), and I recalled this pretty darned tasty deep dish, veggie laden (but there’s cheese and sausage, too, so not to fret) that I made a long time ago in a place, well, kinda far, away, well before I know much of anything about Chicago pizza.
The recipe came from this supermarket book and the nice folk at Betty Crocker back in the 80’s – and I must admit, I think it stands up well to the test of time.
•2-1/4 tsp yeast
•1 cup warm (110º) water
•1-1/4 cup flour
•1-1/2 cup whole wheat or rye flour*
•1 tsp sugar
•1 tsp salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•3 tbsp canola oil
•This one is very nice, but feel free to go with your own fave
2 cups Mozzarella, shredded
•1/2 lb Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce
•1-1/2 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
•1 tomato, chopped
•1 cup onion, sliced
•1 red pepper, sliced
•1-1/2 cup sliced fresh ‘shrooms
•1/2 cup black olives, sliced
•1 tsp dried basil
•1 tsp dried oregano
•1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1/2 tsp seasoned salt
*Or, just use all-purpose flour.
Remove the sausage from its casing(s) (or by bulk) and cook in a bit of olive oil over medium high heat with one tablespoon of Sherry Peppers Sauce (or your fave hot sauce or other condiment, to taste), breaking up the sausage into small chunks, until well and truly cooked through. Drain the sausage well, then set aside.
Add the yeast to the warm water in a two cup measuring cup and stir to dissolve. Let rest for ten minutes until it becomes foamy.
While the yeast is foaming, grease a 12 inch deep dish pizza pan and set aside.
Pour 1/2 cup of the yeast mixture into a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Add the regular flour, 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour, the sugar, salt, pepper, and canola oil and pulse four times.
Add the remaining yeast mixture and pulse four times.
Add the remaining whole wheat flour, pulse four more times, then process until the dough comes together and cleans the side of the processor bowl – about 30 seconds.
The dough will be a bit sticky, but if it is too sticky, add one or two additional tablespoons of flour, pulsing four times after each addition, until the dough is workable.
Press the dough over the bottom and up the sides of the pizza pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside to rest.
Heat oven to 500º.
Toss the tomato and sliced onion, sliced red pepper, and the ‘shrooms together in a bowl with the seasonings and set aside.
Brush one teaspoon of olive oil over the pizza dough, then paint the surface and sides with a bit of pizza sauce.
Sprinkle with the Mozzarella, then the sausage. Top with the tomato, onion, pepper, and ‘shroom mixture, the olives, sliced red pepper, and the Fontina cheese.
Place the pizza in the oven on the lowest rack, then adjust the oven temperature down to 425º.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is brown and the pizza is hot and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes before serving.
Big enough to feed a crowd, and pretty darned tasty, too; I call that a win, win!
In truth, Rich thought it just OK for dinner that night, but, in the strange way many of these things tend to come together for me, he thought it most fine the next day for lunch.
And the next.
Well, you get the picture.
Deep dish goodness and all.