When it comes to pizza, to each his own I say. There are tons of options: thick crust, thin crust, hand tossed, rolled, crispy cracker crust, tons of cheese options, sauce, no sauce, whatever sauce you want, and a million different toppings. I prefer deep dish, you need a knife and fork to get through this baby. 😉 It really doesn’t take very long to do and I’ve adapted a wonderful recipe to please the rest of my family as well.
|1 3/4 c. flour||2 c. mozzarella cheese||1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce|
|3/4 c. warm water||1 c. crumbled bulk sausage||2 tsp. dried onion|
|1/4 c. cornmeal||handful of pepperoni||1/2 tsp. garlic powder|
|1/2 tsp. sugar||2 tbl. parmesan cheese||pinch salt|
|1/2 tsp. salt||1 tbl. sugar|
|1 1/8 tsp. active dry yeast||1/8 tsp. red pepper flake|
|1/4 c. canola oil||1/2 tsp. dried oregano|
|1/2 tsp. dried basil|
|1/2 tsp. dried parsley|
Make the crust:
1) Mix all but the oil together until it just comes together.
2) Drizzle in the oil slowly while the mixer runs on low speed. Knead on medium speed for 7 minutes.
3) Spray non-stick in a glass bowl. Plop the dough in the bowl (it will be moist and sticky). Cover with plastic or a tight lid. Make sure the dough doesn’t take up more than half of the bowl. It will double in size.
4) Place the dough in the refrigerator overnight to rise.
5) 24 hours later (sometimes I don’t wait that long, 12 hours will do just fine)… Remove the bowl from the fridge and let it rest on the counter for an hour to come to room temperature. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450°.
6) Grease the bottom of a 9″ deep dish pan (I use a spring form cake pan) with regular olive oil. Don’t grease the sides or your crust won’t stick, it’ll just slide right down. Plop the dough into the center of the pan. Flour your hands well and press the dough out across the bottom and up the sides. (I only go half way up the sides of my spring form pan, but if you use a deep baking dish go up about 2 inches.)
Now lets get to the toppings! Deep dish pizzas are inside out of a regular flat pizza. Crust, cheese on the bottom, then toppings, then sauce.
1) Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese directly onto the bottom of the crust. (I like to hold back just a handful or so for later, but you don’t have to.)
2) Add your toppings. This time we went with just sausage*, but we usually like pepperoni as well. If the family is lucky, I’ll make two pizzas, one with just meat and the other with assorted veggies added in for those that like that kind of thing.**
* You don’t necessarily need to cook your toppings first, but I’m finicky about pork products so I par-cooked it in a skillet the night before. If you don’t pre-cook it, just crumble it up well as you add it to the pizza. It will cook through during the baking. I can tell you though, it was nice to have the sausage browned just a little bit. Gave it a nice mouth feel instead of leaving it mushy.
** Remember, the more toppings you plan on putting in here, the higher you’ll need to pinch up the sides of the crust.
Stir together all of the sauce ingredients. You can pour it right onto the pizza now, or you can simmer it in a sauce pan for a little bit to thicken it up.
Finish it off:
1) Sprinkle on that reserved handful of mozzarella (if you didn’t keep any to the side, that’s fine) and top it with a couple of tablespoons of parmesan.
2) Bake at 450° for 25 minutes. Yep, it doesn’t take very long at all!
3) Remove the pizza from the pan*, slice and serve. Yummy!
* This is why I like using my cheesecake pans. Just pop off the sides of the pan and with a little nudge, the pizza slides right off of the bottom pan without any trouble. If you use a baking dish this will take a bit more effort to get it all in one piece if you don’t want to slice inside your pan.
This was so SO good. Everyone loved it and we found that the 9″ size was just right to feed the four adults and two kids we have in our family. There was just one little piece leftover, but not for long! 😛