Deep Dish Pizza

My first ever post was about pizza and I’ve been meaning to make deep dish for a long time.  Between visiting Chicago last month and watching the Jon Stewart vs. Chicago pizza debate unfold, I decided it was finally time.  Though I prefer a thinner crust pizza, deep dish has its merits and gave me an opportunity to try out something new.  I started out with a basic recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and was very pleased, though I would make a few changes were I to make this again.


In trips to Chicago over three years I managed to make it to three of the more well known places: Giordano’s (which I know is stuffed not deep dish), Gino’s East, and Lou Malnati’s.  Lou Malnati’s was definitely my favorite, particularly because of the crisp, flaky, and soft on the inside crust.  I found an adapted recipe here but figured I would start with something simpler for my first attempt.

I was concerned that my cast iron and cake pans wouldn’t be tall enough to properly accommodate a true deep dish crust.  This proved to not be an issue and they filled out the pans quite nicely without overflowing.


There are a few things unique to deep dish that make this a different process from your average pizza.  For one, the crust has much more added beyond flour, water, salt, and yeast.  In this case that means butter, oil, and sugar.  To help create flaky layers of butter and dough, this recipe actually calls for laminating the dough one time similar to if you were making croissants.


Yup, that’s a 1/2 pound of mozzarella right there.  Underneath is a layer of Italian sausage.  I then added a layer of peppers and onions, and of course with deep dish the sauce goes on top.


One of the things I didn’t know beforehand was the different sauce you made for deep dish.  In an effort to prevent the sauce from running down and making the crust soggy you want to cook off some of the liquid before adding it to the top of the pizza.


And then, of course, instead of baking for 5-6 minutes at 500 degrees, this gets treatment in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 425.


I cut this up into 6 pieces, and found that one piece with some salad or veggies was more than enough for a meal.  Enjoy!

Deep Dish Pizza (Makes 2)



  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1/4 C cornmeal or semolina flour
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 t instant yeast
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C water
  • 1.5 T butter, melted
  • 2 T butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 t + 2 t olive oil, divided

Sauce & Toppings

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 t sugar
  • 2 T chopped basil
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan
  • Other toppings as desired


In the bowl of a stand mixer combine flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast.  Add water and melted butter, mixing for 4-5 minutes on medium speed until the dough is smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, letting rise until doubled, about an hour.

While the dough is rising melt butter for the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add in onion, oregano, and salt, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.  Lastly, add tomatoes and sugar, and bring to a simmer.  Lower the heat to medium-low afterwards and cook for 25 minutes to allow some of the liquid to cook off.  Be careful since as the sauce thickens it has a tendency to bubble and spit out very hot liquid.

Once risen turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll out to a 12×15 inch rectangle.  Spread the softened butter across the dough, leaving a small 1 inch border at the edges.  Roll the dough into a tight cylinder (from the short edge) and then flatten the dough into an 18×4 inch rectangle.  Fold into thirds like a letter and pinch the seams together.  Form a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator to rise for another 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425 F.

Coat a 9 inch cake or cast iron pan with olive oil and roll out the dough to a 13 inch circle.  Transfer the dough to the pan and press the dough into corners/edges and up the side of the pan.

Add mozzarella over the dough and add any desired toppings.  Cover in sauce and sprinkle Parmesan over top.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated.

2 thoughts on “Deep Dish Pizza

  1. Pingback: A Bakers & Best Year In Review | Bakers & Best

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