Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza


My first time trying Chicago-style pizza was actually not all that long ago.  I was in Chicago (duh) less than two years ago to take a portion of my medical boards.  I made it through the eight-hour day of testing and really needed some relaxation, but since we had three-month old Andrew with us at the time, a nice dinner out in the city just wasn’t in the cards.  We walked to pick up a pizza from Pizzeria Uno, went back to our hotel room, and pretty much devoured it.  It was a wonderful way to calm down after a very stressful day.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect of the pizza other than that it would be deep-dish, so I was surprised to see the sauce on top of the cheese.  Now I know that’s part of what makes it Chicago-style.  But it was good – and so was this homemade version.  The thick, tall crust serves as sort of a bowl for all the yummy toppings and sauce.  I tried a different deep dish recipe a while back that was just “eh”, but this version is definitely a winner.  The crust was fabulous – soft, flaky and buttery, but sturdy enough to stand up to all the cheese and sauce on top of it.  The original recipe yields two 9-inch pizzas but I made just one for the three of us.  Next time I might make both and try freezing one, since it would be a nice thing to have around when for a last minute meal.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza
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Ingredients:
For the dough:
1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (8 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1 3/8 oz.) yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. (5 oz.) water, at room temperature
1½ 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
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

For assembling and topping:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)

Directions:
To make the dough, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed.  Mix until blended, about 1 minute.  Add the water and melted butter and continue mixing on low speed until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.  Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4-5 minutes.

Using your hands, 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 45-60 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, oregano, and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 25 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the basil and oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To laminate the dough, turn the dough out onto a dry work surface and roll into a 8- by 6-inch rectangle.  Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.  Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.  With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- by 2 inch rectangle.  Fold into thirds like a business letter, pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until nearly doubled in size, 40-50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  To assemble, coat a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Transfer the dough ball to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about ¼-inch thick.  Transfer the dough to the pan.  Lightly press the dough into the pan, working into the corners and 1 inch up the sides.  If the dough resists stretching, let rest 5 minutes before trying again.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the surface of the dough.  Spread the tomato sauce over the cheese and top with Parmesan.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Yield: 1 9-inch deep-dish pizza

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, January-February 2010

56 Responses

  1. I have always loved Chicago deep dish pizzas. Now I can make my own. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey, this is on my list for next week! Glad to see you tried it out and shared. Looks great!

  3. Ooh I’m excited to make this one. I didn’t realize I could use a cake pan for it! Perfect!

  4. I use my large cast iron skillet for deep dish pizza and the crust gets so nice and crisp!

  5. I have this same recipe saved to my desktop to try! I promised my husband I would learn to make Chicago style deep dish before we move away from CHI this spring! Yours looks fantastic!!! If you are ever back in Chicago and in the mood for deep dish, I highly recommend Lou Malnati’s – it’s my favorite 🙂

  6. I love deep dish pizza, but rarely eat it because it’s so unhealthy. I like the idea of making it at home, though, so I could load up on veggies and healthy stuff to balance out the cheese! It also works great to make deep dish in a cast iron skillet if you have one.

  7. oh. my. I don’t think I can let my husband see this recipe until I’m ready to try it. He LOVES Chicago style pizza (and so do I), but he won’t be able to think of any other food group once he knows this exists on one my favorite recipe blogs. 🙂

  8. Yum! I’m going to have to try this. I can’t get deep dish anywhere around here!

  9. I love this!

  10. I saw this in the latest CI – I might try it soon. I’m going to Chicago for the first time in April – I cannot wait! 🙂

  11. Oh man, pizza is quite possibly my most favorite food ever! This looks SO good. I need to go to Chicago and try the real thing…but this recipe will be enough for now. 🙂

  12. Ohh yum! I have been trying to eat healthier the last couple of weeks but pizza is something I have a hard time turning down! Looks delicious

  13. I’ve made pizza so often lately that I’d decided to give it a rest for a month or so. By the way my mouth watered at your pictures, I’m afraid pizza will be back on the menu tonight… Chicago style :). Thanks for the recipe!!

  14. Can’t wait to try:)…2 Questions; 1) what temperature do you bake the pizza and 2) Did you halve the recipe to only make on pizza, or will this amount make 2?

    • Hi Tish,
      Sorry, I left out the temperature in the recipe. It’s fixed now – thanks for catching it! If you look down at the bottom of the recipe, I had written the yield, which is one 9-inch pizza.

  15. What is “instant yeast”? I adore deep dish pizza and am looking forward to trying this!

    • Karla, instant yeast is the same as rapid rise or bread machine yeast. Basically, it doesn’t require activation like active dry yeast, and I have much better results with it. You can Google it.

  16. I usually just lurk, but had to chime in here (from Chicago). When I make Chicago-style pizza, it’s not just deep dish, but stuffed, meaning that there is a crust on top of the filling with the sauce and the cheese on top of the second layer of crust. (Though I’m sure there are as many versions of Chicago stuffed pizza as there are pizza places here.)

    I love the idea of using a cake pan. I have one large pan for deep dish/stuffed pizza, but it’s not big enough to feed my brood, so I haven’t made it in a while. (Being too cheap to invest in a second pan.) I’ll have to try using cake pans to help me make enough.

    • Yeah, the people from Cook’s Illustrated went to Chicago to research exactly what Chicago-style pizza is, and this is what they came up with. At least for me, it’s a dead ringer of what I had from Pizzeria Uno.

  17. looks awesome!

  18. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks yummy!

  19. I have been a blog reader of yours for a little while now and I just have to tell you how much I love your blog! Your recipes are great and your pictures are amazing!

  20. Wow it looks fantastic and so authentic. I want a slice right now.

  21. I’m drooling over here – your pizza looks fantastic! I went to grad school in Chicago and would love to recreate the pizza there, so I am definitely saving this recipe!

  22. I am a big fan of yours, Annie, and so are my girls (9 and 11). We love to browse your website and decide what recipe we’re going to make. When I saw this one, my jaw dropped. I’m making this this weekend for sure! Everything I’ve made from your site has been a huge hit. Can’t wait to try this one!

  23. YUM….I’m planning on making this for the Super Bowl….I too think I’ll try mine in my cast iron skillet……well I’m off now to have a slice of my chocolate caramel mousse tart ….came out great….thanks for all of the wonderful ideas Annie!

  24. I’m so excited that you posted this recipe! I love Chicago-style pizza! There is a pizza place that’s called “Chicago Fire” and that’s like the only pizza place that I truly love. Now that I have this recipe, I can try and make it myself. Thank you.

  25. Hi Annie,

    Looks amazing, as always! I’m curious, what do you do if you don’t have a kitchen aid mixer? Is it a lot harder to make the crust? I’ve never attempted pizza crust b/c I’m afraid it would be crazy hard without one. Maybe one day I’ll cave and get one, but just not in the budget at the moment. Thanks for any help!

  26. […] Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza – Annie’s Eats January 21, 2010 · Posted in Main Courses  Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for great food updates. Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza « Annie’s Eats. […]

  27. YUM I am totally making this on the weekend!

  28. So happy to see this and Shawnda’s recipes posted within hours of one another. Deep dish pizza is going onto next week’s menu for sure. Thanks so much for all your great recipes!

  29. Annie – I am a BIG fan. Love your recipes and pictures. I made this recipe tonight and I have to say that the dough was much too salty, so I made a second batch with only 1 tsp. and it tasted so much better, rose faster, everything. Just to let you and anyone else who is making this know.

    The finished product….heavenly.

    • Hi Marissa,
      Thanks for letting me know. I just double checked the recipe and turns out it was a typo (I have corrected it), so it makes sense that it was way too salty. Sorry to have inconvenienced you but I’m glad we got it straightened out. Glad you enjoyed the end result!

  30. Wow, this looks great! I love gourmet homemade pizzas. They are one of my favorite dinners. This looks different and fun. Yum!

  31. Annie, I made this last night, along with your other thin crust recipe. I was very surprised and impressed with the deep dish! I actually did a veggie version. The crust didn’t rise alot for me, but it ended up being flaky and very good. I am a Lou Malnati’s fan, but this is a pretty decent and fairly easy substitute. I think I might dial down the salt in the crust, though. Also, can you just clarify the “business fold”? I think I did it right, but not 100% sure. Also, fyi – I saw King Arthur’s version, which includes parbaking the crust – I don’t know how you would avoid the crust from puffing to much. Thank you!!

    • Ariana, so sorry about the salt! I had another reader comment it was too salty and double checked. Apparently I made a typo there (it has been corrected now.) Sorry it didn’t rise all that well. Mine rose very well, but it did take a bit longer than the suggested time. As for the business fold, I’m sure you did it right because it would be almost impossible to do it in the other direction. Basically, if you have a 9 x 2 inch rectangle, you fold it in thirds overlapping each other in the middle so it’s about a 3 x 2 inch, very thick rectangle.

  32. I want THIS pizza with THOSE cream puffs above! Annie, you are my hero!

  33. Being from NY and used to NY-style or Sicilian, I wasn’t terribly fond of the Pizzeria Uno pizza that we tried one time. But I’m sure the homemade version is much better. I’m going to give it a try, thanks for the idea!! 🙂

    Jenn

  34. I just saw this on Anthony Bourdain’s show on tv .. looks really good !!

  35. My father grew up in the suburbs in Chicago. I remember him taking me to Pizzeria Uno as a teenager. Supposedly they are the original makers of the Chicago deep dish. I remember them taking our order before they even sat us because it takes so long to make.

    I love thick crust pizzas. I definitely will be trying this.

  36. Thanks Annie for clarifying the salt measure! Also, I think I figured out why my dough didn’t rise. When I added my dry ingredients to the mixer my salt may have made contact with the dry yeast, which can either kill it or decrease it’s effectiveness! I am so used to proofing yeast in water first, I had no idea. Now I am much more confident and can’t wait to make this again!!

  37. I just made this for dinner last night too! Always great minds 🙂 I adjusted the recipe and made it in my 12-inch cast iron skillet and it was great. I also did some layering of the ingredients and added pepperoni, and it was awesome. No pictures though, so the blog will have to wait 😉

  38. How do you think fresh mozzarella would work with this, do you think it would make it too wet?

    • Jessie,
      I’m not sure – I think it probably would be too wet, but I’ve never tried it so can’t say for sure.

  39. We’ve been working on the same CI deep dish recipe. My dad is actually grinding his own sausage with the kitchenaid and has made a few awesome versions of this pizza. Let me know if you need any sauce or sausage recipes!

  40. I tried making the dough just as described. The dough seems very dry! It is def not like my regular pizza dough I make. HELP! Why is it sooo dry!

    • Vanessa,
      I have no idea what went wrong. I have heard from many others who have tried this recipe that it came out perfectly. It’s impossible to know what went wrong since I wasn’t there with you.

  41. Thanks Annie for such a quick response. I’m going to let it rise, and also start from scratch a second batch. I’ve made several of your recipes and have been MORE than please with all of them! Thanks again!
    Vanessa

  42. And we have success! I reduced the amount of flour just a bit and also incorporated the butter much warmer than the first time! The dough was smooth and moist, perfect! Thanks again!

  43. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME!!! This was a total winner.

  44. I just made this recipe tonight…. it was KILLER!! Everyone LOVED it!! I followed the recipe but I tripled it because I have a 10 in & an 18 in pan. It still came out fine. Thanks for sharing!! ❤

  45. I have been wanting to try this recipe for months. I finally made it tonight. It turned out perfect. My husband was so happy as he LOVES Chicago style pizza. I LOVE your blog and am really inspired by you. Thank you so much for sharing!

  46. Hi Annie. We love this pizza, and I noticed in your preface to the recipe, you write about wanting to make one and freeze it. At what point would you freeze it? Before baking, but assembled? Bake, then freeze? I’d love to try freezing to help get dinner on the table even faster on a weeknight. Thank you!

  47. I love Uno’s deep dish pizza and I will be making this soon. Thanks so much for posting the recipe. I will tell you how mine comes out.

  48. I made this directly from the magazine and it was fun and terrific tasting.

    For toppings I made one with sausage and pepperoni (2 links, Italian Sweet sausage, remove the skins, crumble and brown And get real pepperoni – not those hard little hockey pucks – sliced thin. Put it under the sauce!)

    The second I put sliced tomatoes and green peppers under the sauce. Both were terrific.

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