Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Dough


1/4 oz active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 1/4 warm water
1 t. sugar
3 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. medium grind corn flour
1 t. sea salt (or 1 1/2 t. kosher salt)
1/2 c. olive oil, plus a bit more for bowl & pan

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of the water, let proof for 20 minutes
  • Add remaining water, flour, cornmeal, salt, & 1/2 c. olive oil
  • Knead for 6-8 minutes (by machine or 10-12 by hand)
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat on all sides.
  • Cover & let rise until doubled (1 1/2 - 2 hours)
  • When doubled, punch down & knead lightly. Press the dough into the bottom of an oiled 14-inch deep dish pizza pan (we just use our cast iron skillet & it works like a charm).
  • Let dough rise for about 20 minutes in pan then press until it comes 2" up the side and is even on the bottom & sides of the pan.
  • Proceed with any deep dish pizza recipe.
Our favorite deep dish pizza recipe:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • After dough is prepared in cast iron skillet, put down a layer of cheese (we like provolone but others are equally good).
  • Next, crumble 1 lb. cooked Italian sausage evenly over the cheese
  • Pour 12-14 oz of your favorite pasta sauce over the sausage & cheese (we have found the thicker the sauce, the better).
  • Place thinly sliced fresh tomatoes on top & sprinkle entire pizza liberally with Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let sit for about 10 more minutes before serving.

Mr. Amazing Man and I were watching T.V. one late night and happened to catch an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" on the Food Network. He went to Chicago and challenged one of the local pizza Gods to a throwdown. While I am not normally a pizza kind of girl, the pizza that the guy from Chicago made looked nothing short of delectable. The next day, I went searching for his dough recipe & found it. That night (and many nights since ) we have dined on this totally awesome pizza! Definitely, definitely worth the time & love that it takes to make.

Baked Artichoke Goodness


3 c. fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh curly leaf parsley
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
4 oz. Pecorino Romano, grated
2 T. mixed dried herbs (thyme, oregano, & savory or Italian seasoning blend)
2 tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 12 oz. bags of frozen artichoke hearts (I use Trader Joes), thawed & drained
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 T. finely grated lemon zest
4 garlic gloves minced (4 tsp., fresh is best)

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees; combine breadcrumbs, parsley, cheeses, herb, & salt in a bowl
  • Brush oil inside 9 x 13 ceramic baking dish & spread artichoke hearts evenly in bottom. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over artichoke hearts
  • Whisk oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, & minced garlic (I actually put these ingredients in my food processor & blend until smooth, almost like a light aoili).
  • Drizzle dressing over the breadcrumb/artichoke mixture. Lightly toss all ingredients so dressing is evenly distributed.
  • Cover with foil & bake for 30 minutes. Increase temp to 375 degrees, uncover & bake until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.
  • (Refrigerates & reheats well - I always make a big pan and have leftovers for days).

I first made this for Thanksgiving 2008 when The World's Most Amazing Mother-in-Law was visiting. (It's only fitting that she is The World's Most Amazing Mother-in-Law considering she is Mr. Amazing Man's mom). I found an "inspiration recipe" in a magazine, then adapted it and made it my own.

At any rate, this bright, happy dish is a great one to take along to a potluck since you will be pretty certain (a) no one else will be bringing it and (b) everyone will love it. Or just make a big dish of it for yourself and don't share with anyone. Even Mr. Amazing Man knows he needs to ask first before he eats any he finds in the fridge. Seriously, it's that good.