Help me make a delicious deep dish pizza
June 14, 2010 11:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be making my first deep-dish pizza soon. Help me make it awesome.

I'm a fairly experienced breadmaker, but my experience with pizza is limited to a few different types of thin crust varieties. I'd love to make a deep dish pizza for when a couple friends come over and I want it to be supremely delicious.

I have a very large cast-iron pan which I plan to use unless people think it's a bad idea.

So: Advice? Recipes? Tips? Lemme have it. Pretty much all ingredients are fair game.

For reference, my experience with deep dish pizza is what is served at Zachary's, an SF Bay Area restaurant with a few locations. I'm not sure how Chicagoans deem their pizza but I absolutely love it.
posted by ORthey to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
cook's illustrated had a pretty decent deep dish recipe/writeup recently (last 6 months?). great sauce recipe, i haven't made the deep dish dough yet. they described the dough as more akin to pastry than pizza dough. looked good.
posted by kimyo at 1:00 AM on June 15, 2010

Make sure you pre-heat the pan along with the oven before you start loading it up.

Also, don't burn yourself. You may want to have a "cold run" with all equipment to make sure you don't burn yourself.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:00 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: I fell in love with deep-dish pizza as served at Gino's East in Chicago... now I live in a deep-dish-pizzaless wasteland so must make it myself. I found a dough recipe somewhere on the internet (but now can't locate the source) and it has been refined by trial and error over the past few years. It comes pretty close.

I use a 12" round stainless steel cake pan.

1 pound all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 packet dry yeast
1/3 cup corn oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
(If you want the authentic Gino's experience, mix a bunch of yellow food coloring into the liquid ingredients, but I've never bothered).
Knead, rise once in a bowl, press and shape in the pan and rise once in the pan. (I oil the heck out of my pan but with seasoned cast iron you might not need to.)

Add toppings in this order:
Shredded mozzarella cheese on the bottom, put an amount that you think looks reasonable and then double it. (I usually put about 1 1/2 pounds in a 12" pizza)
Toppings: whatever you want - Italian sausage and pepperoni are traditional. My husband was a vegetarian when we lived in Chicago so I make pizza with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and black olives, which is substantially less greasy than a meat pizza. Put the toppings in a single layer, not too much.
Sauce: I use Dei Fratelli canned pizza sauce, any commercial pizza sauce will work. (Do not substitute spaghetti sauce! Your pizza will be soggy! Ask me how I know!) Again, not too much, just enough to cover over the toppings.

Bake at 450 for about 45 minutes, until the crust that is exposed is very very dark but not burned. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Make enough so that there are leftovers, which are awesome cold the next day.

Oh man, now I want pizza.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:23 AM on June 15, 2010 [21 favorites]

Best answer: Season that pan! I use a garlic/olive oil rub once a year to season it, google it of you don't know what I'm talking about. I can recreate a Chi-style pie pretty damned closely, and it's in the crust. I have a 16" cast-iron skillet I use only for cooking pizza and frying bacon.... And it never really gets properly washed, it gets rinsed out and hung to dry after every session. I cook both deep-dish Chi-style pies and thick-crust pizzas with it.

I have also seen people make great thick pies with a pizza stone, but the level of crust science is substantially more in-depth.

Be sure to layer the toppings- I start with a light layer of cheese, a topping, more cheese, a topping, etc. leaving any veggies for the very top. Putting a light layer of cheese before the sauce works well, especially if you are loading it up cheese heavy.

Also, you shouldn't have the oven quite as hot as you would for a thin crust, the thicker pizzas need awhile to bake.... usually, when I think it's almost done, I then crank the oven up 100 degrees/max for the last 5-10 minutes......
posted by peewinkle at 4:17 AM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: Here are a couple hundred pages of people talking about how to make the best pan pizza EVAR! These people are passionate and perfectionsists, and I can't read more than a page or two without needing a pizza fix.
For a great go to recipe,"> this page on the same sight is great. It saved my pizza loving life when I lived in Australia, where pizza is, um, different.
posted by newpotato at 5:40 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

And right here is where I must have found my ersatz Gino's recipe. Those guys know how to overthink a plate of pizza!
posted by Daily Alice at 6:18 AM on June 15, 2010

I use the Cook's Illustrated method but with normal pizza dough and I really like the result. A few tablespoons of oil, pre-cook the crust for 20 minutes at 325 (almost frying it), then add the cheese and toppings and raise the temperature a bit and cook until the cheese is how you like.

I use a non-stick pizza pan though, which is a little easier than cast iron.
posted by smackfu at 6:24 AM on June 15, 2010

I use bread dough from a local bakery, and the recipe from James McNair's book "Pizza," and I cook in a Wilton cake pan. I've worked in two different pizza places, both a hole in the wall inCleveland Cirlce (yay, Presto's!) and the Green Mill in St. Paul.

Don't preheat the lightweight pan. Instead, lightly oil it (I use one of those mister pump things) with olive oil and let the flattened dough rise under a towel for like half an hour.

Mix a 28 oz. can of tomatoes (or equivalent) with a couple cloves of minced garlic, herbs (I use Penzey's pizza spices or just basil/oregano/etc.), and some sea salt. Set aside.

When the dough rises, stretch it up the pan's sides, prick the bottom all over with a fork, and bake it for five minutes. Then mist the dough with olive oil, load it with cheese, and then with the tomato mix. I only bake miine for ten to fifteen more minutes.

Let it rest for a few minutes and go to town.

I made two on Sunday and my kids wen t wild. I also made a spinach-garlic stuffed pizza -- no Canadian bacon, alas, so no Rush Street Stuffed! -- for my own gorging.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:08 AM on June 15, 2010

The Cook's Illustrated recipe is really great. We used to live in the Bay Area and loved Zachary's, and lived in Chicago prior to that, and we love it!
posted by freezer cake at 1:29 PM on June 15, 2010

any commercial pizza sauce will work

But none work quite as well, in my experience, as Escalon's 6-in-1. Great taste, perfect consistency.
posted by Iridic at 3:00 PM on June 15, 2010

Response by poster: So by the way - I made the Cook's Illustrated recipe. It was AMAZING. I blew everyones' minds, including my own.

Thanks all!
posted by ORthey at 9:47 PM on June 18, 2010

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