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Follow-Your-Heart Deep-Dish Pizza

Day 42 in quarantine… Just kidding. But, I’ve firmly lost track of the day of the week, let alone how long I’ve been here at my parent’s house in Maryland. It could easily be day 271.

I posted a photo to instagram last week (or maybe it has been two) about a deep-dish pizza that I made for my parents. There were many folks who reached out asking for a recipe, so I finally put it together!

Deep-Dish Pizza in Spring-form Pan

My dad has been on the Keto Diet, so I have been trying to find ways for me to continue baking while putting something on the table that he can eat.

This brings us to the filling-heavy Deep-Dish Pizza – which he could at least eat some of – because now is as good a time as ever to take a deep dive into the world of heavy baked dishes surrounded in bread.

If you’ve never heard of deep-dish pizza before, it is a Chicago thing. Imagine a pizza, but tall. 

The whole process was about me following my heart while cooking, so I wouldn’t call this authentic in any way, but I would call it tasty. I used this Land O’ Lakes recipe as my base.

And the process was easier than I imagined, but still a good bit of work. I used a large springform pan to hold the dough and the filling. This was choice. Shout out to my mom – someone who actually has a set of the pans most famously known for baking cheesecakes.

The dough in the recipe uses a smidge of butter which I liked a lot. I thought it had a great texture and sheen when it came out of the oven. But, it seems like you could use any pizza dough including store bought or any leftover dough you have. I stretched and pressed it into the sides of the pan and then trimmed the edges a bit.

When it came to the filling, I just followed my heart to make a thick sauce (though I wish I could’ve let it thicken up on the stove a little more). My sauce had crushed tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, and garlic. I then layered it into the crust with cheese, Italian sausage crumbles, pepperoni, and olives, probably 10 layers in total. 

Here is what I did to make the pizza, but feel free to get creative. At the end of the day, you need a crust with high edges filled with your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings. Have fun with it!

Deep Dish Pizza Side Angle
Deep-Dish Pizza Side Angle

Follow-Your-Heart Deep-Dish Pizza

Ingredients

Crust
– 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
– 1 (¼ ounce) package active dry yeast
– 3 tablespoons corn flour, optional
– 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 cup water

Sauce
– ¼ cup olive oil
– 1 medium yellow onion, diced
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 32oz can of crushed tomatoes
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Italian seasoning, to taste
– Crushed red pepper, flakes to taste

Toppings
– 1 pound Italian sausage, cooked, cooled, crumbled
– 4 oz sliced pepperoni
– 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Steps:

  1. Make your dough. If you are making your own dough, I liked the process in this recipe… Combine 1 ½ cups flour, yeast, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add water; cook until mixture comes to 120-130ºF. Add to flour mixture; mix until just moistened. Add remaining 2 cups of flour to form stiff dough. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Spray inside of a large bowl with no-stick cooking spray. Place dough into the greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size.
  2. Make your sauce. Saute onions and peppers in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Seasoning with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning and stirring often. Add crushed tomatoes with can liquid. Simmer for 45 minutes or so, until it thickens up.
  3. Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Prep Your Pan. Roll out dough until it is about ⅓ inch thick and gently place into a 14” springform pan. You can also use two smaller springforms or round baking dishes. Stretch it and press it into the bottom and sides of the pan. You want this to be a solid foundation. 
  5. Lay Your Layers. You’ll want to take your ingredients and add them into the pan a little at a time until you’ve filled your pizza. I did… mozzarella, sauce, sausage, pepperoni, olives, mozzarella, sauce, sausage, pepperoni, olives, sauce, parmesan. 
  6. Bake Your Pizza. Cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5-7 more minutes until the top cheese and crust browns a tidge. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. 
  7. Prepare to eat. Remove from the pan (this may be a challenge, but you’ll figure it out), slice ,and enjoy.

And for those of you who want to know what it looks like on the inside… Here is a blurry photo, because I was HUNGRY at this point. Haha.

One slice of the Deep-Dish Pizza.

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