Filed under: Food and Recipes, Main Dishes, Travels | Tags: chicago, deep dish pizza, pizza
For the past two years, over our anniversary, my husband and I have taken a trip to Chicago. The first time, we were interested in the city and seeing what it had to offer. The second time, because we had fallen so deeply in love with the city, the enviroment, the food, and its people.
Both times we visited, we made sure to visit the same place: Uno’s, the birthplace of Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza. Now, I realize that exactly where deep dish pizza was born is of great debate, but Uno’s holds to their claim, and I’ll be sticking with them.
The pizza is, well, amazing – thin crust, heavy on toppings of fresh mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce, and some of the best, peppery pepperoni I’ve tasted. The total wait time for one of these babies: a whole hour, and your patience is greatly rewarded. If you’re thinking of visiting Chicago, or you’ve been and never been to Uno’s, I highly recommend both. The restaurant is easily accessible, only a few blocks off a station for the transit system. Show up early, the place fills fast, and then eat to your heart’s content.
Since our visits there, I’ve been searching for a recipe to recreate deep dish pizza at home, to “cook” our travels. I’ve FINALLY found one – via cookinglight.com (old reliable). I’ve altered the recipe slightly, mainly because I like pepperoni (and the hubs does too), and because I want to make it closer to the original that we eat in Chicago.
Make this pizza tonight…and have a little Chicago right in your own home.
Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
Adapted from a Cooking Light Recipe
1 tsp sugar
1 pkg dry active yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
3 cups all-purpose flour (13 1/2 oz), divided
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups tomato sauce (you know I suggest homemade)
2 tsp fresh chopped parsley
8 oz fresh low-moisture mozzarella
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oil
1 tbsp cornmeal
1. Prepare Dough – dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 10 minutes, until resembles a creamy foam. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and salt to the yeast mixture, whisking to combine. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, stirring until a dough forms (will appear shaggy). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Will take about 8 minutes. Add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tbsp at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
2. Allow to rise – place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place 1 hour, or until doubled in size (If you gently press a finger into the dough and the indentation remains, dough has risen enough). Punch dough down, cover and let stand 5 minutes.
3. Preheat oven – 375 degrees
4. Prep pizza – Coat a 12 inch cast-iron skillet with oil and sprinkle cornmeal over oil, until skillet is well coated with the cornmeal. Place the dough in the skillet, gently stretching edges to evenly coat the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Take mozzarella, slice into 1/4 inch slices, then rip into chunks. Place into the bottom of the prepared dough-covered skillet and disperse evenly. Top with tomato sauce, making sure that sauce is spread evenly over cheese. Sprinkle red peper flakes evenly over the top of the sauce. Top with desired amount of pepperoni, and then sprinkle with parsley.
5. Bake pizza – 40 minutes, until crust is brown and topping is bubbly. Let pizza stand 10-15 minutes before serving (important, else your cheese runs everywhere and the pizza is hard to slice…trust me, I was impatient the first time).
6. Serve Pizza – Cut into slices using a knife, serve, savor, and enjoy.
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