Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Hailed as one of the best things to ever come out of Chicago, traditional deep dish pizza is in a class all its own. Although it contains many of the same ingredients as a classic pizza, Chicago deep dish pizza is assembled in reverse. Built upon a sturdy base of dough with high sides, the toppings of cheese, Italian sausage, peppers, and onions are layered on the bottom—with an ample covering of zesty tomato sauce on top! Our recipe for this Chicago staple tastes delicious baked in our Ooni pizza oven and cast iron skillet.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza 

Recipe Video


Ingredients

Makes 2 x 9” pizzas

For the dough:

  • 380g all-purpose flour
  • 24g cornmeal
  • 4.6g active dry yeast
  • 3.4g sugar
  • 3.4g fine sea salt
  • 222g warm water
  • 74g vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the toppings:

  • 226g classic pizza sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • half a small onion, thinly sliced
  • half a medium bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 226g Italian sausage, crumbled
  • 128g shredded mozzarella

Equipment

Ooni Cast Iron Skillet


Directions

For the sauce for this pizza, we recommend preparing our easy classic pizza sauce. With a hint of garlic, salt and basil, it's the ideal pizza sauce that will help to bring out the flavors in the other ingredients used here.

Prepare the pizza dough ahead of time, at least 2 hours before you want to start cooking your pizza.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt.

Place two-thirds of the water in a large bowl. Bring the other third of water to boil, then add it to the cold water in the bowl. This creates the correct temperature for activating yeast.

Add the water and oil to the mixing bowl, and mix all the ingredients together with either a spoon or an electric dough mixer until the flour is completely absorbed, then continue kneading for 5 minutes. The dough will be ready when it’s smooth and slightly sticky – it will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom of the bowl.

Grease a medium bowl with the tablespoon of melted butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn the dough over to coat it in the butter. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until it’s doubled in size.

In a pan over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of the olive oil. Sweat the onion and bell pepper until softened, then add the sausage and sauté until cooked. Set aside.

Fire up your pizza oven. Aim for a temperature of 260˚C at the center of the baking stone inside. You can check the temperature quickly and easily using an infrared thermometer.

Divide the dough in half. Grease your Ooni Cast Iron Skillet with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Layer on the toppings, starting with the mozzarella, then the sausage, onion and bell pepper mixture, and finally an even layer of the pizza sauce.

Place the skillet in the back of the oven for 5 minutes, until the top is golden and the crust is evenly browned, turning halfway through the bake. Move the skillet to the front of the oven and continue baking for another 20 minutes, rotating every few minutes. If the top of the crust looks like it’s browning too fast, turn off the oven, push the skillet to the middle of the oven to continue baking the pizza in the residual heat. The pizza is cooked when you can easily lift up the crust using tongs.

Remove the skillet from the oven and let the pizza rest for 5 minutes. To serve, you can either slice it inside the skillet, or pull it out onto a serving board to slice – and enjoy all that saucy, cheesy goodness!

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