Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

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What's a pizza party here in Chicago if our famous "Chicago Style Deep Dish" isn't on the menu? We prepared the following recipe and it was amazing how the potato called for in the recipe made the dough so wonderfully light and springy. I'll definitely make this again, as will my friends and the best part is loading up the toppings!

Here are some tips from Cook's Illustrated:

Prepare the topping while the dough is rising so it will be ready at the same time the dough is ready. Baking the pizza in a deep-dish pan on a hot pizza stone or quarry tiles will help produce a crisp, well-browned bottom crust. Otherwise, a heavy rimless cookie sheet (do not use an insulated cookie sheet) will work almost as well. If you've only got a rimmed cookie sheet, turn it upside down and bake the pizza on the flat rimless side. The amount of oil used to grease the pan may seem excessive, but in addition to preventing sticking, the oil helps the crust brown nicely.


Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
recipe from Cook's Illustrated
Makes one 14-inch pizza, serving 4 to 6

1 medium baking potato (about 9 ounces), peeled and quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup water (warm, 105 to 115 degrees)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for oiling bowl
1 3/4 teaspoons table salt


1. Bring 1 quart water and potato to boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and cool until potato can be handled comfortably; press through fine disk on potato ricer or grate through large holes on box grater. Measure 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potato; discard remaining potato.

2. Adjust one oven rack to highest position, other rack to lowest position; heat oven to 200 degrees. Once temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain heat 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

3. In bowl of standing mixer or in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, mix or pulse yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup warm water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 cup water, 3 cups flour, salt, and potato. If using mixer, fit with paddle attachment and mix on low speed until dough comes together. Switch to dough hook attachment and increase speed to medium; continue kneading until dough comes together and is slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. If using food processor, process until dough comes together in a ball, about 40 seconds. Dough should be slightly sticky. Transfer dough to lightly oiled medium bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in warm oven until dough is soft and spongy and doubled in size, 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Oil bottom of 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan with remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Remove dough from oven; turn onto clean, dry work surface and pat into 12-inch round. Transfer round to pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until dough no longer resists shaping, about 10 minutes.

5. Line low oven rack with unglazed baking tiles or place pizza stone or rimless cookie sheet on rack (do not use insulated cookie sheet; see note above) and heat oven to 425 degrees. Uncover dough and pull up into edges and up sides of pan to form 1-inch-high lip. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free spot until double in size, about 30 minutes. Uncover dough and prick generously with fork. Bake on preheated tiles, stone, or cookie sheet until dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add desired toppings; bake on tiles, stone, or cookie sheet until cheese melts, 10 to 15 minutes. Move pizza to top rack and bake until cheese is spotty golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Let cool 5 minutes, then, holding pizza pan at angle with one hand, use wide spatula to slide pizza from pan to cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

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