I am far from an expert on the Chicago style, but if you want to get a general idea as to some of the differences between the more popular Chicago deep-dish pizzas as sold by Gino's East, Lou Malnati's, Giordano's and Uno's, you may want to take a look at the ingredients for some of their particular pizzas. For example, as noted at Reply 9 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2467.msg22170.html#msg22170
, the ingredients for a typical Gino's East pizza are:
11" Deep Dish Cheese Pizza
INGREDIENTS: DOUGH (FLOUR [WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON, THIAMINE, MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID], WATER, VEGETABLE OIL [CORN OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL], DOUGH CONDITIONER [SUGAR, CREAM OF TARTAR, FDC YELLOW #5 AND #6, YEAST]), PIZZA SAUCE (TOMATOES [FRESH TOMATOES, TOMATO PUREE, SALT, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, CITRIC ACID], WATER, CORN STARCH, SUGAR, SALT, SPICES) MOZZARELLA CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PART SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES, CALCIUM CHLORIDE), ROMANO CHEESE (PART SKIM COWS MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), OREGANO
and, for a typical Lou Malnati's pizza (pepperoni):
Crust: flour, water, corn oil, olive oil, yeast;
Mozzarella cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, culture, salt, enzyme);
Sauce: tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, citric acid;
Pepperoni (pork, beef, salt, spices, sugar, lactic acid, starter culture, extraction of paprika, garlic powder, spice extractions, sodium nitrite, BHA/BHT, citric acid);
Romano cheese (part skim sheepís milk, part-skim cowís milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes, sodium aluminocilicate (anti-caking agent), oregano.
As noted at Reply 23 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5674.msg51855.html#msg51855
, the ingredients for some typical Giordano's pizzas are given as follows:
Cheese Stuffed Pizza
Ingredients: Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose)
Spinach Stuffed Pizza
Ingredients: Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, olive, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Spinach.
Veggie Stuffed Pizza
Ingredients: Crust (Flour, water, vegetable oil, yeast, salt, spices), Sauce (Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, salt, spices, calcium chloride), Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized whole and skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized part skim milk, cheese cultures, salt, powdered cellulose), Onions, Green Pepper, Mushrooms.
I have not seen an up-to-date list of ingredients on the forum for a typical Uno's deep-dish pizza, but I found the following ingredients list from the Uno's website (http://www.unos.com/kiosk/nutritionUnos.html
INGREDIENTS: Pizza Dough mix (enriched wheat cake flour, soybean oil, salt, sucrose, instant dry yeast), Mozzarella Cheese, Pizza Sauce (tomato puree, tomato, carrot, olive oil, salt, onion, garlic, sugar, spices, citric acid), Soybean Oil, grated Romano Cheese.
What you may want to note is that none of the ingredients lists call for using cornmeal or semolina or anything like that, although I am sure that at some time cornmeal or semolina was used by some pizza operator in the Chicago area. You will also note that Gino's uses dyes (food colorings) to get the characteristic yellow/orange crust color. Gino's also uses cream of tartar as a conditioning agent; Lou Malnati's, Giordano's and Uno's do not. You will also see that the Gino's East and Malnati's ingredients lists do not call for any salt is the dough. And only Gino's East and Uno's use sugar (sucrose) in their doughs. Unlike the others, Uno's uses cake flour, and also carrot in the sauce, which I have read about before but never seen in an actual sauce formulation. You will also see that none of the above products call for a solid fat, such as butter or margarine or a Crisco-like product, although they are apparently used by some of the operators to grease the pans.
In terms of members who have attempted to create their own versions of the above pizzas, I would say that DKM is the acknowledged expert in the Lou Malnati's style, foodblogger is the acknowledged expert in the Gino's East style, and that buzz is the acknowledged expert in the Giordano's style. DKM also has a cornmeal deep-dish dough recipe that I have used and liked, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dkm_chicago.php
. There are also several other currently active members who have distinguished themselves with their own deep-dish creations, including loowaters, BTB, and goosen1. If you look for their threads in the Chicago Style index, you will find some of their dough recipes/formulations that have gotten rave reviews.
Because of all the many variations in the Chicago deep-dish style, when Boy Hits Car (Mike) and I designed the deep-dish dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dd_calculator.html
, we did our best to include in that tool all of the many different ingredients that we identified as being used (including potato flour!!), or possibly being used in some cases, for the deep-dish style. So, if you find a recipe in baker's percent format, or if you would like to create one on your own, you should be able to come up with just about any type of deep-dish dough you want, for any desired pan size. The tool also has an option to make a separate crust for a stuffed deep-dish version should you wish to do that.
Knowing your own taste preferences, and possibly with help from other members on the types of tomatoes and cheeses to use, you might be able to use the above information to zero in on a Chicago deep-dish style that you think will best meet those preferences.