First I treated the pan with ghee made from Kerrygold Irish grass-fed cow butter. The butter itself is a nice medium yellow. Once I heated it on low in a cast iron pan and skimmed the impurities until there was no more white impurity and I could clearly see the bottom of the pan, I poured the clarified butter in canning jars for later use. Like today. My cast iron has such a nice dark black sheen after using that ghee that I'm definitely going to continue using Kerrygold butter and clarify it in cast iron. One teaspoon dollop was enough to coat the pan.
My wife made the Olive Oil bread recipe for the crust. I can't find the cookbook she used, but she told me this was a new recipe she wanted to make specifically for this pizza.
I used three Hy-Top 44c cans of tomato paste for the sauce, plus a half a jar of Sonoma Valley chardonnay pesto. I just mixed them together with a spatula. The pesto was 2 for 1 at Albertson's so I picked up four jars... I guess I have 7 pizzas left in my armory.
For the bottom cheese, I sliced some Winco bottom dollar mozzarella and filled in the spaces with shredded Motz. Then a layer of sauce.
This was something new for me, I picked up the Antipasto tray from Winco and spread it out over the sauce. Some prosciutto, some salami, some peppered salami, and another cut of thin fatty pork meat that I didn't recognize. I just layered it without regard to how it would cut. Frankly, I laid it to overlap. If I would have thought of it at the time, I would have peeled some fresh garlic and added about 20 half cloves.
Then a layer of shredded motz, and worked in the last of the sauce on that layer.
Finally, another layer of salami and peppered salami, covered with oregano, thyme, and basil, and a final coating of shredded motz. Then I realized I had a wedge of good Romano, so I grated that and mixed it in with the motz. This was a mistake. I should have shredded the Romano and layered it above the prosciutto layer and just had Motz on top, but whatever. It browned a little.
Baked it at 350 for I don't know how long, but enough time that when I tested the temp with my trusty Kitchenaid digital thermometer it read 175 I pulled it out.
I separate the dough from the edge of the pan by scraping along the outside of the pan with the back side of any given knife, and then pushing the dough down a little into the pan about halfway between the top layer and the top of the pan. No huge puffy dough crust, but enough to give you something to pick up.
350 degrees on a pizza stone until done, which was a little over an hour. Then I let it cool and set on a thick dish rag over a tile counter for about ten minutes before cutting. For the first time, I didn't cut the pie and serve my guests, I just cut it in half and had my guests choose how much of the half moon they wanted and cut to order. I used a standard pizza cutter, but you guys all know it doesn't get to the corners, so I used a serrated table knife to get the last bit of the corners cut.
Now having done this experiment, I have an adjustment or two to make to finish the recipe, but this was about as good a Chicago style pizza as I've had. I'm more than happy with the results.
Paired it with a nice Shiraz and everybody was happy.
Following the dinner, I reseasoned the skillet with a little more ghee and it's got that nice black reflective surface right back.
Nobody took advantage of the "shake cheese" or even any salt and pepper, or crushed red.
I only wish I had served a nice Antipasto salad beforehand with pepperoncini, kalamari olives, marinated onions, a bed of iceberg, some capers, a dusting of grated Romano, and some Paul Newman's olive oil based Italian style dressing.
I did make a sixer of potato skins with bacon (done on the grill and chopped), shredded cheddar, and a side of sour cream.
My guests brought a nice liter of homebrewed smoked porter, which went really well with the tater skins, and the bottle of Shiraz for the pizza.
My cyser wasn't quite as much of a hit. Apparently it needed another year to age properly.
Anyway, dinner was gooooooooood tonight. It's gonna be better next time.