I'm a new member to the group and this is my first post. After years of living away from Chicago and wishing for ultimate deep-dish pizza from Giordano's, I finally Googled the words "Giordano's pizza recipe" and found this little group. I will be forever indebted to pizza masters, Buzz, Burn8, Steve, Pete-zza, DKM and many others who have taken the time to perfect this recipe and post their results. For the record, I took three days of my Spring Break in 2003 to fly up to Chicago, and live off of Giordano's because I resented the shipping charges they attach to their mail-order pizzas. Guess I showed them, huh?
My first (and thus far only) attempt was a Labor Day weekend project to prepare for a covered-dish dinner on the grounds at my church this past Sunday evening. In my last-minute obsession to build the perfect pie, I ordered the 6-in-1 tomatoes, a pizza dish and Penzey's spices...and then realized the orders would not be here in time.
I wound up using fresh imported Italian mozzerella and parmessian that I discoverd at local gourmet cheese shop...very expensive ($20 for both). Fortunately my girlfriend owns a set of removable bottom pans that she has used for cheesecakes.
We wound up making two pizzas following a 10-hour marathon of prepping the dough exactly as Buzz described. I bought fennel, Italian spices and minced garlic from my local grocery along with King Arthur's All-Purpose non-bleached flour.
We browned some Jimmy Dean sausage and added fresh Canadian bacon, pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, broccolini and mushrooms. Oh yeah...almost forgot...we used fresh tomatoes purchased from a roadside produce stand that we peeled, seeded and drained by hand. I added a little olive oil and fennel to this topping and topped it off with the parmesian.
The meal Sunday evening included a whole plethora of fine homemade Southern cooking (we're in Mississippi) and just as much dessert. The thought crossed my mind, "Would anyone notice?" Following the meal our pastor asked if anything stood out among the rest. The first answer given was "the deep dish pizza"! Needless, to say I'm thrilled that the first attempt was such a success. The idea was mentioned to have a pizza drive for our youth fundraiser so I may be stocking up on supplies soon. Rooms for improvement for next time:
1) Strain the tomatoes more and use more spices for the topping. I need a larger strainer. It was a bit soupy.
2) Use the aged mozzerella. The fresh cheese was wonderful but it added to the soup-iness. (I recalled this being discussed elsewhere on this site after this happened.)
3) Use a little more dough than the recipe calls for. The pans were deep and I felt there were places where the dough was a bit too thin...especially around the top.
4) Keep making pizza! (I'm not a baker and until now my only specialty was a homemade chicken pot pie.)
Thanks again for everyone's input! I feel as though I've found some new soulmates.