Recently I've made my own Chicago-style deep dish a few times, to varying degrees of success. I've basically been using a very slightly modified version of Real Deep Dish's recipe. The two pizzas I've made in the last week have turned out very well overall. See the attached photos (sorry for the bad quality). I've gotten a nice thin, crispy crust, somewhat Malnati-like, and the sauce came out very nicely on the most recent one (the one without pepperoni).
I've got a few questions:
1) First, how long do you guys typically let your deep dish pie settle after taking it out of the oven? Today I let it sit for roughly 5 minutes, and when I cut into it I realized it wasn't long enough; the cheese and sauce immediately started oozing out once I removed a slice. Is there anything I should do besides letting it sit out longer?
2) Second, the cheese in my pizzas has seemed to be somewhat bland. In the most recent one, I used 16 oz Sorrento part-skim mozzarella topped with roughly 8 slices of Sargento provolone. For some reason, the cheese just doesn't seem as flavorful as what I'm used to back home in a Malnati's or Giordano's pizza. What can I do to improve the cheese's taste? Should I use whole milk mozzarella, or maybe fresh mozzarella? Maybe some other types of cheeses in addition to the mozz?
3) Finally, I've been considering trying to make a Chicago-style stuffed pizza; all I've made so far is the simple deep dish. How do you guys typically do the top layer of dough/crust? Would I just make some extra dough and roll out a thin layer to lay on top of the cheese?
Thanks for whatever suggestions you may have.
As far as cheese-oozing goes, that's usually not a bad thing.
5 to 10 minute rest time is usually enough to reduce that, but it sounds like you're using too much cheese.
For a 12" deep dish, 12-16 oz of cheese TOTAL is the sweet spot. YES, it is
possible to use too much cheese (despite what the Wisconsin Dairy Council will tell you), which can lead to extra grease, which combines with tomato juices and meat greases (pepperoni, sausage, etc.) and any other topping that contains water, hence the oozing
What kind of tomatoes are you using? Drain if necessary, but my money says too much cheese.
What size pizza was this?
What temp did you bake?
RE: Cheese recommendations:
Mozzarella, in general is a mild flavored cheese. One of my favorite tasting mozzarellas is the Bakers & Chefs (aka Stella) low moisture part skim. If you can find the whole milk version, it will have more flavor. I recommend using other sharp and tangy cheeses in combination to up the flavor if you need something more. I like an aged wisconsin brick cheese (the older, the tangier), or throw a bit of shredded cheddar or grated romano on top of the dough before laying down the sliced mozzarella.
Be aware that using fresh mozz will lead to extra water being in your pizza, making your oozing problem worse.
Oh, one more thing.
Consider picking up a real deep dish pan / aluminized steel cake pan.
Nice pics. Looks better than my first one did. :-)