I found this posting in the Usenet archives (circa 1992). How does it compare to what you remember?
The best deep dish pizza isn't from Chicago. It comes from a place called Papa Del's in Champaign-Urbana, home of the University of Illinois. Skeptics might check rec.food.cooking and note that several people are asking for Del's recipe this very week.
They're out of luck. Papa Del's keeps it's recipe a tightly guarded secret. You few, you hungry few, you band of eaters (whoops, wrong thread) are lucky to have me around, for I am about to spill the sausage.
Don't ask me how I got this. It is a sordid tale and all I will say is that I had nothing to do with the sexual favors involved.
I regret that I do not have specific measures for the spices or the instructions for the homemade sausage but apparently there are things that even sex won't buy.
And now, the home version of the recipe...
"Papa Del's Style" Pizza
Preparation time: 2 1/2 hours
Cooking time: 45 minutes
STEP 1 - The Dough
3 1/2 C. flour (1 C. may be wheat flour)
2 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 t.)
2 t. honey
1 1/3 C. warm water
Dissolve yeast in the water, then add the honey and oil. Let stand for about 10 min.
Combine flour and salt. Add bit by bit to the water and stir. When dough forms, knead in the rest of the flour. Knead for about 10 min. (or until it feels right).
Let dough rise for about 2 hrs (until doubled in size).
STEP 2 - The Sauce (make while dough is rising or the night before)
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 16oz can tomatoes (or fresh, ripe tomatoes)
2 t. olive oil
garlic - minced
any other spices you feel like putting in
Chop up the tomatoes, mix with the tomato paste, and place in a large covered pot (it likes to splatter) on low heat. Add salt and spices - the more spices, the better! - until it tastes right. Continue cooking and stiring till the dough is done. (You might consider adding chopped onion, green pepper and pre-cooked hot italian sausage to the sauce, although Del's doesn't do this.)
STEP 3 - Toppings
2 to 2 1/2 lbs of Mozzarella cheese
Any or all of the following:
You know what you like on your pizza - prepare them while the sauce is cooking. Precooking the sausage is recommended.
Step 4 - Assembling and Cooking the Pizza
When the dough is ready lightly flour it and roll it slightly larger than the pan to be used (a 12 inch cast iron skillet is recommended, although you could use a 9x13 inch pan or something similar). Oil the pan well. Put the dough over the top of the pan and slide it down so that it fits the pan. Make sure there is at least a 1" lip.
Spread the Mozzarella cheese in the bottom of the pizza so that no dough is showing through.
Add whichever of the following ingredients you want in this order:
onions, green peppers, olives
Sprinkle top with some Parmesan or Romano cheese, followed by some oregano.
Sprinkle olive oil on exposed areas of cheese, pepperoni, and whatever else might burn. Spread oil on top edge of dough.
Preheat oven to 400F. Cook pizza at this temp for about 45 min.
Let cool until cheese thickens.
Note: cooking time and temperature may be different in your oven.