Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

or "Pizzeria Uno" style pizza

A Chicago Legend

In Chicago...eating pizza is a dining experience, not just a snack as in most places. But it wasn't always that way. Ike Seawell changed things back in 1943 when he created deep dish pizza. (Some folks call it Chicago Pizza.)

This recipe was adapted from the book The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American by Jeff Smith. Jeff wrote that "I have tried to figure out how it's done at Pizzeria Uno and I think that I'm very close. I ran my recipe by Mama, a gorgeous black woman who has been cooking pizzas there for thirty years, and she smiled and nodded. You can't get much better than that!"

Dough Recipe

  • 2 packages rapid rise dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 5 1/2 cups flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer (e.g. KitchenAid), dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the vegetable oil, olive oil, cornmeal, and half of the flour. Beat for 10 minutes. Attach the dough hook and mix in the remaining flour. Knead for several minutes with the mixer. (Note: because the dough is very rich and moist, it would be difficult to do this by hand.)

Remove dough and place on a clean countertop. Cover with a very large metal bowl and allow to rise until double in bulk. Punch down and allow to rise again. Punch down a second time and you are ready to make pizza!

Oil your deep-dish pizza pan. Depending on the size of your pan, place some dough in the pan and push it out to the edges using your fingers. Put in enough dough so that you can run the crust right up the side of the pan. Make it about 1/8-inch thick throughout the pan.

Filling for a 9- or 10-inch Pan

  • 1/3 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups Italian-style whole peeled tomatoes, drained and squished
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Place the cheese in tile-like layers on the bottom of the pie. Next put in the tomatoes and the basil, oregano, garlic, and salt, reserving the Parmesan cheese for the top. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the pie and you are ready to bake.

Variations: Before you put on the Parmesan cheese and olive oil drizzle, you might like to add any or all of the following:

  • Italian sausage, hot or mild
  • Yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • Pepperoni, sliced thin
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Green sweet bell peppers, cored and sliced thin

Bake the pie in a 475°F oven until the top is golden and gooey and the crust a light golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.



Italian Sausage (Chicago Style)

By David Aleksy

  • 4 lbs. pork shoulder (or pre-ground from the grocery in a pinch)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • Red pepper to taste, about 1 1/2 tsp.

Grind pork and mix in spices. Do not saute the sausage, as it hardens it. Try forming the sausage into 6-inch oblong loaves and microwave them on the defrost setting until the pink barely disappears. Let the loaves cool, then break them into bite sized chunks. Freeze and use as you desire.


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