A couple of weeks ago I made my first attempt at a deep dish generally following the recipe developed by Loowaters to duplicate a Lou Malnati's crust. Since that attempt I made it to Chicago and ate at the Lou's on Wells. My first try turned out pretty well, the crust was a bit thick in the corners and as I found out a fair amount denser than Lou's
For my second try I utilized the 19% corn oil recipe. I proofed the dough for 1.5 hours using the proofing setting on my oven, punched it down, proofed it for one more hour, then refrigerated for about 46 hours. My last attempt I refrigerated for 24 hours, but I also prepared some American style dough that called for 48 hours so I made the deep dish at the same time on Thursday and left both in the fridge until today.
After 1.5 hours on the counter, the dough seemed more pliable than last time. I tried to make it thinner overall, especially at the corners and up the sides. I had to trim a little off as it came up past the top of the pan, so the top was a little ragged. I filled it with a mix of part skim and whole milk mozzarella slices, spicy sausage, pepperoni, and partially drained 6 in 1 tomatoes seasoned lightly with basil, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Not Lou's sauce I know, but I found the Lou's a bit watery and over-sauced. I spooned the sauce between the sausage and pepperoni, not covering the top. I greased my pan with butter flavored Crisco. The pie was baked for 28-30 minutes with the pan on a stone at 450.
This time the crust was very close to what I had last week at Lou's, at least to my rookie deep dish palette. Much lighter texture than my first attempt, not near as hard or dense, and the walls and corners were definitely thinner. Both my wife and I liked it very much.
Thanks to Loowaters for working on this process and thanks to him for the PM pointing out he had changed the corn oil percentage. Loo, if you see this, do you think that change resulted in not only better flavor, but could have been a factor in the improved texture? Have you utilized a 48 hour rise in the fridge before baking, and could that have improved the texture? This one was much better.
My apologies to the purists, but I like deep dish with the lower amount of sauce. Sorry also for the long post, but I'm really digging this pizza making, and this website. I just became a Bronze member.
Here's some pics.