Papa Del's Style
Deep Dish Pizza

Papa Del's is located on Green Street in Urbana (Champaign), Illinois. In all of my pizza travels, I have come to love Papa Del's original thick-crust sausage pizza. This pizza is in a class of its own and cannot be compared to Chicago-Style deep-dish pizza, which has a completely different type of crust.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Pete Brooks. This pizza takes a long time to prepare, about 4 hours, but is well worth the effort! This recipe is a "work in progress" and is by no means complete. It is, by far, the most authentic tasting Papa Del's recipe that I have come across.

Please, if you try this recipe and come up with improvements, take time to share with me.


  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Package Instant Dry Yeast

Scald milk. Add butter, sugar and salt. Allow milk mixture to cool to "warm." Add yeast and mix thoroughly.

In a heavy-duty mixer (e.g., KitchenAid), add milk mixture. Slowly add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow dough to rise for 2 hours. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, and allow to rise and additional 2 hours until approximately doubled in bulk.


The sauce: The improvisational cook's delight

  • 1 Can (16 ounces) Tomato Puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Sweet basil
  • Garlic

Simmer sauce for 1/2 hour.


Using a coarse grater, grate 4 oz. mozzarella, 2-3 oz. provolone. Using a fine grater, grate 1 oz. parmesan. (1 oz. Romano is optional)

Slice approx 1/8-1/4" thick 4 oz. mozzarella, 2-3 oz provolone.

Assembly & Baking

Grease a 10" deep-dish pizza pan. Roll the crust to fit the pan. The edges should come to the top of the pan. Take the sliced cheese and layer it on the bottom. Take some of the sauce and spread it on the cheese. Take more of the cheese and spread a layer. Continue, but try to end up with mostly sauce on top. (The cheese will overcook if it's exposed on top.)

Bake 45 minutes at 425 degrees F. Serves 4 *hungry* people.


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