I bet you thought that Retriever Life was just going to have articles about retrievers. Well for us, Retriever Life is about a lifestyle, an adventure if you will. We have awesome dogs and we should have awesomeness in all aspects of our life! I have found that retriever lovers are generally like the dogs they love – food motivated!
One passion in my life is pizza. I have had the delight to have tasted many varieties of pizza from around the US – from New York’s crispy thin crust to Chicago’s deep dish. I even got to sample a Peruvian variation on pizza in Cuzco, Peru (not my favorite but it was good enough after many days hiking around the surrounding mountains). My quest has always been to be able to make a great deep dish pizza at home. I am going to show you the stuffed, deep dish pizza I have created after years of experimentation. I have taken inspiration from many great deep dish pizza makers like Delfino’s Pizzeria in Seattle, Pizza Papalis in Detroit, BeauJo’s Mountain Pizza in Idaho Springs, Colorado, and world famous Giordano’s in Chicago. Now I won’t claim to have bested these giants of the deep dish pizza, but I know you and your family will love this pizza!
First a warning… If you are on a low-carb diet please step away from the computer now! This pizza is rich, rich, rich!
Okay, okay you could go with an off-the-shelf pizza sauce and still have a pizza but this pizza is special and it deserves a fresh pizza sauce. Overall this sauce is pretty easy to make.
- Start by washing the tomatoes then slice them up small enough add them to your blender or food processor.
- Cut the stem off the pepper and add it to the blender. The pepper gives the sauce a nice little “kick”
- Blend the tomatoes and pepper to a smooth liquid
- Pour the liquid into a two quart pot and begin heating
- Meanwhile in a small frying pan heat, olive oil then add the garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, and fennel seeds
- After about 45 seconds on the hot flame, add the wine and continue cooking for about a minute
- Stir the contents of the frying pan into the pot and bring the sauce to a boil
- At this point the sauce will have a lot of liquid so “reduce” the sauce by turning the heat down to simmer and frequently stirring the pot until the sauce is nice and thick. This usually requires at least an hour.
- Note: Give the sauce a taste as it is cooking. If it seems a little bitter over that time add a little more sugar. If it is lacking taste, add a little more salt (go easy you can always add more)
The Pizza Dough
My pizza dough experience started by taking a recipe that I found online and immediately switching to bread flour. I have found that I like the texture of bread flour crust for my pizza. The semolina flour adds a nice bit of texture as it is the same flour that is used in spaghetti. Finally the corn meal gives the crust a bit of a fried feel. It is very subtle with this recipe and I am still experimenting with using more. Try this recipe and let me know what you think.
I have to tell you right away that I am a bit of a cheater when it comes to the dough. I use a Zojirushi Bread Maker for my pizza dough. It is an amazing breadmaker that I highly recommend for anyone that loves bread. For all of you with bread makers you can pretty much use your normal techniques (liquids first, then dry goods). I do a custom setting that has a 20 minute pre-heat and two kneads that span a total of 2 hours 50 minutes. For the folks without a bread maker:
- In a large mixing bowl combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let this mixture sit until it is foamy (5 minutes)
- Add 1 1/2 cups of bread flour, the semolina flour, the corn meal, olive oil, and salt to the bowl and mix until smooth
- Continue adding the remaining bread flour about 1/4 cup at a time until all of the flour is incorporated but the dough is still sticky
- Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until slightly sticky
- Oil a large mixing bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough around so it is oiled on all sides
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size (about two hours)
- Note: I sometimes add a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic to the dough to give it a nice garlic flavor
Putting It All Together
So we have our dough and our sauce ready. Now we just need to get everything assembled into a pizza! I use a 14″ diameter deep dish pan. Mine is only 1″ deep. I recommend the Chicago Metallic Non Stick 14-Inch Deep Dish Pizza Pan as it will bring out the best in this style of pizza. Prep time 15 minutes.
- Split the dough in two: use 1/3 for the top and 2/3 for the bottom.
- Get out your rolling pin and toss some flour onto the surface where you want to roll the dough
- Form the 2/3 dough into a flat disk by hand and then use the rolling pin to roll out the dough to the size of the pan
- Note: Deep dish pizza does not have thick crust! Roll the dough out to ~1/16″ thick
- In an olive-oiled pizza pan, place the 1/16″ thick rolled dough into the pan then work the dough up the sides of the pan making sure to keep the dough thin all the way around the pan (I trim any excess but you can leave it if you want a thicker crust)
- Slice the 1 pound of mozzarella cheese into ~1/8 inch thick slices and cover the bottom of the pizza
- Add the 6 slices of provolone cheese on top of the mozzarella
- Spread the 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top of the provolone
- Add any remaining toppings you want on your pizza
- Roll out the remaining dough to fit the top of the pizza and put on the pizza
- Pinch together the bottom crust with the top crust to seal the pizza
- Poke a few holes with a sharp knife around the top of the crust for ventilation
- Spread your pizza sauce across the top, making sure all areas of the top are covered
Cooking It Up!
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees
- Turn oven to 425 degrees and put pizza on middle rack for 35 minutes (this pizza takes a while to cook if you want the crust to be crispy)
- Check pizza periodically to make sure it is cooking well
- The crust should be a deep brown and the sauce should be deep red when it is finished
Category : Good Eats