Originating in Chicago, deep-dish pizza is made with a thick dough, in this case one made with the addition of cornmeal for pleasant crunch. One of the best pans for cooking a deep-dish pizza is a cast-iron skillet; the bottom and sides of the pan maintain a high temperature, producing a crispy crust. This recipe makes twice as much dough as you will need. Place the second ball in a sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months and you’ll be ready to make another pizza whenever you like. When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.
Fully-Loaded Deep-Dish Pizza
For the dough:
3 3/4 cups (19 oz./595 g) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup (3 1/3 oz./100 g) medium-grind cornmeal
1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 package (2 1/2 tsp.) quick-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) warm water (110°F/43°C), plus more as needed
5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil, plus more as needed
3/4 lb. (375 g) sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
5 oz. (155 g) white or brown mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for brushing
1 1/2 oz. (45 g) pepperoni, sliced
1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) oil-cured black olives, pitted and halved
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups (5 oz./155 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and yeast. Pulse to mix the ingredients. With the motor running, add the water and olive oil in a steady stream, then pulse until the dough comes together in a rough mass, about 12 seconds. If the dough does not form into a ball,
sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. of water and pulse again until a rough mass forms. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Process the dough again for 25 to 30 seconds, steadying the top of the food processor with one hand. The dough should be tacky to the touch but not sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and form it into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover with
plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and spongy, about 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down, and shape into a smooth cylinder. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, dusting with flour only if the dough becomes sticky. Cover both balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Place the second ball in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. (When ready to use, thaw the frozen dough for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).
In a fry pan over medium-high heat, fry the sausage, stirring occasionally and using your spoon to break up any clumps, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the vegetables are softened and the mushrooms are browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Brush a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron fry pan with olive oil. Put the pizza dough in the pan and pat into a disk. Using your hands, press the dough into the pan, nudging it gently into an even layer on the bottom and about halfway up the sides. Brush the dough with more olive oil and top with the sausage, pepper and mushroom mixture, pepperoni and olives. Pour the tomato sauce over, spread it evenly and finish with the cheese. Season the whole pizza lightly with salt and pepper.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the bottom of the dough is nicely browned (lift carefully with a spatula or long-bladed knife to peek). Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice directly in the pan and serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for pizza you’ll want to serve every night of the week,
check out our new Pizza Night, by Kate McMillan