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Tag Archives: pizza

Deep Dish Pizza – Chicago Style

15 Feb

I know we’re in good company when I say our family is comprised of pizza lovers.  My kids literally jump for joy on occasions when I declare that it’s “pizza night.”  Thin crust, regular crust, stuffed crust… we love ’em all.  From Pepperoni to a yummy BBQ Chicken Pizza, the pies don’t last long here.  But nothing – nothing – beats a truly great Deep Dish Pizza.

Deep Dish Pizza 3

The last time we were in Chicago, we made a point of visiting well-known joints popular for their deep dish pizzas.  Perhaps it was the huge crowds of people waiting and maxing out the kitchen… or maybe we needed to manage our expectations, but we were left a bit in wanting.

Deep Dish Pizza

Of course, there have been moments we’ve experienced pizza heaven at certain little pizza joints, and those memories always made me wish I could make my own deep dish pizza at home so we could have it anytime the craving hit.

Deep Dish Pizza 4

Rolling up the dough, starting from the short side

One day I noticed this deep dish pizza recipe resting in my humungous Cook’s Illustrated cookbook.  Nothing I’ve ever made in that beloved cookbook has ever turned out wrong, so I had a feeling this deep dish pizza would not disappoint.  We have never looked back.

Deep Dish Pizza 5

Slice rolled dough in half

This Chicago-style deep dish pizza turns out deeply flavorful and delish, so much so that the guys proclaimed it “way better at home.”  Deep dish victory!  The crust is appropriately crusty and deep, chewy yet tender, and not greasy at all.  The filling is a-ma-zing.  Awesome.  Mouthwatering.  Enviable.  Because other pies get jealous of this one.

Deep Dish Pizza 6

Roll both dough halves into balls. Two pizza crusts, ready to press into pan!

If you decide to make this, definitely follow original order for placing of the toppings.  The cheese goes first, then toppings, followed by sauce.  The cheese on the bottom is what prevents the crust from getting soggy…genius!  Wish I came up with that on my own.  The cooked pizza will yield a beautiful deep dish with cheese that stays melty underneath all the toppings your tummy desires.

Deep Dish Pizza 2

This recipe is for an awesome cheese/sausage combo, which is what we were craving the day I made this.  What’s your tummy craving?

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RECIPE (two 9-inch round pizzas)

INGREDIENTS

For the Dough:
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/4 tsp instant (rapid rise) yeast
2 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 1/4 cups room temp water
3 TB melted butter
4 TB  softened butter
olive oil

For the Sauce:
3 TB olive oil
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes with juices
1/2 tsp white sugar
2 TB dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:
1 lb (4 cups) freshly shredded mozzarella
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, browned and crumbled
4 TB freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

For the dough:  Using stand mixer and dough hook, mix flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar, and salt on low until combined.  Add water and 3 TB melted butter and mix 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed.  Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is glossy and smooth, 4-5 minutes.  Pliable dough should pull away from sides of bowl.

Coat large bowl with olive oil and place dough ball in bowl.  Turn dough around in the bowl to ensure all sides of dough are protected by oil.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For the sauce:  Saute minced onion and garlic in 3 TB olive oil over medium heat until soft.  Add rest of sauce ingredients, except for salt/pepper.  Bring sauce to simmer and cook until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 25-30 min.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Heat oven to 425F with rack on lowest position.  Turn dough out onto large surface.  Roll into 15×12 inch rectangle.  Spread 4 TB softened butter evenly over top of dough, leaving 1/2 in border along edges.  At the short end, roll dough into a tight cylinder (see photo.)  With seam side down, flatten cylinder to 18×4 in. rectangle.  Slice rectangle in half crosswise.  Working with one half at a time, fold dough into thirds and pinch seams together into a dough ball.  Return dough balls to oiled bowl, ensure all sides of the dough are protected with oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise in fridge until doubled, 40-50 min.

Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with 2 TB olive oil each.  Transfer one dough ball to large surface and roll into disk, 1/4 in. thick.  Transfer to cake pan and gently press into pan, working into corners and up sides.  Repeat with other dough ball.  (If dough resists stretching, let it sit for 5 min covered and try again.)

Divide the 4 cups mozzarella in half and sprinkle on top of each pizza dough.  Follow by browned sausage (plus any other toppings desired.)  Next, spread 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce per pizza.  Last, sprinkle 2 TB Parmesan cheese per pizza.  Bake until crust is golden brown about 20-25 min.  Remove and let sit for 10 min. before serving.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

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PIZZA: BBQ Chicken with Smoked Bacon

27 Jul BBQ Chicken Pizza

Pizza.  Mmmm, cheese, sauce, and toppings.  Pizza is one comfort food that always hits the spot.  Come to think of it, I just realized we don’t go out for pizza much at all.  What the family does do is have fun with DIY pizza creations at home.  We’ve created all kinds of pies, with yummy topping combos.   Here is an all time favorite – the BBQ Chicken Pizza, embellished with smoked bacon.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza, with a bit of smoky bacon

I fashioned this recipe from memorable BBQ chicken pizzas I had at pizza joints back in the day.  CPK creates a yummy BBQ chicken pizza with cilantro.  I use basil because I love it.  You can do whatever suits your taste buds!  The fun thing about creating your own version is that you can sprinkle as much or as little of the ingredients you like.  This BBQ Chicken Pizza gets a lot of its smoky flavor from the smoked Gouda (highly recommended) and smoked bacon.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Smoked Bacon – perfection in a pie

We piled on the BBQ chicken, crisp bacon, savory cheese, and lathered on that tangy sauce.  I also threw on some sliced red onions and fresh basil for color and flavor.  Seriously, I can’t believe how quickly my kids devoured this pizza.  They didn’t bother to pick off the onions, like they usually do.  Now, if I can only figure out how to transfer that to other dishes that include onions.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza – savory toppings on a chewy, crispy crust

The tasty toppings rest on a gorgeous homemade crust, which is pretty easy to make.  The crust is chewy and soft, with crisp exterior.  I usually use a large pizza stone, so that helps with getting a better crust.  My kitchen is currently warm with the summer, which means much easier rising of the dough.  In the winter, I let dough rise in the oven, with oven bulb light on for a tiny boost of warmth.  If needed, you can let your oven warm up on “warm” setting and turn it off, and then put dough in to rise.  Just watch it carefully so it doesn’t over rise.  The actual baking time is only 15-20 minutes!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza – go ahead, grab a plate

What are we waiting for?  Let’s get cooking!

RECIPE (one 14 inch pizza)

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 TB good olive oil
1 1/2 cups water to 110F
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups extra flour
1-2 TB cornmeal for dusting pizza stone, if desired
Optional herbs for herb-infused crust:
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

For the pizza topping:
6-7  chicken tenderloin fillets
1 cup sweet honey barbeque sauce (I only use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
2 TB honey
1 tsp salt
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1 cup smoked Gouda, shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 TB chopped fresh basil
4 slices smoked bacon (applewood is great), cooked and cut into pieces
fresh cracked pepper

DIRECTIONS

Make BBQ Sauce:  Mix sweet honey BBQ sauce with 2 TB honey and 1 tsp salt.  Set aside.  This can be done way ahead of time and kept in fridge.

For the chicken:  Thoroughly dry raw chicken tenderloin fillets with paper towels.  Lay each piece flat on baking pan and generously sprinkle salt over the top of each piece.  Pour 1/4 cup BBQ sauce mixture over chicken, and mix in well so all parts of chicken are completely coated.  Rearrange fillets in single layer.  Bake chicken at 350F for 15-20 min., or until chicken is just cooked but not overcooked (if your chicken pieces are thicker, you may need to bake longer.)  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  When cool, dice chicken into bite size pieces.

For the dough:  In large bowl, mix yeast, salt, brown sugar, and oil.  Let sit for 10 minutes or until foams.

Mix in 3 cups of flour.  Knead in more flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky.  Add any desired herbs to dough.  Place dough into well oiled bowl, turn dough in bowl until dough is covered with oil, and cover with a damp cloth.  Let dough rise until doubles, about 1 hour in a warm room – true rising time depends on temperature of your room.  After dough is doubled, punch it down, and form tight ball.  Let dough relax for 1-2 minutes.  Roll it out to large circle, flouring your board a bit if needed.  Roll up edges so you have a pizza crust about 14 inches in diameter.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Place pizza stone to preheat in oven if you are using one.  If you have a pizza peel, you can assemble your pizza on that and slide onto hot pizza stone when ready.  You can also assemble your pizza on room temp pizza stone; it just won’t be as crisp on the bottom – it will help to sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone and spray with oil before laying your dough on top of it.   If you are baking on a pan, oil pan and let dough rise 20 min. before topping/baking.

To assemble pizza:  Spread the rest of BBQ sauce mixture over the dough evenly.  Place diced chicken and bacon over sauce.  Layer red onion slices over chicken.  Sprinkle on mozzarella and smoked Gouda.  Top with freshly cracked black pepper.  Bake pizza for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and sprinkle on chopped basil.

Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by CPK

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