Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  Feed the pregnant woman what she wants...NOW!  Hmmm, what other cliches sum up the way I felt earlier this week?  I really really really wanted a Chicago deep dish pizza!  Some friends suggested a local restaurant that serves them, my fabulous sister-in-law who just so happens to live IN Chicago offered to have one sent to me, other friends and family said various Chicago area restaurants mail their pizzas out.  These were all wonderful, but I needed one NOW.  I couldn't get the smell out of my mind, I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth, oh boy! I was desperate.
That night for dinner I was making a spinach, sausage, onion, mushroom frittata that really wasn't helping things with the lovely pizza smell.  I had to take matters in to my own hands.  Earlier in the afternoon I looked up some pictures of deep dish pizzas on Pinterest (anyone want an invite?) and got the general idea of how to make one.  I'm telling you--this craving was days in the making!  Lucky for me I keep some frozen bread dough on hand. I had some extra sausage, spinach, mushrooms, and onion, I had some cheese and sauce on hand...I COULD MAKE MY OWN DEEP DISH PIZZA!!!!  You have no idea how utterly excited I became.  I didn't have a deep dish pan.  Hmmm, a spring form pan should work...I WILL make it work. 
Desperate, I tell you.
The first thing I did was to butter up that pan because the crust needed that buttery flaky goodness (it turned out good, but not quite the light buttery flaky goodness of a restaurant one) and I definitely did not want anything to stick to my pan.
Then I pressed my thawed dough in to the bottom of the pan and partly up the sides and sprinkled some garlic powder on there.
Then comes layer one of cheese.  I used some provolone slices that I had, but you can use whatever cheese suits you.
Then come the fillings.  Typically I'm more of a veggie pizza kinda girl, but I didn't have enough veggies to make this so the sausage filled in some.  You can layer each topping or toss it all together.  I sauteed my onions and mushrooms in butter and some left over old wine along with some Italian seasonings then added the sausage, spinach--frozen and thawed, and red pepper flakes to the mix. (I didn't have quite enough fresh mushrooms so I added in some from a jar while sauteing.  This works when you are DESPERATE.)
lighting and flash make such a drastic difference! 2nd pic is no flash. looks more appetizing that way
Next comes another layer of cheese, because let's face it, cheese is delicious!  This layer was some shredded mozzarella.
Last is the sauce.  I just used some jarred spaghetti sauce, but you can make your own too.  Pop it in a 400 oven, patiently wait 30 minutes for it to cook, then a few minutes for it to cool, then slice, top with some Parmesan cheese and more red pepper flakes, and then finally, ENJOY!!!

I've made this twice this week.  Amazing! It comes together pretty fast and is super delicious and a little bit nutritious.
Let me know if you give it a try.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
bread dough (if using my recipe, use about half the dough)
garlic powder (optional)
pizza fillings
spaghetti/pizza sauce
Preheat oven to 400.  Thaw the dough if it is frozen.  Butter/oil the spring form pan.  Use fingers to spread the dough in the bottom of the pan to about 1/4 inch thick* and press it partially up the sides of the pan. If desired, sprinkle some garlic powder on the dough.  Spread a layer of cheese then pizza toppings, then another layer of cheese.  Top the cheese with some sauce and spread it just to the edges.  Carefully slide the pan in to the 400 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the center is hot and bubbly.  Let cool for a minute or two then remove the sides of the pan.  Slide the pizza on to a serving dish.  Let the pizza cool a few minutes longer before cutting it or all the toppings will slide off in to the area where a slice was removed.  Top with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.
*I saw a tip that recommended using a permanent marker  to mark a 1/4 inch from the tip of a sharp knife. Then point the tip down in to the dough to check the thickness.  If you want to be that precise you can.  I'm not, but that's just me.


  1. I make my own, too. It will hold me over until our next trip.

  2. Love it! :) Don't mess with a pregnant lady when she's hungry. Ever.

  3. Inspired to make my own too! We used Boboli crust in the past...yuck!



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