I know what you are thinking. I was born in raised in Jersey just a few miles away from NYC where you can find some of the best pizza in the world! Now, let me tell you. On the East coast, we don’t mess around with deep dish pizza. It is thin crust all the way, Brooklyn style, or Sicilian. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago 3 years ago that I had my first ever experience enjoying deep dish pizza.
Chicago style deep dish pizza is known worldwide. It’s a pizza you can basically eat with a fork and knife from how stuffed it is with yummy goodness. I loved it! I equally love my NY style pizza too. Both are just so delicious in different ways.
I take you along the process of making a Chicago style deep dish pizza from the comfort of your own home. It tastes just like restaurant quality, trust me! You will feel so proud after making this centerpiece of deliciousness. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
Here is a pizza dough recipe for my vegan & gluten free audience which is best for thin crust:
About the dough
This dough recipe can be used for both thin-crust or deep-dish style pizza like in the recipe below.
It can also be used for Arabic style open faced pies like cheese, spinach, or meat pie.
Feel free to use it to make a braided loaf out of as well with olives, sun dried tomatoes, oregano for a Mediterranean twist. It is versatile, fluffy, and so delicious.
Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza
- 1 packet Fast Rising Instant yeast about 2 1/4 tsp
- 2 tbsp Dried Milk powder
- 2 tbsp White Sugar
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 2 cups Warm water
- 5 cups Bread Flour or All Purpose Flour divided
- 1/2 cup Olive oil
- 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 4 Garlic cloves Minced
- 1 Yellow Onion Chopped
- 1 tbsp Dried Italian Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Handful of Fresh basil optional
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp White Sugar
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes optional
- 1 Yellow Onion Thinly sliced
- 4 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup Mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups Fresh Spinach chopped
- 1/2 cup Black olives pitted, halved
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Grated Prmesan Cheese Topping
- 6 cups Low Moisture Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- First, make the dough since this will take time to rise. In a kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook or a large bowl, combine the yeast, salt, sugar, milk powder, and warm water. Add 2 cups of flour to that as well. Mix together until a creamy consistency and well combined.
- Cover the bowl with a towel or aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 min room temperature or in a warmer spot.
- Then, add the olive oil and remaining flour 1 cup at a time until well incorporated. Knead with the dough hook for 10 minutes or by hand. If the dough is too sticky, add a touch of flour if it is too dry; add a touch of water. Shape into a ball.
- Let this rest for 1 hour in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it and keep it some place warm or room temp Now, let's work on the sauce.
- Add olive oil to a deep pan and saute the garlic along with the onions with some salt and pepper for a few minutes.
- To that, add the crushed tomato can along with the fresh basil if doing so. Season again with salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar and dried italian seasoning.
- Let this simmer until the sauce thickens which shoud take 5-8 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally.
Back to the dough
- After the hour of it resting, it should increase in size. Now, portion the dough into 2 balls. One is a bigger half and the other a smaller half. The bigger half will be used for a 12 inch deep dish pizza. The other piece can be used for a smaller thin crust pizza or a smaller deep dish or anything else you want to make with the dough.
- In a lightly oiled cast iron skillet (use vegetable oil), add the larger ball of dough and spread n the bottom of the skillet. You can use a deep cake pan too or a deep dish pan. Whaever you have avanailable. Cover this and let the dough rest another 45 minutes like before.
- As for the other oiece of dough, cover it in a bowl to continue resting as well.
- In a skillet, combine all the filling ingredients and saute until spinach has wilted. Then, drain the filling of any excess moisture so it does not sog the crust. Set this aside.
Assembly of the Pizza
- The dough has now rested in your skillet or deep dish pan. Spread it out around the edges and lift the dough to cover those edges to create a crust and protection for the filling.
- Now, add a sprinkle of the cheese then top with the veggie mixture.
- Now, add all the cheese evenly on top. Top this off with the thick tomato sauce. I use all of it but use as much as you prefer.
- Finish it off by sprinkling with parmesan cheese and lightly spraying the top crust with oil.
- Bake in a 425 F oven for about 35 minutes. Crust should appear golden brown.
- Remove out of the cast iron or pan by having a spatula go around the outside of the crust to loosen it then lift and slide onto a plate. Position the plate right next to the pizza to make it easy. The crust will be thick and sturdy enough to do this. Wait for 5-10 minutes then cut into 8 pieces. Enjoy warm!