Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: one large or two small pizzas, about 12 servings.

Recipe photo

Did you ever wonder about the "pie" in pizza pie? This dish will make that connection clear for you. With its 1 1/2" tall crust cradling distinct layers of cheese, sausage, and tomatoes, this is definitely a knife-and-fork pizza PIE.

The crust, based on a recipe whose supposed provenance is Pizzeria Uno, has an unusual flaky/tender texture, and great taste — courtesy of three types of fat: vegetable oil, olive oil, and butter. Also, the tiny bit of cornmeal adds subtle but delightful crunch.

We like to bake this in a big, 14" deep-dish pizza pan; it makes a spectacular presentation, right out of the oven. But if you don't have a big pan, feel free to use two 9" round cake pans.

Read our blog about this pizza, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

star rating (95) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one large or two small pizzas, about 12 servings.
Published: 01/15/2010

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound Italian sweet or hot sausage, cooked and sliced; or about 3 cups of the sautéed vegetables of your choice
  • 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, lightly crushed; or 28-ounce can diced or chopped tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced, optional
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning or mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary), to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle on top

Tips from our bakers

  • For individual deep-dish pizzas: Grease the wells of an individual hamburger bun pan. Divide the risen dough into 12 equal pieces; if you have a scale, each piece will weigh about 2 1/2 ounces. Roll each piece into a tight ball, then cover six of them and transfer to the refrigerator. Allow the remaining six balls of dough to rest, covered, at room temperature for 20 minutes. Stretch an unrefrigerated dough ball to cover the bottom of a well, then push it up the sides of the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough. After a 15-minute rest, bake the individual crusts for 10 minutes until they're set and barely beginning to brown. Fill, then bake the pizzas for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining (refrigerated) dough.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the crust: Mix the dough ingredients, and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth crust. This will take about 7 minutes at medium-low speed in a stand mixer.

2) Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or 8-cup measure (which makes it easy to track its rise), cover, and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes.

3) While the dough is rising, ready your 14" deep-dish pizza pan. Grease it with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.

4) Stretch the dough to make as large a circle as you can. You can do this on a lightly oiled baking mat, if you choose; or simply stretch the dough in your hands.

5) Lay the dough in the pan, and stretch it towards the edges till it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Start preheating the oven to 425°F while the dough rests.

6) Stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. The olive oil may ooze over the edge of the crust; that's OK. Let the crust rest for 15 minutes or so, as your oven comes up to 425°F.

8) Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it's set and barely beginning to brown. While it's baking, prepare the filling.

9) Drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Combine them with the Pizza Seasoning or herbs, and the garlic and sugar (if you're using them). Add salt to taste; you probably won't need any additional salt if you've used the Pizza Seasoning.

10) Cover the bottom of the crust with the sliced mozzarella, fanning it into the crust. Add the sausage (or sautéed vegetables), then the tomato mixture.

11) Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, and drizzle with the olive oil.

12) Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack. A giant spatula is a help here. Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes (or longer, for less oozing) before cutting and serving.

Yield: about 12 servings.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420 Calories from Fat: 200 Total Fat: 22g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 40mg Sodium: 1100mg Total Carbohydrate: 38g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 3g Protein: 17g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

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  • star rating 03/22/2015
  • azpicker from KAF Community
  • My goodness, for an at homemade deep dish pie, this is outstanding. The crust with all the fat?? and cornmeal was delicious. I added cabernet to the sauce, giardinere, extra garlic, pinch of sea salt, two tsp of sugar, some crushed red pepper and a handful of fresh basil leaves rough chopped. btw I used San Marzano tomatoes (pricey, but what a difference) Let it simmer for 60 minutes. Baked the crust and let it sit for three hours, then assembled the pie. First sauce, then sausage, then the cheese. Baked for time on recipe, let it rest for 15 minutes before removing from 14" pan and Wow! I think we've gone to almost every pizza place in Chicago. Uno's, Due, Nancy, Joe Arellio, Home Run inn, Malnadi, Gino's East, Palermo's, etc., etc., there's so many. I don't know if they put cornmeal in or not, but I put it in here; end product Outstanding!!! Plenty of Kudos from my Italian friends.
  • star rating 01/25/2015
  • sl from
  • I don't know why you keep publishing a very incorrect recipe. Number one: there is no, and never has been cornmeal in authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. Number two: to achieve the biscuit-like crust, you need lots of oil--approximately 3 Tablespoons for each cup of AP flour. Number three: again, to achieve the biscuit-like crust, you need a very short mix and knead, so gluten will not form (1-minute mix and 2-minute knead)--otherwise you will be making bread.
    Sorry to hear that you didn't agree with our version of the pizza. We do hope you have a recipe at home that you enjoy with family and friends. ~ MJ
  • star rating 12/14/2014
  • from
  • Awesome recipe. Creates the perfect crust. I would like to add at plum tomatoes in my experience can seem watered down. I prefer crushed tomatoes. Less garlic, and I add crushed red pepper. Results may vary.
  • 10/26/2014
  • Gail McG from Rhode Island
  • FABULOUS, but I decline to rate it, because I did not follow the recipe exactly. (If you want to go lower fat, and only have shredded cheese and crushed tomatoes, read on!). The equivalent of a whole stick of butter was a lot more fat in a pizza than I was comfortable with, so I cut the butter, oil, and olive oil in half. I have eaten lots of Uno pizza, and can honestly say I thought this was even better with less fat - not as greasy. A couple teaspoons of olive oil in each pan was plenty. When I put on that last drizzle of olive oil, I made sure to drizzle all the way around the crust. This dough recipe made enough to fill two of my Domino's pans (which are, I think, 10" and 12") with loads of puffy, fluffy, butter-crunchy crust. The sauce: remembering the Uno taste, I used 14 oz. crushed tomatoes, 1t. each dried onion and basil, salt, pepper, 1/2t. sugar. Spot-on. I used shredded cheese, instead of sliced. I stuck wih the baking directions, and the result was not drippy or soggy at all. Just wanted to let you know that it still made a 5-star pizza, even with these changes. Thanks for the great instructions, KAF! That was soooo good!
  • star rating 10/24/2014
  • Veronica Seabury from Tyler,Tx
  • What I did with this recipe is that I omitted the butter in the recipe but used it later when I came up with the idea of adding it to the dough in a process that goes like this:When dough rises you roll it out and add lots of bits of cold unsalted butter,then fold like an envelope and repeat the process 3 or 4 times.Then you fit it in the pan.That's how you achieve the pastry like layers by incorporating the butter this way,and that's the secret everybody is missing!
  • star rating 08/17/2014
  • jbr085 from KAF Community
  • This pizza is fantastic! I have made it four times. The first exactly as written, then with minor tweaks which work for me. each and every time it has turned out spectacular! I'm not from Chicago. I grew up 35 minutes outside of Philadelphia. During High school in the eighties, we would drive to south second street, in the city, to a place called Pizzeria Uno. There we would eat the most fantastic pizza. This tastes like that pizza. Now that a Pizzeria Uno can be found in every town, (there's one less than ten minutes from my house), I don't ever go. As the chain has grown, the pizza has suffered. Now I don't have to go back because I can make it myself at home. I would recumbent investing is a good quality deep dish pizza pan and pizza stone. You won't be sorry! Enjoy!
  • star rating 07/21/2014
  • Brian from Colorado
  • Crust could be a lil more tender but overall a great recipe.
  • star rating 07/16/2014
  • longhornmama from KAF Community
  • Wow! This was really good! Made exactly as directed with hot Italian sausage and Penzey's pizza seasoning. Used 2 9-inch cake pans which worked well, though I can see purchasing the 14-inch KAF pan in my future. With textured Doughmakers aluminum pans, I still got a nicely browned crust, but probably not as much so as with the dark KAF pan. We're from Houston, where deep dish isn't a thing, but after reading the comments on the blog (great additional directions, thank you!), some Chicago natives were put off by the cornmeal in the crust. I used a coarser grind cornmeal and really didn't even know it was there, so it wasn't an issue for us, and I'd continue using the recipe as is. Using a small spatula to lift a bit, and a large BBQ grill spatula to lift the pizza to the cooling rack was pretty easy and definitely necessary to ensure a crisp crust. Thanks for another great recipe!
  • star rating 06/25/2014
  • Jennifer from Madison, WI
  • I've made deep and thin crust pizza for decades, and was born and raised in Chicago on Chicago pan pizzas. This crust may not quite be Unos, but it's really, really close. Like other bakers, I've tried other so-called Pizzeria Uno's recipes over the years, but none came even close. I've always wondered what gave theirs that unique flavor and texture, and when I read the description of butter plus oil and cornmeal added to the flour, I was intrigued enough to try yet again. Btw, to dress a deep dish pizza, it's just a thin crust pizza upside down: cheese first (try adding others to the mix with the moz; fontinella's really nice), then veggies (really no need to precook; just slice them thin), then meats, then sauce, Parmesan, and olive oil. Fantastic pie! Leave it to KAF to do it again.
  • star rating 05/24/2014
  • Eva S from Alpine, CA
  • Holy cow, this was delicious! After trying Pizzeria Uno's recipe from their website (definitely was NOT the same as the restaurants!) I decided to listen to the reviewers and give this one a try. Made 2-9inch pizzas: 1 "Shroom" with trader joe's marinated mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella, and 1 "4 cheese" with trader joe's pesto, 4 cheese mix, and chopped roma tomatoes dusted with Italian seasoning. Everything tasted just like the restaurant! The only thing I would do differently is cut about 5 min off the baking time--they were a little crispy for my taste. DEELICIOUS!
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