- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 22 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
Ever since Diane tasted her first deep-dish in 1978 at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago, she set herself the goal of figuring out the recipe for the crust After years of experimentation and hundreds of deep-dish pizzas, we think this is as authentic a recipe for deep-dish pizza crust as you will find. Of course, use Lake Michigan water if you can (!), but, otherwise, regular tap water will do just fine. It is the combination of the flour and crunchy cornmeal and the addition of oil that gives this crust its signature qualities both light and crispy at the edges Unlike New York- or California-style pizzas, this dough is never rolled Use lightly oiled fingertips to gently press the dough into the pan. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes and then gently press again without pulling and stretching. This pressing technique allows the dough to develop a delicate biscuitlike structure.
1 To make the dough by hand: Begin by making a sponge. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the warm water. Add the sugar and ¼ cup of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup warm water and 3 cups flour, the cornmeal, salt, and ¼ cup olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough, incorporating as much of the flour as possible. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. It will still be a little sticky but shouldn’t stick to your hands. Add only a minimum amount of flour to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking. Lightly oil a large bowl. Add the dough and turn to coat on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place a clean, damp kitchen towel over the top.
To make the dough using a mixer: Begin by making a sponge. Fit a heavy-duty stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. In the mixer bowl, combine the yeast with ¼ cup of the warm water, then add the sugar and ¼ cup of the flour. Mix on low speed until combined. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel over the mixer to cover the bowl and let the sponge rise for 20 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup warm water and 3 cups flour, the cornmeal, salt, and ¼ cup olive oil. Mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and the dough gathers together to form a coarse ball, about 4 minutes. Let rest for 2 minutes, then mix on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, about 3 minutes longer. Even if the dough seems too sticky, turn the dough out on a well-floured work surface and knead for a minute or two until it forms a smooth ball, adding up to ¼ cup of additional flour, if necessary. Lightly oil a large bowl (or use the mixer bowl), add the dough, and turn to coat on all sides.
2 Set the bowl in a warm spot (a pilot-heated oven is a good spot, or an electric oven turned to 150°F for 5 minutes and then turned off). Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 1½ to 2 hours. (For a slow rise, place the covered bowl in the refrigerator and let the dough rise for 10 to 12 hours. Bring the dough to room temperature before completing the final rise.)
3 When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of an oiled 14-inch round deep-dish pizza pan (see recipe introduction). Let the dough rise in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Press the dough until it comes 2 inches up the sides and is even on the bottom and at the corners of the pan. Proceed with any deep-dish pizza recipe.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.