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Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Home

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Chicago deep dish pizza at home, for when you are craving your Chicago deep dish pizza fix but can’t afford to fly to Chicago…

Mmmmm…. Pizza…. Who doesn’t love pizza?


(If you don’t love pizza, don’t tell me. I will never be able to think the same of you again.)

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I must admit I am a bit pizza obsessed. And not only pizza; anything with carbs and cheese is a win in my book. I actually never tasted Chicago deep dish pizza, though. Listen, I’m from New York. I’ve never even been to Chicago and have never felt the lack.

But! I have heard a lot about Chicago deep dish pizza. And seen a lot of recipes for it online. It always kinda scared me, actually. Like, why is the sauce on top of all the other toppings/fillings? How can you call that pizza? Pizza is crust + sauce + cheese + toppings. Not crust + cheese + toppings + sauce. It just doesn’t make sense.


So I’ve seen these recipes floating around but always shied away from them. I have one home-made pizza recipe that I really like and goes over well with the whole family, so why rock the boat?

Ok, that’s not entirely true. I do like experimenting in the kitchen and trying new recipes sometimes. Any new pizza dough I try usually doesn’t come out the greatest, though, and I always end up going back to my tried and true. (Neiman Marcus)

Recently, I was in an experimental mood, and decided that I want to try this deep-dish pizza thing. The sauce would not be going on top, though. That’s just too much for me. So I made this thick dough, and put on my sauce and cheese and toppings, and served it for supper, and… it was a huge flop. No one liked it. It was really disappointing ☹

I mean, I must admit, I was carbs and cheese, so I was satisfied, but it wasn’t good carbs and cheese, if you know what I mean. Just… something about it was a bit off.

Don’t worry, though. That is not the recipe we are discussing today. Because even after my massive failure

(ok, not massive, I should stop exaggerating)

(I’ve mentioned my love of hyperbole before, haven’t I?)

I still felt the itch to try a Chicago deep dish pizza and get it right. Try making it, I mean. I currently live many thousands of miles away from Chicago, so I will not actually be trying a deep dish pizza from there.

(Or maybe I should! For science! And my blog! And truth, justice, and the American way!)


(Anyone interested in sponsoring a plane ticket? Anyone?)

So I was looking at recipes online, as I do when I’m bored and not watching makeup tutorials, and I came upon another Chicago deep dish pizza recipe.

(I am getting so sick of writing out Chicago deep dish pizza. Why is Chicago part of the name of the dish? Why can’t it just be a plain ol’ deep dish pizza?)

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The Chicago Deep Dish Pizza recipe

Recipe source:

• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons yellow corn meal
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
• 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
• 1/2 cup pizza sauce (I love Muir Glen)
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 1 green pepper, diced
• Optional: 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
• 20 pepperoni slices
• OR
• 1/2 pound cooked spicy italian sausage
• OR
• omit meat
• 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
• 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Check out the recipe on Ambitious Kitchen for exact instructions

One thing I noticed right away was that even though there was cheese underneath all the toppings, there was also cheese on top of the sauce. Yes!

What I changed from the Chicago deep dish pizza recipe

I don’t have any cornmeal so I skipped. (Usually cornmeal in pizza dough recipes is sprinkled underneath the dough on the pan/pizza stone. Here it’s mixed into the dough, which I found odd. I can’t comment on how it actually tastes like that, though, since I didn’t use it. Just pointing out a thought I had. Because my brain is weird and notices these types of things.)

I didn’t use an electric mixer, just kneaded it all by hand for a few minutes.



I don’t do meat on pizza so I skipped all that.

I didn’t use the specific types of cheeses she mentioned, just used what I had on hand (a blend of cheddar cheese and pizza cheese. What exactly pizza cheese is, nobody knows. But that is what it’s called.) I also only put the cheese on top, not underneath as well. Guess I’m too much of a New Yorker and can’t deal with upside down pizza.

Jarred pizza sauce is really expensive over here, so I made my own with tomato paste + water + sugar + spices.

I used some chopped purple onion, yellow pepper, red tomato (ok, red tomato is redundant. But the other vegetables each had a color name so I didn’t want the tomato to feel left out.)

What I thought of the Chicago deep dish pizza recipe

I was nervous that the dough would not be fully cooked, since it’s so thick. And since my oven is completely wonky and often burns the tops of things while the bottom is still not done. But it came out fully cooked, which was a nice surprise.

Chicago deep dish pizza crust
Look at that beautiful, fully-cooked crust!

I thought the pizza came out pretty good. I thought the dough was a bit on the savory side and could have used some sugar (but to be honest, that’s probably what the authentic Chicago deep dish pizza dough tastes like and I’m just not used to it.)

I have a problem with her serving size. She says serves four to six, depending on how hungry you are. I ate half the pie myself. (What? I was hungry! And it was pizza! With cheese! How could I not eat it?) I guess if you plan on loading it up with meat and toppings it would be more filling and could serve more.

Chicago deep dish pizza with toppings
Here it is, all topped off with veggies, sauce, and cheese

So I liked the pizza. Yay!!

Chicago deep dish pizza, fully cooked.
The finished product. Yummmmm….

Problem is, my family didn’t. Boo!! My boys each took one bite and said it tastes weird and they want something else for supper.

Come on, guys! This is authentic Chicago deep dish pizza here! This is an indulgence! Eat it! Enjoy it! Now!
There’s just no accounting for taste…

Recipe Grade: B

Why not serve your Chicago deep dish pizza with some classic pizza side dishes: mozzarella sticks or garlic knots?

Take care!

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