1) Can I use any kind of oil?
You should try to stick to oils that have a higher smoke point, so stay away from the non-refined extra virgin oils (or use them in a smaller amount in combination with another oil).
The recipe calls for corn oil and olive oil (the regular kind).
I like to skip the olive oil altogether and just use all corn oil.
Some people use butter, coconut oil, canola, lard, bacon grease, or crisco.
You can use any combination that you like.
2) Do I have to get half of the flour on the countertop while mixing?
No, in fact, you probably want to use a little more care than I did when mixing.
I sometimes get a little overexcited in front of a video camera.
3) How hot does the water need to be? The water should be hot, but not scalding. The term they use is ‘luke-warm’,
which should be about 105 degrees fahrenheit. If the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast. The easiest way to get the right temp water without a thermometer is to put your hand under the water tap while it’s heating up and if the water is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for the yeast.
4)Do I have to use semolina? No, you do not have to use semolina. I list semolina as an optional ingredient for those who like to use it, but I prefer to make my deep dish dough with just all-purpose flour.
5) Is it really that easy to make deep dish dough?
If you have any questions that the video did not explain, feel free to post a comment and I’ll try to post a reply as soon as I can.
a dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture, usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked.
Deep dish pizza is also made like this, except for a few differences.
1) While most pizzas are baked directly on the stone floor or deck of a pizza oven, a deep dish pizza is baked in a pan. The original Chicago deep dish pizzas were made in round pans, very similar (possibly identical) to cake pans. (never start a sentence with…)Because Deep Dish was intended to be a more substantial version of pizza, it is made in a pan and constructed to have a high outer wall to contain the generous amount of ingredients put inside.
2) With a few exceptions (Jersey, I’m talking to you!), most modern pizzas are made with the dough on the bottom, then the sauce on top of that, and then cheese goes on the very top, along with any additional toppings.
Deep dish pizza is assembled in a very similar way to a New Jersey “Tomato Pie”.
Cheese goes down first, then toppings, and tomato sauce goes on top. For deep dish pizza, this is essential, because if you don’t put the sauce on top, the cheese and toppings will burn due to the longer baking time.
Good day, and welcome to Rant #3 – THE CRUST: Deep Dish Doughand the Pequod’s Confusion:
To start, I should explain the main difference between a Basic (or New York style) pizza dough and a Chicago Style Deep dish dough.
Basic Pizza Dough contains flour, oil, yeast, and water, and most people also add salt. Lombardi’s in New York (the widely accepted originator of New York style pizza and the first pizzeria in the US) has mentioned on television that they don’t use oil – only flour, yeast, water, and salt.
The ingredients are mixed together and kneaded for several minutes.
Kneading dough builds up gluten, which provides a chewy/bready texture to pizza dough.
Deep Dish Pizza Dough is also made with the same ingredients, but the amounts of oil and water are typically reversed, having more oil in a deep dish dough.
A deep dish crust is closer to a biscuit or pie crust, so unlike a Basic dough, deep dish dough is not kneaded much at all. Ingredients are mixed to combine and kneaded long enough to bring the dough into a ball (about a minute).
Both types of dough are given time to rise, and various recipes also require time in refrigeration to develop additional flavor.
Perhaps some of the confusion lies in the variation of a number of pizza restaurants that interchangeably call their “pan” pizzas “deep dish”. I’ll admit that they may be using the exact same pizza pan to make their pan pizza, but often what they are making is not traditional Chicago Deep Dish.
I’ll take a few moments out of my “traditional deep dish” research to talk about another favorite pizza of mine, which is one of the best tasting examples of a non-traditional deep dish/pan pizza hybrid.
Originating in Morton Grove, Pequod’s was originally started by a guy named Burt back in 1971, (which he opened after selling his Rogers Park restaurant, Gulliver’s). Burt sold Pequod’s in the 1980’s (which had then opened a second location in Chicago) and later opened up his own low key pizza place (Burt’s) across the street some time later. This style of pizza, although extremely awesome, does not qualify as traditional Chicago Style Deep Dish. It is, however, very close. I call this style “Modern Deep Dish” to distinguish it from “Traditional Deep Dish”. The Modern Deep Dish pie is assembled in relatively the same way – crust on bottom, then the cheese, then the sauce. Other topping locations vary. The main distinction between the two styles is the dough.
Pequod’s has a thicker, pillowy raised crust, resembling something closer to a square Detroit or Sicilian style crust, but baked in a round deep dish pan.
This dough has been kneaded longer than a traditional deep dish dough.
Also unique to this style of pizza (and probably it’s trademark) is the caramelized cheese on the outer crust, which is created by adding cheese all the way to the edges of the pizza pan, overlaying the crust which is then charred to perfection. This characteristic will either make you love or hate this pizza, depending on your tastebuds. I’m told, but have yet to experience, that the pizza from Burt’s Place is superior to that of Pequod’s. Burt is much more in control of the quality of his pies, as he is the one baking them.
BACK TO THE DEEP DISH DOUGH:
So way up there above the Pequod’s story, I was talking about how deep dish dough is not actually a thick dough. Hopefully you watched the embedded video of Marc Malnati building a deep dish pizza, as he would have given you the lowdown on that and the basic concept of deep dish pizza. The dough is not tossed, it is pressed out into a deep pan in a thin layer and then pulled up the sides. Then sliced cheese is added, then sausage (if you’re having sausage), then the sauce goes on top. The sauce is on top to keep the cheese and other ingredients from burning because of the longer baking time of a deep dish pie. The one thing he left out that I had touched upon in the last pizza rant is that none of the traditional chicago deep dish chains – not even Gino’s East – NONE of them use cornmeal in their dough. A commonly recurring myth, cornmeal finds its way into a number of so-called “chicago style deep dish” recipes in books and on the web. If you’re attempting to make your own deep dish at home, do yourself a favor – don’t believe them when they tell you deep dish dough contains cornmeal. It’s just not true. (yes, I will shut up about the cornmeal now) The answer you seek is corn oil. How do I know? Well, there’s a bucketload of knowledge to be had by visiting the pizzamaking.com forum, where you will find a wealth of information gained by pizza-philes who have been seeking the answers to the secrets of pizza-making for years. They have found their answers by trial and error, communicating with each other about their experiences, and by talking to the people behind the scenes at your favorite pizza place. I discovered them on my own google-based quest for deep dish pizza and have found them to be extremely helpful.
There’s not much else to say about the dough, so if you’re thinking of making your own deep dish pizza, and you’re willing to do a little digging, find a decent recipe for deep dish and give it a try!
A BRIEF NOTE ABOUT TOPPINGS:
As mentioned above, tomato sauce is placed on top to keep the toppings from burning.
Some toppings can benefit from a bit of charring, but you may need to practice to find out which ones can handle being on top during a 30-40 minute bake. Pepperoni should be partly submerged or pressed into the sauce to give the pepperoni the opportunity to get a bit crispy without getting over-charred. If you like your pepperoni on the softer side, add them on top of the cheese before you add the sauce. Mushrooms and onions contain a lot of water, so they could probably survive on top of the sauce. Peppers should probably be placed in or under the sauce (or added halfway through the baking time). Garlic and spices should be added before you add the sauce, or should be combined with the sauce before adding it to the pie.
I’ll keep posting pics of new pizzas as I make them.
Why does Pat “Pasquale” Bruno, Chicago Sun-Times food critic and author (he has 2 books about pizza),
believe that cornmeal belongs in a recipe for deep dish pizza dough? Well, I haven’t asked him (and he’s welcome to post a reply), but my guess would be that he (or Jeff Smith – we’re not certain who came up with this idea first) may have incorrectly guessed that cornmeal was the source of one or two aspects of deep dish dough:
1) FLAVOR: Corn oil (along with other oils) is (or was) widely used in the dough recipe for some of the more popular Deep Dish pizza restaurants. (Lou Malnati’s/Pizzeria Uno). I’ve learned that some now use soybean or other oils.
2) COLOR: Gino’s East has an incredibly yellow colored crust; I’ve learned that this is actually created by a food-grade baking industry food coloring called Yolkoline (or possibly a combination of McCormick yellow dyes #5 & #6) aka Egg Shade.
I’ll concede this much – It is possible that after all these years Mr. Bruno does know the truth about the cornmeal and stubbornly continues to let this cornmeal myth grow to throw everyone off.
I’ll excuse Bobby Flay for using cornmeal. He’s from New York; he doesn’t know any better. He does make it more confusing to everyone by including cornmeal in his dough recipe on foodnetwork.com, and leaving out any instructions on when to add or use it (update – it seems that they’ve since updated the recipe – after many comment postings – to add the cornmeal into the bowl when adding the flour). We all know why Marc Malnati won’t correct Bobby Flay. He’s trying to win a pizza throwdown (and talking a lot of smack while doing it) and he’s got a mail-order deep dish pizza business and a chain of restaurants that need to keep making money. Why would he tell everyone on TV how to exactly duplicate his pizza dough?
If Pat Bruno knows that cornmeal should not be in there, and goodness knows he’s been covering the subject long enough, why does he not dispel the myth on the show?
IT TAKES YOU FIVE SECONDS TO CLEAR UP THIS MYTH FOR GOOD!
SAY IT LOUD! SAY IT PROUD! DEEP DISH PIZZA DOES NOT HAVE CORN MEAL IN IT!
Bobby Flay hopefully knows the truth now. He should demand a rematch, and skip the broccoli robb this time… Silly New Yorker.
OK, so now we return to the subject – Cornmeal:
It’s not a true ingredient of traditional Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza. Don’t believe me? Ask the guys over at the Pizzamaking.com – Chicago Style Pizza Forum.
Also, there’s a definite possibility that thin crust pizza restaurants dusted their pizza peels with semolina (similar in texture to cornmeal) confusing modern bakers and forever linking pizza with cornmeal.
Can you use it?
It’s YOUR pizza; do what you want, but many people think cornmeal makes pizza dough taste gritty. Some like the extra corn flavor that cornmeal adds. Many use it in the bottom of their pizza pans to add an extra crunch on the bottom or to aid in deep pan removal.
I use it sometimes on a pizza peel to help get a thin crust pizza to slide off of the paddle and onto the pizza stone.
Apparently, using fennel seed in Italian sausage is also controversial for deep dish (though I often do when I make my own), but that’s another rant.
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