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Hello.

Welcome to Deep Dish 101 – Lesson Two: The Basics.

Webster Poppadopoulous DictionaryWebster’s dictionary defines pizza as:

   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.

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Hello, Class! Welcome to Deep Dish 101.

Lesson 1

In LESSON ONE of this course, I need to give you a quick history lesson.

A Very Brief History of Pizza:

(featuring too many pieces of information, but possibly not enough, and a ton of run-on sentences, unrelated web-links, and parentheses)

The very first flat breads are thought to have originated thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, where they spread to, or developed independently in, Pompeii, Rome, Greece (where they take credit for inventing everything), and Persia. Most early pizzas were topped with herbs and oils, cheeses and whatever the baker could find, though none of these flat breads had mozzarella or tomatoes like the pizza we know today. Water buffaloes for making buffalo mozzarella didn’t arrive to Rome or Naples until after the fall of the Roman Empire. Tomatoes, brought to Naples from Peru (via Spain) in the early 1520’s (give or take half a decade), were considered poisonous by many Europeans (depending on who was serving you dinner), and would maintain that questionable status in the culinary world until a New Jersey Colonel ended the debate by eating a whole basket of them in 1820. This didn’t stop the infamous ‘wolf peach’ from being widely used in peasant cooking through the 1500’s and beyond. Over the next few hundred years, peasants were baking pizzas, selling them in bakeries, on street carts and in portable head-mounted tin warming contraptions, and somewhere along the way, adding mozzarella and tomatoes. The popularity of that variation of this delicious disc of divinity started to spread to noblemen and royalty.

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