Deep Dish Equipment

Welcome to the Deep Dish Equipment Page!

Read Deep Dish 101: Lesson 4 – Nuts & Bolts to get a better idea
of the equipment you’ll need for your Chicago pizza baking adventure!


Below are some products you might like from
some participating Share-A-Sale vendors.

[ Real Deep Dish is a Share-A-Sale Affiliate
and not connected to sellers whose items are listed below ]


11 comments on “Deep Dish Equipment
  1. Avatar Chris C. says:

    Why do the sides of the pan not get greased? Just the bottom?

    • realdeep realdeep says:

      Hi, Christopher.
      I think I already answered this on Facebook page:
      You grease bottom only because you want the sides to stick to the pan until they set up from the baking.
      If you grease the sides, it can be more difficult to press out your dough and the outer rim is more likely to collapse before you have a chance to finish building your pizza.

  2. Avatar Simone says:

    Hi Realdeepdish,
    I have a question. I know that depends on how hungry you are but usually how many persons/portions a 12\’\’ deep dish pizza is for?


  3. Avatar Tom Bartley says:

    Hi Ed,
    I’ve watched your sites grow over the years and think you do a great job in your pizza work. Two questions – 1st:
    Why have you raised your DD hydration (water) level so high to its current 60% recommendation? Don’t see any recipes with such a high level. 2nd: Why have you discontinued any olive oil and only use corn oil?

    • realdeep realdeep says:

      Hi, Tom. Thanks for returning!
      I’ve been asked these questions before on other comment threads like this one:

      As mentioned, before, I’ve tweaked the recipe on a few occasions, and found that more hydration made the dough easier to work with. Feel free to adjust your hydration to get your ideal dough texture. My early dough recipes had lower hydrations. You can find additional info and links to those earlier recipes at

      I use 100% corn oil mostly because I prefer it, but you can keep using a combination if that’s the flavor profile that you like. When using olive oil, I prefer to use a 3 to 1 ratio, corn oil to olive oil.

      • Avatar Tom Bartley says:

        Wow. Sorry Ed,I hope you report my thoughts here. You do great work here, I know, but, I have a few thoughts. Here are my comments about your surprising (at least to me) comments about my 2 inquiries herein. To summarize: I inquired about (1) what I and many consider to be an unusually “high” hydration level for Chicago Deep Dish pizza on your latest suggested recipe and (2) the 100% use of corn oil w/o any regular olive oil.

        Let’s just skip the last question — for now — about use of any regular olive oil and focus on the hydration level of deep dish pizza. Your answers here and elsewhere are full of . . . “well I prefer . . . and I like . .” without the talking about the important pizza RESULT. My frank questions to you is . . . is your recommended formulation or recipe intended to give a fair and representative pizza crust RESULT for those interested in typical Chicago Deep Dish Pizza enthusiasts or not? A 60% hydration level at Pizzeria Uno/Due’s? No!
        A 60% hydration level at Lou Malnati’s? No. At Geno’s East? NO. Where then?

        • realdeep realdeep says:

          Hi, Tom. I appreciate your input and hope I can clear some things up.

          Many of the wonderful people at Forum would agree with you that my dough formulation was one of the highest hydrations in the Chicago Style forum, compared to their formulations.

          It may have been the highest hydration in the Chicago Style forum, but it was well within the range of several other styles of pizza dough. Google “pizza dough hydration” and I’m sure you’ll find articles from people with much more experience testing pizza recipes than me, like Kenji over at Serious Eats, and he’s testing pizza dough at 65-70% hydration.

          My recipe began as a best guess for a Malnati’s/Uno style deep dish dough, and I think I started at 45 or 50% hydration. Several tests and accumulation of clues from tv shows and other sources prompted me to make some adjustments.
          The change was partly because I had slightly decreased the oil, so I increased the water to compensate, but the main reason I increased the hydration, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is that the dough was not spreading out as easily as you see Marc Malnati press out his pizza dough when he makes pizza on tv shows, and I wanted to make this dough easier to make and use for the home baker.
          You can possibly attain a similar dough texture at a lower hydration, but most people are not going to want to spend 48 hours fermenting their dough (or even an extra 20 minutes to let the dough properly hydrate).
          You can also make your dough at a lower hydration without the ferment – you will find the dough will behave similar to a pie dough in many respects and you will also get decent results representative of the Chicago style.

          While some may disagree, I consider the addition of oil (or more oil than other styles use) to be a more important component than the hydration. I think on the latest version, I’m at 19% oil, which may be lower than other deep dish recipes. When I did overnight ferments in the fridge, I was noticing that higher oil percentages would “weep” oil out of the dough, so I figured I was using too much. My pizzas didn’t seem to miss it, so I left it at 19, but the dough became more difficult to work with – hence the hydration increase. Now, my choice to remove olive oil as part of the oil was mainly to streamline the recipe, but also partly a taste preference. While your tongue may perform differently, my tastebuds did not really pick up olive oil from my memory of recent pizzas from Malnati’s or Uno/Due. Perhaps, I should update the recipe to “vegetable oil” instead of “corn oil” and add a side note about olive oil & corn oil/soybean/vegetable oils, since the restaurants seem to vary in the oil that they use, but I preferred the corn oil crusts to any other combination of oils that I’ve tried, so that’s what I’ve got on the recipe right now.

          One more thing I should add about hydration (apologies to Columbo)-
          It is very possible that when restaurants use a 25 lb bag of flour to make a giant batch of dough, their hydration requirements might not be as high. They’re using a giant dough mixer – I’m using a spoon and mixing by hand most of the time. When I made this recipe, I make one batch of dough at a time, and don’t multiply for multiple batches, so it is possible that while my ingredient percentages work OK for a single batch or even a double batch, the amounts may need to be adjusted for a multi-batch of dough, and in that case, 60% might be too high. I try to get people in the ballpark, and let them decide if they want to make changes to to things like hydration.

          So, to answer your question – YES, I’ve eaten enough pizza in my lifetime to confirm that it is a fair representation of Chicago Deep Dish.

          On a related note:
          Do you have some restaurant insider information, Tom? If you have dough recipe information with specific hydration amounts from those restaurants, I’m certain we’d all love to see them. 🙂

          I’m always trying to make a better deep dish, but I have to adjust for baking at home, so often there are compromises and adjustments that need to be made.

          Thanks for contributing.
          Feedback is always appreciated. It makes the recipes and website a better resource.

          • Avatar Tom Bartley says:

            On a couple of occasions, I tried one of your earlier formulations at I think 45% hydration and all thought it was pretty good. I will definitely have to soon try your latest formulation at 60% and see if we feel its an improvement or not. I know . . . this is all work in progress and we strive for perfection. Thanks. Love the pictures of your deep dish pizzas. You are one of the few who tightly “crimp” the dough rim like it should be. Looking forward to seeing more of your good work.

  4. Avatar Caren Collette says:

    You did not include proofing times or instructions for the deep dish dough?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.