The Quod – A Modern Take on Deep Dish Pizza

Nov 22, 2015 (updated 2022) – 


aka: The Quod – A Modern Take on Deep Dish Pizza

** 2020 UPDATE – This article has a lot of updates, including updated baking instructions and links to the older recipes if you liked one of those better **

There is a style of Chicago Pan Pizza that is distinct from the Original Deep Dish that you know from places like Lou Malnati’s, Pizano’s, Louisa’s, Gino’s East, and Pizzeria Uno.

The style I’m talking about is the pan pizza you find at Pequod’s in Chicago and Morton Grove, IL, and until recently*, Burt’s Place in Morton Grove.
*UPDATE – Burt’s was closed in 2015, but has been reopened under new management in 2017.*

I call this style “Modern Deep Dish” to distinguish it from “Original Deep Dish”. (More recently, it has also been called Caramelized Pan Pizza.) 
Before you ask… Yes, a pizza style invented over 4 decades ago (1971) is considered relatively “modern” since Original Chicago Deep Dish was invented more than 70 years ago in 1943.
For brevity (and because it is fun to say), we can just call it…

The ‘Quod.

[ AKA Caramelized Pan Pizza ]

The Officially Unofficial Chicago Pizza Style #4 

** RECIPE LINK – The Quod (PDF) 

The Quod: 2015 (PDF)
The Quod: 2012 (PDF)


This style of pizza is like a hybrid between Chicago Deep Dish, Detroit Style & NY Sicilian pan pizzas. Like a deep dish, the pizza has cheese on the bottom, sauce on the top, and is baked in a round pan. Like the Detroit style (and also Sicilian squares – like L&B Spumoni Gardens), it has a thicker, more pillowy dough, and a caramelized crust, which is created when the cheese and sauce run down the gap between the pan and the outer edge of the pizza dough during baking.

The ‘Quod was invented by Burt Katz, the original owner of…

Pequod’s –

Pequod's Pizza - Chicago - photo by Edward Heller

Pequod’s was opened Morton Grove, IL by career pizza purveyor Burt Katz in 1971.
Burt sold Pequod’s in the mid 1980’s to Keith Jackson, who would later open a second location in Chicago in the early 90’s. Before the second location of Pequod’s opened, Burt got back into the pizza game in the late 80’s, when he opened up Burt’s Place a few streets down from the original Pequod’s in Morton Grove.

** 5-1-2016 UPDATE – Burt Katz has passed away.
We are fortunate to have his last interview in late April 2016 from the CHEWING podcast:


Is there a difference between the pizzas from Pequod’s and the pies that Burt was serving up?

Yes, but not much. It seems that the main difference is that Burt took more time and care to balance all the ingredients of his pizzas, while Pequod’s had, out of necessity (and popularity), turned into a bit of a pizza production house, tweaking the recipe along the way with a sweeter sauce.
Check out this great account from LTHF Forum member Josephine who, along with fellow LTHF member Cathy2, visited both locations in Morton Grove for their own personal pizza throw-down. There is a well documented evaluation of Burt’s and Pequod’s in her post, and I highly recommend reading it after you finish reading this.


The ‘Quod is assembled in relatively the same way as Original Deep Dish – dough on bottom, then the cheese, then the sauce. Other topping locations vary.
There are a few distinct differences.

The first difference is the dough.
Pequod’s has a thicker, pillowy raised crust, resembling something closer to a square Detroit or Sicilian style crust (think L&B Spumoni Gardens), but instead of a big rectangular pan, it is baked in a round deep dish pan.
This dough has been kneaded longer than a traditional deep dish dough and has more in common with basic pizza dough or Chicago Thin Crust dough.

The second difference, and unique to this style of Chicago pizza, is the caramelized cheese on the outer crust.
This is created by draping cheese all the way up the edges of the pizza pan (see photo below), which melts down into the outer edge of the dough, along with some of the sauce during baking and chars to perfection. This characteristic will either make you love or hate this pizza, depending on your tastebuds.

pequod delicate cheese procedure
Quiet now! I need complete, total silence otherwise I’m not gonna be able to execute this here… cheese… procedure. – Meatwad

Want to try making this style at home?
Download the recipe at the link below the food porn.


The Dough goes down first! THEN, you put down the cheese!
In that photo up there, it may have been difficult to tell, but there IS dough under that cheese.

Do not
press the dough all the way to the edge of the pan.
Leave a little gap for the cheese and sauce to do it’s magic on the outer edge.

Spread the sauce out over the top of the cheese, as far to the edge as you can without going all the way up the side. The amount of sauce will depend on how much water is in your sauce, so just use enough to cover the cheese without drowning it.

PRACTICE. This style is not for beginners, but if you are one, give it a try! If it doesn’t come out perfect the first time, it will probably still taste good. Then make adjustments for your ingredient amounts, oven temp and baking time… and try again!

Here’s a video from Chicago’s Best for inspiration:

Hey look! A Non-Traditional Chicago Style Modern Deep Dish Pizza Recipe!

The Quod – A Pequod’s / Burt’s Chicago Style Pizza Recipe (PDF)

The Quod: 2015 (PDF)
The Quod: 2012 (PDF)

You can also use the RDD Quick Dough for this style!

If you are familiar with the Chicago Thin Crust Dough Recipe from this website, you’ll notice that the dough recipes will be very similar. It’s practically the same dough, except you’re using the same amount for a 12″ round ‘Quod pan pizza as you would for a 14 to 16 inch Chicago Thin Crust pizza. 

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42 thoughts on “The Quod – A Modern Take on Deep Dish Pizza”

  1. i made this last night for the first time. the flavor was INCREDIBLE but the crust wasn’t quite right. it came out almost kinda biscuity? i’m new to bread so it was almost definitely user error. i’m going to try again but was wondering if you have any suggestions on what i could try to do differently?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. For the Quod style dough, you’ll probably want more kneading and more rising time to get the pillowy crust that you get with this style. If your dough still isn’t getting enough lightness in the rise, you might need to increase your hydration (water).
      Good luck and happy baking!

  2. Hi, everyone. If you’re trying out the recipe for the first time,
    and you decide to do ridiculous substitutions (cornmeal – don’t get me started), and alternate dough handling methods (adding butter and doing dough lamination), I’m not going to let you post that comment. It makes me think you’re not serious.

    Follow the recipe. Practice. Make smart adjustments based on your personal results. Then, if you’re still having problems, consider making a post, or join us on Facebook where we test things out sometimes.

    Cornmeal?! Are you kidding me? GTFOH!

  3. How come you dropped the hydration to 54% hydration? I’ve had Pequod’s many times, used the previous recipes before, and the updated recipe makes it taste more like a “standard” deep dish pizza. I just made the 2019 updated recipe today and it seems too dry.

    1. Hi, Joshua. You will find I’m often making adjustments to the dough recipes when I get a better result from a new formulation.
      There was a point where I was experimenting with a different dough recipe (The RDD Quick Dough Recipe) and tried it for a ‘Quod style and liked it better than my previous ‘Quod recipe, which was based on the Chicago thin crust recipe.
      In general, I think the higher hydrations might not be as good for Chicago styles of pizza than they are for other styles.
      If higher hydrations work better for you, do what works.
      This website encourages experimentation and practice.
      If you’re just getting started on your pizza making,
      I would still suggest sticking to the recipe until you’ve gotten the hang of it.

      I try to put up links for the older recipes when I update the recipe on the website, in case you liked one of those better.
      Thanks for visiting Real Deep Dish.

  4. I made the quod dough last night and will assemble the pie tonight. I’ve never eaten at Pequods or Burts. Is there really pepper in the dough? Seems strange to add black pepper to the dough.

    1. Hi, Dan. Some pizza sleuths in the pizzamaking dot com forum determined this. If I recall, there was a conversation about what the black specks were, and after consulting video and photo evidence it was reasoned that they were black pepper. One of the members went as far as ordering a pizza so they could tear it apart and look at the crust to confirm. If you aren’t a fan of black pepper in your pizza dough, you can leave it out.

        1. I’ve seen that recipe. They never say it’s THEIR recipe. They just say it’s a “basic recipe for a classic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.” In my opinion, it’s not a very good recipe either.
          If you see cornmeal in a deep dish recipe, run far, far away.

        2. When baked in flour, cornmeal does not turn black – it’s whatever color it was before, perhaps a little deeper.

  5. Hi there!

    I used to live in Chicago and used this recipe, the pies turned out perfectly. I’ve recently moved to an area at a 3,000ft elevation and I can’t get the dough to rise well anymore. My pizzas turn out pretty flat and hard with the same recipe. Does anyone have any experience with this and how to adjust to recipe? I am not a very avid baker and this is definitely out of my area of expertise. Any advise would be appreciated.

    1. Are you talking about making the ‘Quod style or pizzas in general, in high altitude?
      I don’t live in a high-altitude area, so I don’t have practical experience with this. However, there’s a WikiHow article that explains the problem well – it mostly has to do with water evaporating faster, and rising times also working faster in higher altitudes.
      The possible solutions are to increase hydration (or reduce flour), and to consider punching down your down after the first rise, and doing an additional rise to get the proper dough development.

      As for the ‘Quod, well… this style takes practice at any altitude.
      Good Luck!

      1. Thanks for the recipe and all the useful information. I grew up in Morton Grove & still spend time there. Pequod’s has always been on Fernald Street and Burt’s Place has always been on Ferris which is a block west. They were never across the street from each other.

    2. I always make my dough and homemade sausage the before. I like the flavors a bit more and splitting the work over 2 days makes the process more enjoyable (for me).

      Anyway, I would try making the dough the day before and shoving it straight in the fridge, in a well oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap. And – shockingly – don’t let it rise to room temp the next day, just assemble pie with cold dough. Good luck!

  6. First, I think the recipe is excellent. Curious though . . . have you tried the recipe with bread flour instead of AP? If so, what kind of impact did it have on the final product?

    1. Hi, Mike. I have not used bread flour for this recipe. My research concluded they were using All-Purpose Ceresota flour, at least they were at the time I was researching, so I kept my test pizzas consistent with all-purpose flour. As I have mentioned, this style takes practice, and even I miss the mark on this style from time to time because of all the metaphorical juggling you have to do to deal with moisture control, while working on that caramelized crust, and hoping the rest of the pizza is baked through, while trying to keep your home’s smoke alarm from going off.
      That said, you can try bread flour, which will give your dough more stretchitude (not a real word). You will likely get a chewier dough.

  7. Hi there, I’m frickin’ excited to make this recipe but am wondering if you could advise on how to adjust the recipe for a 10” cast iron skillet? Thanks so much for any help.

    1. Hi, Dave.
      Short answer: Go get yourself a 12 inch pizza/cake pan. 🙂
      Okay fine, you want to use a smaller 10 inch cast iron skillet:
      I have never used any size cast iron for this so, let’s wing it
      – Um, use like 1/6th less pizza dough in the pan (save the extra dough in the fridge for a future mini pizza),
      follow instructions,
      don’t over sauce (I can’t tell you how much – you will need to practice),
      ventilate better than you think you need to, and cross your fingers.
      You may want to knock down your oven temp by 25 to 50 degrees as well.

      This is a style you really need to practice with, and messing with the pan size and using cast iron instead of a pizza/cake pan, may not give you the results you are looking for. It may, however, work out for you if your biggest difficulty is getting the sides to caramelize by the time the rest of the pizza is done.
      Check in with us on the facebook page and let us know how it went. Some of the page followers have had some luck making this style and may have additional tips.

      Good luck. We’re all counting on you!

      1. I just wanted to say I’ve used this recipe (the older version) for years. I absolutely love it and I’ve always made it in a 12 inch cast iron skillet. It turns out perfect every time 😉

  8. I made this tonight and came out really good. One thing I felt wrong was the dough felt dense and not as crispy and airy as I might have thought. Followed the recipe to a T, and had a 2nd proof while waiting for the oven. I’m wondering if I handled the dough too much as I stretched it out a bit before putting it in the pan for the 2nd proof, then after that final proof, I pushed it down all over. I was almost worried the dough wasn’t cooked when I first cut into it, because it was a bit soft and not crunchy as I might have thought. I used lard in the bottom of the pan before putting the dough down. I used a American Metalcraft T80122 pan as well. I must say the sauce was awesome. Might be my new go to for all pizza’s in the future.

    1. I usually scale up dough recipes with the deep dish dough calculator from
      The calculator uses adobe flash, so you need to make sure your web browser supports that.
      You might see in the recipe PDF the text that says ” pmdc-dd-dough-calc-TF = 0.175; HFUTS = 0 ”
      That’s for the dough calculator.
      TF = thickness factor
      HFUTS = How Far Up The Sides
      If you enter the recipe ingredient percentages into the calculator, and tell it you want dough for a 14 inch pizza, it should give you the approximate amounts.

      If you’re having trouble with the calc, when I get a chance, I’ll try to post the conversion in this comment thread.

      1. For a 14″ quod dough:
        Approximately 3 and 2/3 cups (1 pound) of flour, 438g
        8.3 oz (1 cup) water, 236g
        4.1 tsp vegetable oil, 18.6g
        3.1 tsp / 1 tbsp of instant yeast, 9.4g
        0.7 tsp fine salt, 4g
        0.7 tsp sugar. 2.85g

    1. Hi, Michael. I don’t have a definitive version of Pequod’s sauce, but I think my sauce recipe gets you close.
      You might want to tinker with the spices, and possibly mix puree with paste and/or water or other variations to get the sauce consistency you are looking for.

  9. I am excited to try that Quod recipe soon. What really attracts me is that charred cheese/crust on the outside. That is my favorite aspect of Sicilian pizzas (at least the ones I like), and it can be elusive to achieve!

  10. Great site!! I’ve been trying to replicate a Pequod’s Pizza and I thought I was doing well, but I say a comment from you above regarding the crust that states, “Yes, you can use deep dish dough for thin crust. I think Lou Malnati’s does that. However, I would not recommend using deep dish dough for a ‘Quod style pizza.”

    I’ve been using the your deep dish dough recipe for my Pequod’s replica. How should the deep dish dough recipe be modified to more closely align with a Pequod’s crust?

    Again, thanks for a great site and passing on what you have learned. Highly appreciated!

    1. Hi, Pete. Yeah, you’ll have better luck with a dough that can stretch, and deep dish dough typically doesn’t have enough gluten development because you’re not kneading it as long as you would a regular or thin crust dough. The Quick Dough recipe on the website can work if you go with the thin crust version and knead it for at least 5 min. Then after the first 1-2 hours of rising, punch it down and let it get a second rise in the pizza pan while you preheat your oven.
      Thanks for visiting!

      1. Thank you!

        I actually went to Pequod,s for the first time in February 2019. I finally got compare the original to what I had been making. Truth be told, I’m pretty spot. Pequod’s uses more sauce and in general, the toppings are a bit more done. Both are easy to correct. I’m still working on the sauce and the flavor profile I want. My wife ad kids love it, but not as often as I like to make it.

  11. Wow, i am really going to try this. You can get Lou Malnati’s pizza shipped to your door, but Pequad’s does not offer that. Though my brother had the freeze a half cooked and brought it home to pa.
    Pequad’s is the best, that crust is amazing. Wow i am so far away down here in Atlanta.
    Gonna have it try this,
    Frankie V.

    1. Yes, you can use deep dish dough for thin crust. I think Lou Malnati’s does that. However, I would not recommend using deep dish dough for a ‘Quod style pizza.

  12. Didn’t Burt Katz also start Gulliver’s on (2727) Howard Street? And is that pizza close to Pequod’s?
    Long time fan of Gulliver’s.

  13. We bought a cast iron skillet to make a Pequods pizza. We cooked it about 30 minutes. The crust came out almost prefect but the rest came out a bit soggy, Probably too much sausage and/or onion and/or sauce but the taste was good. What did we do wrong and how can we improve on the baked method

    1. This style will take practice to get the right balance between charred outer crust and properly baked center. Cast iron skillets are not really the ideal pan for a deep dish pizza. You should try using a deep dish pizza pan or heavy duty cake pan.
      I don’t know how large your pan was or what temperature you baked at, but it sounds like you baked at too high a temperature with not enough time.

    2. I use a 15\” Lodge cast iron pan, too. I put the pan on the very lowest rack for the first 10 minutes to give the crust a jump start. The next 20 minutes or so are on the middle rack.

  14. Thanks for the great recipe. Pequod’s was my all time favorite when I lived near there. I tried the receipe last night and my crust was a little too spongy/wet, if that makes sense. Any tips? The cheese and your sauce recipe were perfect, though. Is it as simple as leaving it in longer? I did your oven mod and cooked at 460 for 40 mins and the crust looked carmelized. I couldn’t find the cheese sliced, so I had to cut myself and I’m wondering if I cut it too thick and it somehow interfered with the crust’s cooking. Maybe I used the wrong flour? It tasted kind of floury and was pretty sticky after resting two hours. I just used pillsbury flour. Any tips would be much appreciated as I want to master this since I live out of state now.

    1. Thanks for visiting
      The ‘Quod takes a lot of practice. Sometimes 5 or 10 more minutes of baking will do the trick. If your dough is too sticky or wet, you can try dusting it with a little flour before you press it out, or go a little lighter on the water when you make the dough. I like to use Heckers/Ceresota all purpose flour when I make pizzas – it’s a bit higher in protein than most AP flours, but Pillsbury should work fine.

      If your pizza came out soggy, then you probably have to cut back on the watery ingredients.
      What kind of cheese did you use? Don’t use fresh mozz. Low moisture will work better. Whole Milk mozzarella is best if you can find it. Those 1 lb packages of Frigo mozzarella that a lot of grocery chains sell in their cheese aisle work well.
      Did you use too much sauce? This is probably the biggest variable. If too much sauce runs out down the edge, it can make the outer edge soggy.

      Also, did you preheat your oven? Did you use a pizza stone?

      Check out the other articles on the site. There’s a lot of troubleshooting advice that may help.

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