A Real Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe – The Deep Dish Holy Grail

You found it!
The Deep Dish Holy Grail REAL Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza recipe!

Congratulations. Now let’s make a pizza!

This Chicago Deep Dish Pizza recipe will show you how to make a ‘real deal’ Chicago style deep dish pizza.

Real Deep Dish Logo

Is this your first time making deep dish?

Make your first attempt at Deep Dish the best it can be:
Do yourself a favor and read the RDD Welcome Page,
also known as:

For the Love of Deep Dish, MAKE A PIZZA ALREADY!

Keep scrolling down for more!

“What the heck is the Deep Dish Holy Grail?”

The Deep Dish Holy Grail is the nickname for the RealDeepDish.com deep dish pizza recipe.
It was coined during early development of the recipe. If you read the Deep Dish 101 articles, or dive into the archives on this website, you’ll see that while I had the basic elements of the recipe, there was always room for improvement. The Deep Dish Holy Grail has been updated on several occasions. Every update is an attempt to make dough preparation easier and improve the final pizza quality for the home baker. Knowing that everyone has their own opinion about what makes the best homemade pizza, I started archiving the older versions of the recipe for people who liked one of those versions better, which are near the bottom of this page.

This page will always have the latest version of the recipe.

Below is the page 1 preview from the latest version of this deep dish pizza recipe.
You can download the entire PDF from THIS LINK or clicking on the image below.

This recipe has been updated many times.
For older versions of the Deep Dish Holy Grail recipe, scroll down for links.

Did you read the welcome page, dive into the links, and still need some encouragement?
Check out this fun video I made, which, while not quite instructional, shows the basic elements of making a deep dish pizza at home.

In a hurry to get your dough rising?
You can also use the RDD Quick Dough Recipe. 

The recipes and content on this website
will always be FREE.

Donations help us keep the lights on.
Thank you!

If you enjoy this website and would like to support us,
please consider making a donation on Square

You can also use your mobile device to scan the code shown above to send a donation with CashApp.
I’m always testing to make this recipe better.
Did you like one of the older versions of the recipe?
Here are links to some previous versions:
photo of deep dish equipment

You’ve got the recipe. Now get the tools!

Head over to: https://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment/
to check out some recommended items.

Here’s the totally SEO-friendly version of the recipe to make the Lougle robots happy:

How to Make Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza – A Real Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

HOW TO MAKE CHICAGO STYLE DEEP DISH PIZZA – THE REAL THING: This recipe should help you achieve the best deep-dish pizza you will ever bake at home. Please take the time to read through the entire recipe before you start.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chicago, Illinois, Italian, pizza
Servings 3 people
Calories 650 kcal


  • 1 Round Deep-Dish Pizza Pan or Cake Pan - 12” diameter by 2” in height
  • 1 Pizza Stone (optional, but recommended)
  • Fine Mesh Strainer and Bowl (for draining excess liquid from tomatoes)
  • Large Spoon or Ladle (for spreading tomato sauce.)
  • Sturdy mixing spoon
  • Stainless Steel or Sturdy Plastic Mixing Bowl
  • food service gloves, nitrile preferred (for kneading - optional)
  • Pan Gripper and/or Pot Holders
  • Extra bowl (for rising dough, if you aren't using the mixing bowl)
  • Vegetable Oil, Shortening, and/or Cooking Spray
  • Plastic Wrap (to cover bowl containing the rising dough)
  • A Warm Place (for the rising dough)


Dough Ingredients

  • 2.5 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 5.6 oz Water (2/3 cup plus 2 tsp)
  • 4 Tbsp Corn Oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp Yeast, Active Dry (you can also use Instant or Rapid Rise)
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt You can also use table salt.
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar

For Gino's style dough: (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 5 drops Yellow Food Coloring (or egg shade dye)

Pizza Ingredients

  • 16-20 oz Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Low Moisture, Part-Skim or Whole Milk; you will need enough cheese to cover the bottom of the pizza.
  • 12-16 oz Italian Sausage (optional) raw, mild or hot; some traditional deep dish restaurants use sausage without fennel, but either is good.
  • 30-40 slices Pepperoni, sliced (optional) If you're covering a whole pizza, you'll need about 30 slices for a single layer. Traditionally, they go UNDER the sauce, but you can put them on top if you are careful.
  • 14-16 fluid oz Tomatoes, Crushed (or a combination of crushed and diced tomatoes) You can also use whole peeled tomatoes and crush them yourself. Drain if necessary.
  • 1/4 tsp Basil and/or Oregano, dried (optional) I prefer basil over oregano, but using either, neither, or both is fine. It's YOUR pizza. Combine with the sauce, or sprinkle on, along with the grated cheese.
  • 1/8 cup Romano or Parmesan Cheese, Grated This is the only cheese that should ever go on top of a deep dish pizza, and it is best to sprinkle it like snow from high above and use it sparingly.

Other Common Toppings (optional) - It is preferred to add mushrooms half-way through baking, or consider adding under the sauce for a full bake. Peppers, onions and olives are good with a bit of char, but you can also add them half-way.

  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Sweet Peppers, sliced or diced
  • Onions, sliced or diced
  • Olives, sliced
  • Spinach I like baby spinach because it usually comes triple-washed. Spinach contains a lot of water, so I recommend pre-cooking, and cooling before adding to your pizza; it is best to put spinach UNDER the sauce so it doesn't burn.



  • In a mixing bowl, dissolve sugar and salt into the lukewarm water.
  • Add yeast, oil, and a small amount of the flour.
  • Mix until you have a thick batter, then add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until combined.
  • Knead until the dough comes together into a smooth ball, then STOP. If the dough is a little shaggy, that's OK.
    DON’T OVER-KNEAD. Total mixing/kneading time should be no more than 2 - 3 minutes. *This step can also be done in a mixer with a dough hook in 1 - 2 minutes. If it looks smooth, but doesn’t form a ball, just take it off the hook and form into a ball)
  • Place the dough in a bowl (or keep it in your mixing bowl), lightly oil/spray the dough ball.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours (or until dough has doubled).
  • After the rise, you can use it immediately OR punch down the dough and repeat the previous step until you’re ready to use the dough OR place it into a plastic zip-top bag and into the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Make sure dough is close to room temperature before use.


  • Place a pizza stone in the bottom rack of your oven (if you're using one).
    Place a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil across the top rack.
    Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (F). It should take about 40 minutes to an hour to preheat a baking stone, so you may want to do this while your dough is rising.
    If you refrigerated your dough,take it out of the fridge while your oven is preheating.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, drain any excess liquid from your tomatoes (if necessary).
  • Lightly grease the bottom (not the sides) of your pan with oil, shortening or high-heat cooking spray.
  • Press out the dough in the pan from center to the edge, as flat and even as possible. Pinch up the sides into a paper-thin lip about 1 to 1-1/2 inches high.
  • Lightly press sliced mozzarella cheese into the dough, overlapping the slices until the entire bottom is covered.

If you are making an all-cheese deep dish, you can add more cheese if you like, then skip to the part about the tomatoes.

  • For traditional Italian sausage deep dish:
    Add small bits of sausage on top of the cheese, connecting the bits together into a loose web, until the entire bottom is covered.
  • Add any other ingredient that you want to protect from burning. If you don’t want your pepperoni to get crispy or charred, add it at this time.
    If adding basil or other herbs and spices, consider adding them now, or you can add the herbs last, along with the grated cheese.

The Part About The Tomatoes

  • With a large spoon or ladle, top the pizza with the crushed tomatoes, spreading the sauce from the center out to the edge until the cheese and other ingredients are completely covered with sauce. You should need between 14 and 16 oz of tomatoes.

The Rest of the Non-Tomato Instructions

  • High moisture vegetables like peppers and onions can be put on top of or into the sauce, mushrooms are best if you add them in the last 15 minutes of baking time.
  • Sprinkle grated Romano (and/or Parmesan) Cheese sparingly, like snow, over the top of the sauce.
  • Turn oven down to 450 and place the pizza pan directly on top of the pizza stone on the lower rack (or on the lower rack if you are not using a stone).
    Bake for approximately 35 minutes. If your crust or toppings start to char on top, place a loose sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pizza for the remaining baking time.
  • Remove from oven, let pizza rest for 5 minutes, then cut & serve on a real plate with a knife & fork.


Hey look! You found a REAL Chicago Deep Dish Pizza recipe! 
Congratulations. Now go make a pizza!

You can also use the RDD Quick Dough Recipe , which works very well for deep dish.
You can download the original PDF of this recipe from THIS LINK.

You’ve got the recipe. Now get the tools!

Head over to: https://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-equipment/
to check out some recommended items.
Keyword Chicago, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, Chicago Style Pizza, Deep Dish, Deep Dish Pizza, Pizza
When you buy great items like Baking Steel, you are supporting this website. Thanks!

Baking Steel 14×16

Baking Steel Company LLC

Get Paid To Do Simple Live Chat Jobs Online
Get Paid To Do Simple Live Chat Jobs Online! - ADVERTISEMENT

Fat Daddio’s 12″ Aluminum Round Cake Pan, 2″ Deep
from: Kerekes kitchen & Restaurant Supplies

If you made it to the bottom of this page, congratulations! You get to read about how fantastic it is that you found a Deep Dish Pizza Recipe, which sometimes people call a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe, or a Real Deep Dish Pizza Recipe, but sometimes they’re looking for an Authentic Deep Dish Pizza Recipe, or just Chicago Deep Dish Recipe, so hopefully this text helped the algorithm find this page, which is clearly the best deep dish recipe page that you will find on the interwebs. Thanks for reading!

106 thoughts on “A Real Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe – The Deep Dish Holy Grail”

  1. I noticed about a year ago you lowered your hydration from your deep dish dough from 60% to 50%. I even saved a pic from back then that shows it! I wonder what lead you to lower the hydration on your official mainline recipe like that? I feel like I personally prefer the 60% hydration version better.

  2. I made a couple of your recipe’s for the family yesterday. Let me tell you that I have been trying to crack the Lou Malnati’s recipe myself for years! idk how I didn’t stumble upon this website earlier as I see you have been posting recipe’s for over 12 years now. I tried your 2013 recipe (btw the PDF still say 2012) and I tried your current recipe and Both were a HIT! I personally liked the latest recipe but the 2013 was a favorite to some. Now I did not use low moisture cheese, instead I used half whole milk and half part skim Polly-O cheese and it was delicious but was way too watery. It made the crust more soggy then I would have liked. But the flavor of the crusts overall was SPOT ON! Congratulations and MANY MANY Thanks to you and your dedication to this craft!

    One thing I am curious about is why the 7 year gap from 2014 to 2021? Also what is your history with making pizza dough! It seems like you are a baker by nature but there is no personal history I can read about. It would be great to hear about your journey.

    1. Hi, Adam. Thanks for visiting the website. I’ve been cooking and baking since I was a kid. I have been a foodie since before the word was invented. I watched cooking shows like The French Chef (Julia Child) and the Frugal Gourmet on PBS before Food Network gave us Emeril and Iron Chef, and Good Eats, etc. The timing has never been right to do it professionally due to various health and financial reasons I won’t go into. Like every other foodie with website skills, I started a blog and social media accounts, based on an artistic website/gallery called Virtual Cheeseburger. The origin of this website was a series of Pizza Rants that started on my old website blog VirtualCheeseBlogger.com
      The journey for making deep dish started on Rant #2: https://www.realdeepdish.com/2009/04-15-pizza-rant-2-the-deep-dish-pizza-conundrum/

      There’s no mystery to the time gap. I make adjustments to the recipes when I think they need adjusting, and unless it’s a major departure from the last version, I don’t typically announce minor tweaks to the latest version. I do usually let people know on the Facebook page if it’s a change worth mentioning, which is where I’ve focused most of my posts these days. Major articles, when I have time or motivation to write them, will still end up on this website. I know we’re overdue for another video too, so hopefully you’ll be able to stay entertained with the content in the expanded menu, and the posts on Facebook and Twitter, until I can gather up more funds for sweet, sweet pizza testing. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Hi. So excited to make this pizza Friday (making the dough Wednesday). Question about the yeast. Your recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon but below on the printable version it says 1 teaspoon. It appears on your (awesome and epic) video that you use the whole packet which is 1 1/2 teaspoons. How much yeast should I use per pizza? thanks in advance:)

    1. Hi, Carrie, and thanks for checking out the website. I have updated the recipe a few times and it looks like I missed updating the Lougle-friendly recipe. Thanks for noticing. Go with 1 tsp of instant/rapid rise yeast. You could use less, but then it will take a lot more time for the dough to rise.

  4. If you like Giordano’s style, I have found the trick to the flaky crust. After you kneed the dough, place the dough into a covered container and store it in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. A couple hours before you plan to make the pizza, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature.

    The slow proof seems to make that wonderful flaky crust. Give it a shot

  5. Great site. Quick question—what is the purpose of the cream of tartar in the Gino’s style? What effect does it have on the dough?

    1. Cream of Tartar is used in baking all the time. Most people know it to be a weak acid that is combined with baking soda to make baking powder.
      For pizza dough, Cream of Tartar by itself is being used as a dough relaxer/dough conditioner. It will reduce the gluten development and slow down the yeast, will give your pizza dough a slightly different texture from a Lou’s/Uno style dough, which you’ll notice mostly on the interior.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m all the way out in Sweden and use your recipe all the time – thanks! I was a die-hard Lou Malnati’s fan when I lived in the US, so have tried to recreate that.

    I usually make a sausage pizza, but have recently started experimenting with spinach, trying to replicate the Lou’s recipe.

    Wondering if you have tried using frozen spinach instead of fresh – it’s significantly cheaper and lasts longer so I can always have it on hand, but I’m a bit worried it’d be too bitter. Interested in any tips!

    thanks again!

    1. Hi, James. Way down in the comments back in 2016, I talked about how I prepare fresh spinach. I usually “fry it up with a little butter, salt, pepper and garlic. If it’s too bitter, I sometimes add a few drops of honey.” You can certainly prepare frozen spinach this way too.

      If you’re trying to replicate “The Lou”, You can get a lot of info from a video by Thirsty Traveler from June 2021 where they show several pizzas being prepared at a Lou Malnati’s. They start building “The Lou” at about 3 min 30 seconds. Lou’s frozen spinach deep dish pizza ingredient lists the spinach mix as “Spinach, Olive Oil, Garlic, Basil, Onions, Salt, Black Pepper”, but the video appears to show a shredded cheese that is likely provolone.

      Good luck with your pizza baking, and thanks for visiting Real Deep Dish!

      1. 5 stars
        Made my very first deep dish pizza tonight, using the ratio by weight for a 14″ pizza pan. Made my own uncooked sauce using 6 in 1 brand tomatoes, which I heard was the Gold Standard for most Chicago pizza recipes. Added to that a few Campari tomatoes from the vine, cooked in olive oil and garlic until most of the liquid reduced and added to canned tomatoes with dried basil, a bit of oregano, salt, black pepper and a pinch each of crushed red pepper and sugar. Sauce was made two days in advance, and added two snipped leaves of fresh basil before topping my pizza. Also added crumbled raw Italian sausage, roasted pearl onions, blanched and quartered mushrooms and mixed red, yellow and orange mini sweet peppers.
        Crust formula was flawless and held up beautifully during the bake. Topped with pepperoni after the first half hour, so it cupped and crisped perfectly when finished. Texture of crust was similar to a buttermilk biscuit with a slight cornbread-like crumb. Have not eaten a great deal of deep dish pizza, as I live in New England and the only ones you generally find here are frozen brand name pizzas from your local grocery stores or the occasional Uno’s chain here and there. So the texture of the crust is not something I’m used to, but considering my sources I know it hit the mark.
        Excellent recipe overall. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with those of us who otherwise might never get to try the original source material. Highly recommend!!

    2. Hi James, I’m also in sweden and I’m having trouble finding low moisture mozzarella and good pepperoni. Any recommendations?

  7. Realdeep,

    Your recipe is the best I’ve come across.

    While I love it as is, some I have made it for thought the crust a bit too crunchy.

    I recently made a pizza and forgot to,oil the pan. The crust came out softer, but it seemed to take away from the overall product.

    I’d like to keep the outside crispness but make the interior a bit softer, If I were to add more oil to the recipe without changing anything else, would that soften the crust?


    1. Hi, Tony. Adding more oil to the dough is unlikely to provide the results you’re looking for.
      Depending on what you mean by softer interior, there’s a few different things you can try:
      If you’re just looking for a lighter, possibly less dense interior, you can try a longer cold fermentation/rising time, so the yeast can add more bubbles to your dough.
      You can get a more overall bread-like result to your crust by kneading it a few minutes longer. That will add more chewiness to your dough.
      Another thing you can try is use half the amount of oil in your dough (2tsp instead of 4tsp), while remembering to oil the bottom of your pan.
      Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com! Good luck!

        1. I don’t recommend building a deep dish pizza too far ahead of baking it.
          There’s no advantage of doing this.
          It should only take about 5 to 15 minutes to build your pizza, so it would really not save much time.
          Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com!

  8. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried to make this yet. The 5 stars are for you! There is so much information here that I’m sure will help me. My pie was awful tonight. I wish I had seen your website first. I’m going to take a break for a couple days and just study your information. Thank you so much!

  9. 5 stars
    Have been putting together a passable version of “The Lou”, and the RDD deep dish recipe for several months. My thought is that two key results need some fine tuning. One, bottom crust doesn’t get crisp enough. I’m happy with the edge crust, so the cook time and temp (475 for 45 mins ) seem to be right. Bottom gets good and brown, but not crisp. I’ve tried Crisco, and a dusting of parmesan, which helps, but some tasters remark on the saltiness the parm imparts. Any alterations I can make to the dough to get that bottom crisper? Second, the seasoning is just ok. It needs some punch at first taste and a little bit of pepper in the finish. I’m willing to try anything, as I don’t have much experience with seasonings. I give you and your fantastic site most of the credit for what I’ve learned, enough to make a decent facsimile of the Chicago pizza I left behind when I moved to Hollywood some 30 years ago. Thank in advance for any input, I’ll do whatever it takes to get this just right!

    1. Hi, Doug. Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com!
      By the time and temp provided, it sounds like you might be making a 14 inch deep dish pizza. A larger pizza is more likely to have this problem. A preheated baking stone should help with bottom crispiness problem. If you don’t have a stone, I usually recommend oil or cooking spray (or more than you normally use) for the bottom of the pan. As for flavor, I like a light dusting of pecorino romano (or a combination with parm) and a combo of oregano and basil right before I put it in the oven.

  10. Hey, can I use a springform pan instead of a one piece cake pan? Would it work out the same? I’d really like to try your pizza 🙂

    1. A cake pan or deep dish pan is more traditional, but you can use a springform pan if it’s all you have.
      The only real advantage would be if you’re trying to get the whole pizza out of the pan without superhuman pan flipping skills.

      1. I’ve never done Chicago style before, and have been comparing recipes. I’ve read this recipe over several times and there’s one thing I can’t figure out. Why is there a piece of heavy duty foil on the top oven rack? Does it help retain heat over the top of the pan?

        1. The main reason to put foil (or a baking sheet) on the top rack, is to keep the top from burning before the rest of the pizza is done baking. That can be especially helpful if you’re putting ingredients above the sauce. It also partially deflects heat from the top burners of your oven to the sides which can add to a kind of convection. This foil placement is part of an oven setup that I call “pizzafication”, which is how you can try to simulate the characteristics of a deck oven. I even made a handy chart: https://www.realdeepdish.com/2013/05-27-dd101-extra-pizzafication-of-your-oven/

  11. Dude, thank you for putting up this site. I’m one of those people that obsesses over perfecting many different foods, always chasing the perfect dish whether it’s fried chicken, fajitas, pancakes, or in this case deep dish pizza. People tend to not give away secrets, but I followed you recipe and nailed the best deep dish ive ever eaten. I have had deep dish in chicago in a couple different places and this is above par for sure. Only thing i did change was the oil, I substituted cold grated butter instead of corn oil. Because of this, I had to add a few extra grams of water to get the dough to come together. I’ll tell you what, I didn’t expect what I got, but I got a nice crispy, flaky, crust with just the right crumb. Just a perfect texture. Is there any way to post photos on this site? I’d like to share my results. Thanks again for sharing everything you have, I have got my deep dish education : )

    1. Hi, Robert. Thanks for visiting the website!

      Everyone has their own version of pizza crust perfection, and butter is definitely a nice variation that helps add the flaky texture and buttery flavor.
      I have a post about substitutions here:

      I’m constantly tinkering with the recipes to get better more consistent results. If you haven’t yet, check out the Quick Dough Recipe on the website also. I’ve been getting really good deep dish with that one too.

      If you want to post your pizza pics, head over to facebook or twitter, and I’ll be happy to re-post your pizza photos! 🙂

      1. There is no butter in the latest version of this deep dish dough recipe.
        If you do want to substitute butter for oil in the recipe, please keep in mind that most commercial butter is about 80% fat, 16 to 17% water, and 1 to 2% milk protein, so you may need to adjust the amount of water you use in the recipe.
        Thanks for visiting Real Deep Dish!

  12. Great site, love that you list the bakers %. Do you have a preferred brand of flour? any reason you use sea salt vs kosher?

    1. Hi, Brian. Thanks for visiting the website!
      I like Ceresota/Heckers, but any all purpose flour should work for Chicago style dough. Kosher salt is a bit too coarse for pizza dough.

  13. Hey man, great stuff on your site. As a restaurant owner and avid baker, I especially like that things are in metric and you are using baker’s percentage. I just finished my third test of your recipe. The first two were the same batch last week and while good, I’m pretty sure I over mixed the dough. It held up beautifully and looked wonderful, but the texture was not right. Tonight I made another and stuck to your 10″ *25cm here, pizza. Followed it too a “T”…except doubling the salt for 2g and sugar (1.5g) hoping that might inject a little more flavor. Where I’m going with this is that the crust really seems bland. This evening I got the texture and I totally get you with all of that. Maybe the corn oil here is super refined? Maybe because I can’t buy kosher salt in Hungary, that’s the deal? Hoping you can point me in the right direction. In a couple days I plan on duplicating this one, only using 50/50 corn oil and a garlic/basil/rosemary infused olive oil. Thanks for being a pioneer with this it’s a great jumping off point and full of useful stuff!

    1. Hi, Chad. Feel free to use the recipes on the website as a guide, and adjust your recipe for what works for you.
      You don’t have to use kosher salt. The recipe calls for fine sea salt or regular table salt.
      You also don’t have to use corn oil. Any refined vegetable oil can work. Soybean or Canola are perfectly fine.
      I’ve used lard with interesting results as well. You also can use more than one kind of oil.

      Here’s a somewhat controversial article I wrote about deep dish crust a little while ago that I think may help you wrap your head around the subject: https://www.realdeepdish.com/2014/08-19-dd101-extra-why-deep-dish-crust-tastes-like-that/
      I have a few other articles on the site that may also be helpful.
      This one talks about substitutions:

      If you haven’t read it yet, this is the article I have “stickied” on the front page of the website:

      Also, I’ve been testing out a “quick dough” recipe that is also performing well during an overnight rise in the refrigerator.
      You may prefer that recipe for your starting point. I post updates on the RDD Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/realdeepdish

      Thanks for visiting the site, and good luck!
      Let us know how the Hungarians like deep dish pizza! 🙂

    1. My limited experience eating thin crust pizza from Lou Malnati’s says they are using the same dough for thin crust.
      I would just bake thin crust the same way you would bake your normal thin crust, and keep an eye on the crust to make sure it doesn’t burn.

  14. I’ve been pizza foolish. Moved to Bay area with high pizza expectations. every pizza has sorely depressed me. I was optimistic but really should have known better. I have diplomatically lambasted every pizza place online that put Chicago in front of their name which is sacrilegious. We have resigned ourselves to ordering Lou’s in bulk frozen. I wish Pizanos sold frozen. Thank you for the recipe I’ll take the time time work on it.I’d to find Due original as Pizanos seems closely related. People just dont understand.Thank You

  15. Any tips on converting this recipe to work with a 14″ pan? That’s all I have and I worry that using this recipe (designed for a 12″) isn’t going to work out for me.

    1. Hi, Jay, and thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com!

      You can find conversions for other sizes for the dough on page 3 of the recipe PDF or at the link below.

      As for the amounts of the rest of the ingredients, I’ll leave those amounts up to you.
      For cheese, just make sure you’re completely covering the bottom – sometimes I use a little more than that.
      For tomatoes, you’ll want somewhere between 18 and 24 fluid oz for a 14 inch deep dish – enough to cover.

      1. Ahh…I missed that. I was converting myself and got pretty close, but thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Excited to try this one out tonight. Thanks!

  16. I just want to say thank you. Sincerely. I grew up in the far north suburbs and have lived in Southern California for over 20 years. I LOVE deep dish pizza and usually hit Lou Malnati’s when I come home to visit. My Pi was one of my favorites as a teen and Rosati’s was also a local fav (their Italian Beef is incredible) but I digress… most folks here in So Cal have no idea. I have tried every “Chicago Style” pizza joint that’s popped up and they leave so much to be desired (and don;t seem to last). Thanks to you, I am going to make my own, and make it right. I am forever grateful for the blueprint and have ordered pans and other supplies through “A Best Kitchen”. God Bless you for doing this work for those who can truly appreciate the intentional, spectacular, one-of-a-kind, Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Pie.

    1. Hi, Brenda. Thanks for visiting the site and ordering deep dish equipment!
      If you need any tips, please let me know.
      I reply a little faster to comments on the RDD facebook page.

  17. Great recipe and tips. made my first deep dish today. Substituted olive oil for the corn oil. Making two more this afternoon w/out the sausage but adding pepperoni. Great stuff.

  18. Under your Pizza 101 section you have a version of your dough using a mix of olive oil and corn oil and the ratios are different than what you have posted on your main page link. From reading the Pizza 101 section, I got the impression that the olive oil version was your improved version. Yes/No?

    1. Hi, Nancy. I have mentioned in other comments and posts that I simplified the recipe and typically use just corn oil (or vegetable oil), but you can use any combination of oils that you like. If you are using olive oil in your oil blend, make sure it’s not the extra virgin kind because it will smoke and burn. Just use regular olive oil.
      Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com !

  19. Hi,

    Thank you so much for sharing all this information! I have attempted your recipe twice so far. As a native Chicagoan and Lou Malnati’s loyalist, I was impressed with the result. I think that it comes very close to what I’m used to. The only part of the pizza I think is a little less consistent with Lou Malnati’s style is the deep dish crust itself. I have rarely eaten other varieties of non-Malnati’s deep dish in Chicago, so I’m not sure if your recipe is more consistent with another restaurant’s recipe, but I’m wondering if you have any thoughts about achieving more of a Malnati’s crust. The outer, deep dish crust ended up more hard and smooth than what I’ve had from Malnati’s. At first I thought it was something I had done, but looking through your photos, it looks like yours are similar. I would describe Malnati’s deep dish crust as less smooth, more grainy/flaky in texture. Would you agree? If so, would you recommend any modifications to get a more Malnati’s type crust? The rest of the pizza is really fantastic and so close to the original. Regardless, I am delighted and will surely enjoy this recipe many more times to come.

    Thanks again,

    1. Hi, Stefanie. Thanks for visiting Real Deep Dish and trying the recipe.
      There’s a lot of variables to consider, but it sounds like you’re looking to make a more flaky/crumbly pizza dough. I’d suggest using less water, possibly increasing the oil a bit & going easy on the kneading. Treat the dough almost like a pie crust.
      The texture of your crust can vary for a number of reasons. Check out the other posts on the site, especially the ones in Deep Dish 101: https://www.realdeepdish.com/deep-dish-101/ for suggestions on dough modifications and troubleshooting. 🙂

  20. I think (with your help) that I have a basic deep dish pretty well sorted out. My next challenge is a spinach pizza. Our first attempt didn’t go very well. We used the same basic deep dish approach and wrung out the spinach really well after defrosting. We probably used too much and it seemed to dry out something fierce. Can I solicit your thoughts our next endeavor? Deep dish or stuffed? Spinach prep? Amount of spinach to use?

    1. I don’t have much experience using frozen spinach. Sounds like you may have used too much.
      One of the biggest challenges is balancing the moisture content in your pizza. I prefer to use fresh spinach instead of frozen, so
      I won’t give specific amounts, but I can tell you that raw spinach contains a lot of water. I usually fry it up with a little butter, salt, pepper and garlic. If it’s too bitter, I sometimes add a few drops of honey. I let it cool before adding it on top of the cheese under the sauce.
      If your spinach is added raw, you’ll want to compensate for all that extra water by straining extra water out of your sauce, using less sauce or you could add a little semolina on top of the cheese to help absorb the water while baking.
      You’ll have to practice and make adjustments until you get the right amount for the perfect balance.

  21. not anonymous jelly donut

    Chicago deep dish pizza has a biscuit-like crust, which needs two things: lots of oil (usually corn oil) in the ratio of 3 Tablespoons oil to 1 cup flour; and a very short mix/knead time (1 minute mix, up to 2 minutes knead).

  22. We absolutely love this recipe! We’ve been making deep dish pies on Sundays for about a month now and have the crust pretty well sorted out. We use Boar’s Head mozz and it’s fantastic. Ditto for the fresh Italian sausage we get at our local Whole Foods. What I can’t seem to get right is the tomato sauce that goes on top. We’ve tried whole tomatoes (drained and chopped), crushed tomatoes (San Marzano and plum) and even diced. Generally, the best brand we can find in St. Louis is Cento. Any ideas or insights? By the way, we are trying to emulate Lou’s.

    1. Can you find Muir Glen Crushed with Basil?
      You can pretty much use those right out of the can without draining.
      Add a little sugar if they’re not sweet enough for you.
      If you can’t find Muir Glen, look for California grown tomatoes. They tend to taste a little brighter (slightly more acidic, in a good way) than the Italian brands. If the tomatoes taste good out of the can, they will taste good on your pizza.

      1. Great recommendation on the Muir Glen tomatoes! I will probably drain them a little next time around as the pizza was a bit sloppy once cut. Delicious, but a little sloppy. One more tweak and we will be right where I’ve wanted to be since moving out of the Chicago area back in the late 90s. Thanks again!!!

  23. Thanks so much for this recipe. I tried it out twice. The first pizza was less than ideal, but that was user error, not the recipe’s fault. The second time around, it was fantastic.

    I have a question about fennel seed. Out here in NJ, all the Italian sausage seems to be fennel-free. If I wanted to add fennel seed to this recipe, how much would you suggest I add to the sausage? And do I need to do anything to the fennel seed, such as toasting it in a pan, or chopping it into smaller bits, or do I just toss it in? Thanks!

    1. Hey, Wilbur! Thanks for stopping by RealDeepDish.com
      Fennel seed is popular in Chicago THIN crust, but not necessarily in Deep Dish. Lou Malnati’s doesn’t even use fennel in their sausage, and I’m not 100% certain, but I don’t think Pizzeria Uno does either.
      I like fennel in my sausage for all styles of pizza.

      In any case, the amount of fennel you use and how you use it is entirely up to you.
      A good starter point would be about 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds per pound of sausage.

      You don’t need to toast the fennel because you’re baking it in a pizza, but you can.
      I like to add the fennel whole if I’m just sprinkling it on a pizza. If I’m making fresh sausage ( check out the sausage recipe on page 2 of the thin crust pizza recipe ), I like to lightly crush my fennel or give it a few spins in my spice grinder just to break it up a little.
      Some people like to use a combination of whole and ground fennel.

      Good luck with your fenneling! 🙂

      1. Mr. Heller,

        I’m a regular commenter on your Facebook Real Deep Dish Page (Robert and Donelle K.) Your passion for spreading the truth about deep dish pizza is unmatched, and I’ve always appreciated your hard work. Recently, my work partner had the opportunity to attend the Deep Dish Pizza class at Pizzeria Uno, which was my all time favorite pizza growing up, before the proliferation of Lou Malnati’s citywide and deep into the suburbs. My partner gave me a copy of the recipe which answered a lot of questions I’ve always wondered about, but it left some questions unanswered.

        The chef then said to the class, “we can’t give away the farm, but this is the closest recipe to our original recipe that we can give away.” Specifically, they used both vegetable oil and olive oil in the crust. But no corn oil. I’ve always thought (and still believe) that Uno’s uses corn oil as opposed to vegetable oil. I always knew they used olive oil, so that belief was confirmed. The chef went on to explain that people have always wrongfully believed that cornmeal was used and that cornmeal gives the crust it’s yellow color. The chef then said that it’s actually the olive oil that somehow gives the crust it’s yellowish color. He then demonstrated to all the nonbelievers about cornmeal what olive oil does to the crust, and how it’s chemical properties change the color of the crust. The olive oil did in fact somehow change the color of the crust to the yellowish shade, albeit not as yellow as the crust at Gino’s East due to the food coloring that goes on over at Gino’s. I found this to be very interesting. So, yes, the Chef at Uno’s completely vindicated your beliefs about corn meal being a myth.

        What I’m still left wondering about is two things: 1) Do you think that Uno’s really uses corn oil (as I’ve always believed!) rather than vegetable oil, but they can’t disclose that to the public because that would constitute “giving away the farm to the public” in terms of their long held crust recipe; and 2) Do you think Uno’s uses butter in their dough recipe before it goes into the mixer?

        My work partner swears up and down that there was no butter anywhere in sight during that class- not during the dough mixing, nor at any time thereafter. Only vegetable oil and olive oil. To the contrary, on their corporate Uno page for the franchises, Uno’s claims that they make a “buttery, flakey crust.” However, we all know that the franchise Uno’s are obviously not the same crust recipes as the original crust recipe at Uno’s/Due.

        Just for the record, the deep dish pizza recipe that the chef at Uno’s taught with the vegetable oil and olive oil was delicious. I couldn’t tell the difference between the vegetable oil and olive oil crust and the crust that I’ve ate regularly at Uno’s/Due for over 30 years.

        I’d love to hear your opinion on all of this. Keep up the great work, and I’ll see you on Facebook.


        Rob K.

        1. If you have a copy of that recipe, I’d love to see the differences.
          I think I’ve mentioned it before – you can use any oil combination you want – I just prefer to use all corn oil for my standard deep dish dough.
          If you’re trying to narrow down the oil combination, good luck. It could be one or a combination of corn, olive, vegetable, or soybean, canola(rapeseed), cottonseed, palm, coconut, or deep fryer oil. When I try to recreate a recipe that was invented in the 1940’s, I look for what kind of oils were available back then.
          I actually did a little research on this to find out what oils were available:
          Of course, recipes are often revised, so any of these places could have made a change in their oil.

          I can’t imagine olive oil would do much, but I suppose it could change the shade slightly. I think the use of semolina would be more effective if you were trying for a color shift in your dough without the use of egg-shade dye. Either way, neither Lou’s nor Uno’s is known for yellow dough. I don’t know why some people think all deep dish dough is yellow.

          Interesting that you say Uno’s chain webpage says it – I thought it was only Malnati’s that pushed the “buttery, flaky” propaganda. Those dough properties are not achieved with actual butter. It’s more likely the long cold ferment and short mix time that do that. Fermented yeast creates diacetyl, which used to be one of the ingredients added to microwave popcorn to give it buttery flavors, until it started giving factory workers “popcorn lung“. Don’t worry – Diacetyl is safe to eat, just don’t try to inhale it on a daily basis and you’ll be fine.

          I am not familiar with Uno’s making a “butter crust”, but I know Lou Malnati’s charges extra for theirs. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Malnati’s, so I don’t know if they’ve changed the procedure, but they used to brush melted butter on top of the already prepared dough just before baking.
          As long as we’re talking butter crust, I have it on good authority that Pizano’s has a real deal butter crust.
          I’ll investigate further when I have the opportunity.

          If you do want to make a butter crust with real butter, you might want to try using clarified butter (ghee) as all the water has been cooked out of it and it’s got a really great concentrated nutty buttery taste.

          1. Yeah, if you go on the Uno’s Chicago Grill link, just click on the About Uno link. In the first paragraph about Uno’s history, the description says that Ike Sewell created a buttery, “out-of-this-world,” crust… However, I don’t associate butter crust with Uno’s, but rather Lou Malnati’s and Pizano’s. That’s why I was wondering if you thought they used butter or not.

            When the chef at Uno’s used the olive oil to demonstrate the slight color change to the crust to prove the change was not from cornmeal, the crust changed color, but only slightly. It was not as yellow as the crust at Gino’s East. My partner said it looked exactly like the crust photo in the Chicago Essential: Pizzeria Due article from the former Serious Eats Chicago site. He said that photo is the perfect picture of what Uno/Due’s crust looks like after the olive oil addition.

            I still believe that they use corn oil, but they just weren’t going to show it at the class because that would constitute “giving away the farm” in terms of their recipe. I’ve been eating at Uno’s/Due for over 30 years, and every time I’m there, I swear I can smell the aroma of corn when the server first brings the pizza to the table. I don’t smell that same aroma at Lou Malnati’s, probably because Lou’s uses butter as their star ingredient. And yes, Lou’s definitely still brushes the dough with melted butter. That is absolutely, 100% true.

            Still, I find it very interesting that Uno’s openly claims on their website in the About Uno link that Ike Sewell created a buttery, “out-of-this-world,” crust… because butter was no where to be found at the Uno\’s Cooking Class. Like I said, the class answered some of my partner’s long held questions (mine, too), but some questions remain a mystery (i.e. the butter question).

          2. Ed- I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a long time Pizzeria Due server last week while dining at Due. She told me in no uncertain terms that Uno and Due do not use butter in their crust recipe. She said everything is oil based, but did not elaborate on which oils, or how much of each oil is used.

            As for the actual flavor in the crust, I asked my wife what’s the first flavor she tasted when she bit into the crust, and she immediately replied “corn.” And she’s not obsessed with deep dish pizza the way I am, so she’s more of an objective observer compared to me.

            I still enjoy Uno’s/Due’s crust because I love the corn flavor and the crumbleness of their crust. Lou’s crust does not crumble at all like Due’s crust. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lou’s buttercrust for its various virtues, but after all these years, I still love Uno’s and Due’s corn oil crust.

            And yet Uno’s corporate page under the “Heritage” section continues to say that Ike Sewell created a “buttery, out of this world crust.” LOL. No butter according to their long time server!

            Keep up the great work!

            Rob K.

  24. Thank you for sharing this hard-earned info!! I\’ve been making your recipe for years, or at least I thought I was. Did the ratios change at some point? I\’ve always made the 14\” pie and I\’ve been using 342g of flour and 171g of water but I was browsing here again tonight and see that it\’s 382g/229g. Have I had it wrong all this time or did you tweak it? I just made one tonight but now I feel like I need to make another one tomorrow just to see if I can tell a difference LOL

    One other thing… there is a really good deep dish pizza place outside of Branson called Mr. Gilberti\’s. He says his grandma was one of the original Chicago deep dish creators and he migrated to the area from Chicago years later and opened this restaurant. Anyway, he claims his secret to great crust is using olive oil instead of corn oil. I tried using straight olive oil once in your recipe and didn\’t like it as much so I\’ve been using 50/50 olive/corn as a compromise. Any thoughts on the oil type?

    1. Hi, Jeff. Thanks for coming back to the website!
      Yes, I’ve tweaked the recipe a few times, attempting to make the dough easier to work with, but I have links to earlier versions if you liked one of those better:

      I’ve commented on oil before on other posts and comment threads:
      I prefer to use 100% corn oil, but I have used all kinds of oil combinations, including bacon grease, lard, and butter. Butter also contains water, so maybe reduce the water amount in your dough slightly to compensate.
      When using olive oil, I prefer to use it 3 to 1, corn oil to olive oil.
      It’s best to stay clear of using too many unrefined oils, i.e.: use regular or light olive oil instead of extra virgin.

  25. Today we made our very first Chicago Style deep dish pizza and oh my gosh it turned out almost perfect!!! We were so impressed by the way it looked and tasted.
    We followed exact recipe you mentioned here, we bought the same products you mentioned and we think it made a big difference.
    We were so surprised that our pizza taste better than Chicago fire restaurant (Sacramento)deep dish pizza we die for!
    The only thing I thought went wrong was all the crushed tomatoes and jalapenos moved 2 inches from the crust to the center, but I think that was because the dough was slightly thicker near the crust. Even that was only cosmetic as the pie was A1. Thanks again for all the help!

    1. Hi, Bryan & Sara!
      Glad to hear you were able to bake up a tasty pie!

      Sometimes my ingredients migrate toward the center, though usually it’s when from a sausage deep dish when the sausage shrinks and takes all to the sauce with it. It’s not an uncommon occurrence.

  26. I just wanted to thank you so much for this site. We moved away from Chicago, and after trying the atrocious “deep dish” in small town America, we felt depressed. This site is a God-send. I’ve made your recipe now 4 times and it really tastes excellent! I hope everyone coming tries this. Your instructions are very clear. In fact, I have 4 mini deep dishes in the freezer right now, for emergencies! You have improved our lives and morale greatly!

  27. As someone who loves authentic Chicago style pizza but can’t find it anywhere due to where I live, I am glad I’ve found your site. I am going to try your recipe some time this week, but was curious about the sausage. While I love it in my deep dish, my wife doesn’t. I don’t want to screw up this recipe. I know that i don’t need to stray from the directions, but if I leave out the sausage, other than missing that flavor, should I still be OK? Add more pepperoni in place of the missing sausage?

    1. You don’t need to use sausage in your deep dish. It’s just the classic variety. You can use whatever combination of ingredients you want. Sometimes I just make an all cheese deep dish, which is amazing if you haven’t tried it. As for pepperoni, use as much pepperoni as you like, but keep it under the sauce if you don’t want it to burn (or add it half way thru baking if you like a little char) & be prepared for grease puddles. I like to dust my pepperoni with a little flour or cornstarch, which will help to soak up the grease.
      Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com and good luck!

      1. Awesome, thank you. Definitely will keep it under the sauce, because that’s certainly my definition of authentic Chicago for sure.

  28. Hi, a friend told me that traditional Chicago Deep Dish pizza consists of cream cheese. Does it? Is that common?
    Love your site, it’s delicious!

    1. Cream cheese? Um, no. Not a traditional ingredient.
      Your friend is probably messing with you, and should take some time and read the articles on the site.

      Thanks for visiting.

  29. Hello, I am trying to learn to make deep dish pizza. I am pretty good at making bread but not an expert. I understand Bakers math and even have a digital scale that helps me out with percentages. Last night I used someone’s formula that is very close to yours but my crust turned out kind of mealy and oily tasting. My kitchen is very dry, I am almost never able to use all the flour that I measure out for bread but since pizza seems to be exact with the percentages of flour to moisture I just dumped all the flour into the bowl and as soon as I got to the shaggy mass stage I stopped mixing as per the other guys directions. Even under mixed the dough was very easy to handle with all that oil. I proofed the dough in a warming tray set on the lowest setting which is probably somewhere around 80 degrees for 3 hours. The dough spread out quite a bit in the pan by the time I got back to it. I used a 15 inch. I might need to invest in a 14 inch pan just to keep things simple. The pizza was really good because of the ingredients inside but I didn’t really like the crust. It tasted mealy to me. I could understand why someone would think there was cornmeal in a crust that mealy but it was APF and nothing else. I think I added too much oil to the pan as well. My husband loved it and even ate it for breakfast this morning. I just know I somehow went wrong with the crust though-this was my first attempt and for my first from scratch pizza it was very good. I will try your method which is a little different and calls for 2 minutes of kneading tomorrow. Does an extremely dry kitchen affect the amount of flour that should be added to liquids to get a desired result? Is pizza dough unique from bread dough in that you don’t need to be flexible with the amount of flour used? I fear that is where I went wrong. Thank you for your help. Oh I used a preheated stone but didn’t “pizzafy” my oven per your directions.

    1. Hi. Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com.

      I think you already know this, but humidity levels can definitely affect how your dough reacts.
      I’m not entirely sure what you’re encountering when you say “mealy”, but deep dish crust should lean more toward crumbly and/or flaky, and not like bread at all. If your pizza crust is turning out bready, something is wrong.

      As you used a different dough recipe and followed someone else’s instructions, I can’t say exactly where your difficulty is, but in general, deep dish dough is pretty forgiving, as long as you don’t stray too far from the recipe. A little extra flour (or water) shouldn’t hurt your recipe, but try not to over-compensate. Flour can take a little while to absorb liquid, so you may just need to be a little patient.

      Where do you live? High altitudes can also affect your baking.
      Have you ever eaten deep dish pizza before? If so, from where? What are your expectations of deep dish crust?

      You may benefit from reading more of the articles from Deep Dish 101, as I have tried to explain how deep dish dough differs from other pizza doughs, and have addressed a few of the more common troubleshooting dilemmas.

      Good luck with your next pizza! 🙂

      1. Thank you so much. Part of my problem is I have never had “real” Chicago deep dish pizza. Sadly I have never visited Chicago. I should order a par-baked Malnati’s pizza online, so I know what I am trying to achieve. I know I got it wrong because it wasn’t delicious. It wasn’t bready though. There wasn’t enough gluten development to be bready. I think I put too much oil in the pan. I think I undercooked it. I was trying to keep it light the way the photos look online.

        My latest obsession is to learn how to make pizza which is spin-off of my 3 year obsession with all things bread. It is too cold to cook outside and try my newest toy- a cheap outdoor propane pizza oven. So I am starting with deep dish- the one I know least. I read quite a bit before I even started. My goal is to learn how to make a deep dish pizza, a New York pizza, Neapolitan pizza and how to make a Pizza Hut 80s dish called the Priazzo which was a stuffed pizza/ pizza rustica bastardization that was surprisingly wonderful no matter how crazy that sounds. The Florentine was my favorite. Thank you for the pointers and I will keep reading and trying. At least I can eat my mistakes. I really appreciate the help. :))

    1. Hi. Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com.

      I have used honey in place of sugar to feed the yeast, but haven’t added additional honey to my dough. You can, but keep in mind that the yeast will be more active if they have more sugar to eat, so you may need to punch down the dough an extra time, as your dough may get more puffy than usual.

  30. I love your recipe. The only problem I have is burning. I only cook the 12″ pizza for 20 minutes at the most. I’ve tried with my pampered chef pizza stone on the bottom and can’t remember how it turned out. I usually forget to put the pan in at 500 for about an hour. Will this lessen my chance for burning pizza? What brand of tomatoes do you use? I use the Nina brand from costco because I can’t find 6-1 here in memphis. Thanks again for your recipe. I only get to Lou’s about once a year and this helps my cravings. You wouldn’t by chance have a good recipe for Portillos would you?

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe.
      I’m not sure what you’re doing, but it sounds like you are forgetting to turn down the oven temp after preheating your stone/oven. If you’re preheating your pizza pan… DON’T.
      I don’t actually care for 6-in-1 tomatoes, but many in the pizzamaking.com forum like them. I like Muir Glen crushed w basil.
      PORTILLOS? Do they have pizza now? I know them for italian beef and hot dogs. 🙂

  31. Hey there!! I’ve been searching EVERYWHERE for a true deep dish pizza formula, and as a result have never made one. Looks like I finally found the real deal, so with that in mind I’m inspired like never before to crank out a few of these bodacious pies.

    I noticed that you have included additional measurements for pans of different sizes, which is especially convenient. Just yesterday I bought a 15″ Nordic Ware deep dish pan with a 1-1/2″ depth to it, but found that the largest dough formula you provide falls just an inch short of what I have to work with. Looking to give it a go anyway, aware that I may possibly end up with a slightly thinner (and shorter) pizza than is typical, which is OK by me. My question is, have you tested out the measurements to make a larger batch of dough than for a 14″ pie? Curious to find out what modifications are necessary before I begin.

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi, Bryan. Thanks for visiting RealDeepDish.com!
      In general, a 14″ deep dish dough should be fine for a 15″ pizza, but I’ll give you the approximate up-conversion :

      — 15″ Deep Dish Dough Conversion —
      All Purpose Flour: (437g) – 3.5 cups ,
      Water: (262g) – 9.25 oz ,
      Active Dry Yeast: (3g) – about 1 teaspoon ,
      Salt: (2g) – about 1/3 of a teaspoon (about 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon),
      Corn Oil: (83 g) – about 3oz or 6 tablespoons ,
      Sugar: (1.6g) – about 0.4 teaspoons (a bit less than half a teaspoon)

      total dough weight: about 790 grams.

      Pizza dough is pretty forgiving. If your measurements aren’t exact, it’s probably close enough.

      If you want to do the conversions yourself for other sizes:
      I use the deep dish dough calculator at pizzamaking.com for my size conversions:
      If you look near the top of page 1 of my recipe, you’ll see “pm-dd-dough-calc-TF = 0.15; HFUTS = 0.44in” When you get to the dough calc page, you’ll see where to plug in those numbers. Then just add in the bakers percentages on the recipe and enter your pizza diameter.

      They work with bakers percentages and measure ingredients by weight, so if you’re working without a scale, you might need to convert weights of certain ingredients to cup and tablespoon/teaspoon measurements.
      Websites like this can help you do the conversions: http://convert-to.com/flour-types-volume-weight-amounts-conversion
      (some websites have slightly different conversions for some ingredients)

      1. Thanks a lot!!! I actually have a username on the website you provided and have taken part in the general discussion threads a few years ago. Learned quite a bit about calculating recipes into baker’s formulae but do not own a baker’s scale and therefore have not bothered making dough for some time. That’s about to change though.

  32. Your directions indicate using Active Dry yeast, but there is no mention of allowing the yeast to proof before adding the rest of the ingredients. Does this mean you’re using Quick Rise or Instant Yeast?

    1. Other than the first 30 seconds of swirling the yeast around in the hot water, I’ve never waited for the yeast to bloom, and have no problems with the dough rising. You can certainly give your yeast a head start if you like, but it’s not really necessary. I’ve also tested with “quick-rise” yeast, and it works fine too. The main difference between active dry and “quick rise” is that they add vitamin C to the “quick rise” to help the yeast out.

    1. I don’t recommend it because it’s a much heavier pan and you might be more likely to burn your crust before the rest of the pizza is cooked.
      That said, IT CAN BE DONE. If you check out the Pizzamaking.com discussion forums, they have a Chicago Style section where there is a discussion thread about the use of cast iron pans to make deep dish, where you may find some advice on how to bake pizzas in cast iron.

      My position is : HAVE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB. Get yourself a good 12″ deep dish pan. It’s worth the 20 bucks you plunk down for one.
      If you don’t have a deep dish pan at home, a cake pan is more likely to give you the results you’re looking for.

  33. Mike,

    I only get home to Chicago once a year now and I sometimes need a deep dish fix. The frozen pies they ship from Lou Malnati’s kinda suck. I tried your the recipe last night and and I loved it! (I’m a Gino’s East fan BTW)

    One thing I wanted to mention, the oil for the 8″ crust is WAY off. I calculated it should be about 1 Tablesoon, not 5.3!
    Thanks for a great recipe

  34. I tried the real deep dish recipe using 50% water and 20% oil. It was a soggy mess of dough with oil oozing out. I knew the 60% and 20% with a total hydration of 80% would be way too wet of a dough. Maybe I am reading something wrong but I know a fairly common hydration for dough is around 60%, that includes water, oil or any other liquids. 70% or 80% seems way to wet for me. Please write me if I am missing something here.

    1. Kelly, I don’t have enough information to know why you’re having difficulties.
      Is your “soggy mess” before or after you’ve baked your pizza?
      Are you following the directions or did you change something?
      Are you kneading it until it forms a ball? How long are you letting your dough rise? Did you measure the flour properly?
      The latest version of the recipe has 19% oil (not 20%), but I’m not sure that is enough of a difference to give you dough problems. What kind of oil are you using? When are you adding it?

      If you are finding you’ve followed the directions and your dough is still not coming together, you could add a bit more flour, a little at a time, and knead until your dough comes together.

      1. yes I weighted out all the Flour, I did use 9 lbs all purpose flour and 1 lb of cornmeal. I do like the cornmeal in my dough, may try using semolina and see how that turns out. So 10 lbs of flour, 9 lbs all purpose and 1 lb cornmeal. I mixed for 3 or 4 minutes until it came together, put it in a bad to poof for 3 or 4 hours. When I came back the dough had oil oozing out of it and sitting on top of the dough and the bag had oil sitting in it. Dough was very wet and very oily. At a moisture content of 70% I would expect it to be very wet or soggy and it was. I made some today using 40% water and between 15 to 20% oil, it was much easier to work with.

        1. CORNMEAL?!
          If you are using cornmeal in your dough, I can’t help you.
          Are you my first website troll? I’m honored.

          NINE POUNDS OF FLOUR? If you’re seriously making that large of a batch of dough,
          I don’t know what kind of results you’ll get, as this website is geared for the home baker.

        2. Corn meal doesn’t really absorb moisture properly, it’s not a substitute for semolina or All purpose flour. Your dough was over hydrated.

          If you’re going to play with the recipe though, don’t scale it so much.

          1. This is not a pro-cornmeal site anyway.
            If anyone needs advice about substituting corn meal in their dough, please take your questions to the Pizzamaking.com Chicago Style forum, where at least half of the members will joyfully ridicule your ingredient choice, but at some later point might help you make adjustments.

  35. Hi Ed, I see that you have at least 3 versions of the recipe. The another one comes up through either Google on your website with your name or through older links on pizzamaking.com That one has 45% water and a blend of corn oil and vegetable oil. This one has 60% water and just corn oil. Yet another version connected to this site, shows the blended oil and 50% water. Which is the final one that you prefer? The 50% water is amazingly close to the one that I have used for years. I worked for Lou Malnatis, Giordanos, Gino’s East, and Leona’s. I can tell you that you are pretty close to the real thing.There is no cornmeal, semolina, corn flour or other widely speculated ingredients. It is fairly simple but all dependent on time temperature and proportions as usual. BTW, raw sausage is always on the bottom below the sliced cheese and toppings are below the sauce. Except for an occasional request for charred pepperoni on top. No part-skim – whole milk mozzarella only -you only save yourself a few calories and you do taste the difference! High quality crushed tomatoes like 6 in 1 (used a long time and great) or 7/11 (fantastic and I switched from 6 in 1). That’s all I can disclose without to get you closer without the possibility of a lawsuit! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the info, Mike. The latest version of the recipe is the one I prefer, but you should have good results with the older recipes (barring any typos). My current hydration level was an effort to make the dough easier to work with at home. As I’ve said in the past, people can make their own oil-to-water adjustments to make their own version of the “ultimate deep dish dough.” I have seen a few videos and thousands of pictures that would dispute your claim that the sausage goes down before the cheese. For deep dish, it cannot be true. It is true that most pizzerias use whole milk mozz, and some pizzerias will let you order “low-fat” mozzerella, which I assume is the low-moisture part skim. Sliced low moisture part skim mozzarella is more widely available to the public. You can sometimes find the whole milk variety at some grocery store deli counters, or in large 5lb blocks at a wholesale club. I’ve tried the 6-in-1 and don’t like it as much as the tomatoes I currently use, although some in the Pizzamaking.com Chicago Style forum swear by it. If you haven’t yet, please read through the other articles on the site. You may see that I’ve spent a little time doing testing and research on this.
      Again, thanks for the info and please come back soon. 🙂

      1. I came back to your site after further testing: 1) I stand corrected – I now would agree with the sausage laid down over the cheese. I actually came across a video of Marc Malnati making it that way and I had thought they built them the opposite way. At least 2 of the pizza places I worked for many years ago did put the sausage on the bottom for supposedly better cooking closer to the heat source but I now tested no difference and it looks better. And, the cheese down first sets the basis for all pizzas regardless if you decide to use sausage or not. 2) I still like the 6 in 1’s and the 7/11 but I did try the organic Muir Glen and while they are more expensive, they are also excellent. But, they are harder to find in bulk for pizzerias, probably because of the price. For the home cook, they can find the Muir Glen at Whole foods and other stores but the 6-1 and 7/11 are much harder to find. They are stocked at Restaurant Depot in large #10 cans. They may stock them at Gordon Foodservice locations in the suburbs that are open to the public. I still do not drain the tomatoes and have not had any soggy pizzas, but I will start to drain to see if there is much of a difference. I use quite a bit at 12 oz for a 9″ pizza. 3) Restaurant Depot is also now stocking Anichini Brothers sausage. It is about 90% lean and very high quality for the price of about $22/10 lb bulk package. If you can buy it or ask someone in the store to buy it for you, please try it! 4) I agree that your 60% hydration recipe is the best and closest. If people follow your instructions, they will be very pleased – especially those who no longer live in Chicago. Funny, some so called experts suggests only 1-2% oil and this DD recipe calls for almost 20% ! But it is necessary for authentic taste! 5) I have found that oil on the pan fries the crust and makes it crispier and good, but sometimes the dough is difficult to press up the sides. For those that experience this problem, try a small amount of Crisco shortening (they now also have butter flavored) or real butter on the pan or at least the sides – it help the dough to stick instead of contracting and slipping back down off the sides and adds flavor. Like you, I also use 2″ pans but, I build them at 1.75″ unless it is just plain cheese and maybe 1 ingredient in which case I make them only 1.5″ high. Thank you for all your efforts and sharing of information.

  36. Pingback: Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza on The Big Green Egg | Beach Blanket Bacon

  37. Yeah, when you use fresh mozzarella and don’t drain your tomatoes, you’re pretty much setting yourself up for deep-dish-soup. I’m sure it will still taste good though.

    If you just found this recipe and haven’t read anything else on the website, it’s best to stick as close to ingredient recommendations as you can. When you substitute ingredients that contain more water, you have to compensate for that by using less or draining the water when you can.

  38. Pingback: chicago style | it will stop raining*

    1. I like the 2″ high pans because I like to press the dough for the outer crust to about 1-1/2″ high and it gives the top of your crust a little extra protection.

  39. Do you have a whole wheat version? There is a pizzeria in town that has an amazing whole wheat Chicago pizza that is amazing. The crust looks like your pizza except whole wheat.

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating

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