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The Deep Dish Holy Grail REAL Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza recipe!
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This Chicago Deep Dish Pizza recipe will show you how to make a ‘real deal’ Chicago style deep dish pizza.
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“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.
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How to Make Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza – A Real Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Recipe
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
Part One: MAKING THE DOUGH
- 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.
Part Two: ASSEMBLING YOUR PIZZA AND BAKING
- 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!
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.
Congratulations. Now go make a pizza!
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