Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Deep Dish Pizza

Probably about a year ago, I made my first trip to Chicago with my girlfriend to see Flogging Molly perform (it was an awesome concert). Being the pizza connoisseur I am, one of the first things I had to do was try the famous deep dish pizza. I still don't remember what place we got it from, just that the hotel we were staying a recommended them. It was definitely in the top 3, maybe even the best, pizza I have ever had. The crust had such an amazing texture, both crunchy and soft. The sauce...don't make me think about the sauce....it was spectacular. It was everything pizza sauce should be. Full flavor with tomato and herbs with a kick of sweetness at the end. Ever since then, I've been wanting to make my own deep dish pizza. Bon Appétit!


For the Crust:
  • 1 ½ cups of warm water
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tsp to grease bowl
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon dry red wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For Pizza:
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  •  4 ounces pepperoni
  •  2 cups diced green pepper
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • ½ pound crumbled hot Italian sausage
  • 1 cup grated parmesan

**Note: You can add whatever toppings you want.**


In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the semolina, 1/2 cup of the oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.

Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the herbs, seeds, salt, and black and red peppers, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Oil deep-dish pizza pan with the extra-virgin olive oil. Press dough into pan, pressing to the edge and stretching about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Dough Pressed in Pan
Filled with Cheese, Meats & Toppings
Topped with Sauce & Parmesan

Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top with the pepperoni, green pepper, black olives and sausage. Ladle the sauce evenly over the pizza and top with Parmesan.

Bake until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven onto a cooling rack and let rest for about 10 min, slice and serve hot.

Additional Equipment

This equipment is not necessary but this is a nice little deep dish pizza kit that UNO Chicago Grill makes. It is only $20 through amazon and you get a quality deep dish pan, spatula and recipe book. If you don't want to spend the money I've seen other deep dish pizza recipes where people use spring form pans or cast iron skillets. Do your research and make an informed decision before starting the recipe...remember from my buffalo nuggets recipe....MISE EN PLACE!!!!

Prices Subject to Change
**Note: I am only including items on the grocery list that I deem an expense. I'm assuming most people will already have things like salt & pepper**

 Kitchen Word of the Day

Proofing (also called proving), as the term is used by professional bakers, is the final dough-rise step before baking, and refers to a specific rest period within the more generalized process known as fermentation. Fermentation is a step in creating yeast breads and baked goods where the yeast is allowed to leaven the dough.

Fermentation rest periods are not often explicitly named, and normally appear in recipes as "Allow dough to rise."

In a less-specific sense with usage reminiscent to fermentation, proofing refers to yeasts' feeding on some type of sugar. As the term is used in some cookbooks intended for home use, it refers to testing the viability of one's yeast by mixing it with a small amount of warm water and sugar, and waiting until the mixture becomes foamy by the action of the yeast. Typically, using US customary units, ¼ cup water at 105–115 °F and ½ teaspoon of sugar are used. While this sugar may be sucrose, instead it may be glucose, typically enzyme-derived from starch.

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