Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza AKA Italian Pie

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza AKA Italian Pie Recipe

My husband is not happy with me. Originally from New York, he's angry that Chicago-style deep dish is called pizza at all, and while he happily ate dinner tonight, I am apparently in the dog-house for my traitorous behavior.

To save my marriage, I must begin this post by stating I am definitely a NY, thin-crust pizza lover. If there is a side to choose, that's my team. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a night on the dark side once in a while. And tonight, I wasn't in the mood for pizza, I was in the mood to try making an Italian-style pie (apparently, that's the name my husband approves for the time being, and for the sake of my marriage, I'll try my darndest not to call it pizza.)

But where to begin? I looked up countless recipes. There's definitely more fat in the dough than I'm used to. Some swear by butter, some vegetable oil. I figured plain olive oil (not the fancy extra virgin stuff) would suffice. I used my mixer to to do the brunt work, let the dough rest, then made the sauce. Again, I figured I'd need something a little heartier than my standard pizza sauce, so I made a play on marinara. After those two components were complete, all that was left was to assemble and bake the pie.

Conclusion? Pretty delicious. I liked the crust quite a lot, it manages to feel airy and light which is necessary when you've got a lot of meat, cheese and sauce going on. The toppings did feel substantial, this is the thing to make when you've got big eaters coming over.

Boozy Epicure's Italian Pie Recipe

The Crust - makes enough for 2 pies

1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 tblsp yeast
1 tblsp sugar
3 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup olive oil, plus oil to grease bowl and baking pan
1 tblsp kosher salt

Place the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and let sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture is nice and foamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and, using the dough hook, mix together on medium low speed. Once the mixture is combined, turn the speed to medium and let it knead for 5 minutes. It will be pretty soft and sticky. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and hand knead just a touch, adding flour as necessary to make the dough soft, smooth, and just barely tacky. Place is an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until doubled in size, about an hour.

In bowl.
After rest.

The Sauce - makes enough for 2 pies
2 tblsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tblsp tomato paste
salt/pepper to taste
1 tblsp finely chopped garlic
2 tblsp dry wine (red or white)
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 tblsp sugar
1 bay leaf
1 package (26 oz) finely chopped tomatoes
1tsp dried or 2 tblsp fresh chopped basil
1 tsp dried or 2 tblsp fresh chopped oregano

Place the olive oil, onions, and tomato paste in a saucepan with a little salt over medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook just one minute before adding the wine, vinegar and sugar. Cook together for about 5 minutes then add the bay leaf, tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil then turn down and let simmer uncovered about 30 minutes, until flavors have combined and the sauce has thickened.

Starting the sauce
Time to simmer

Assembling The Pies
Assorted toppings/fillings: I used provolone and mozzarella cheese, olives, roasted red peppers, pickled garlic and a combination of mortadella, genoa salami, and hot capicola using fresh grated parmigiano and romano at the end. Italian sausage and assorted meats, cheeses and veggies are all common toppings/fillings. Have fun.

Preheat your oven to 475 F. Grease your pans (I used round, non-stick, cake pans) with a little olive oil. Separate your dough into 2, and using your fingers, spread the dough in each pan, bringing dough up the sides. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes while you get all your toppings ready for assembly.

Layer your cheese, then meat, any additional toppings, more cheese, then cover with a layer of sauce and a final grating of cheese (I used a parm/romano combo).

Filled pie.
Final cheese topping.

Bake at 475 F until crust is well browned, filling is bubbly and topping is melted and gorgeous, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Slice and serve warm.

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