The Dinner Club: Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizzas
29 Sep 2014

The Dinner Club: Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizzas

29 Sep 2014

The first ever Dinner Club meet was in session!  Members come over to act as food tasters for new recipes I’m trying out, and leave a contribution in our Offering Jar to cover the cost of ingredients.  Here’s to many more sessions to come!

Date: 28 September 2014


Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizzas

Makes 2 12-inch pies


  • 2 tablespoons olive oilPhotoGrid_1411877911005
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tablespoon red grape juice OR prune juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or 500 grams sliced
  • 250 grams beef pepperoni, thinly sliced2014-09-28 10.43.01
  • 200 grams white button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and cut into thin rings
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, thinly sliced
  • 450 grams crumbled Italian sausage
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan


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, juice 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.

2014-09-28 17.47.41

Preheat the oven to 240 degrees C (fan 220 degrees).

Oil 2 seasoned 12-inch round deep-dish pizza pans with the extra-virgin olive oil. PhotoGrid_1411957595801Press 1 piece of dough into each pan, pressing to the edge and stretching about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Try to get the dough higher on the side of the pan; I felt that in my first try it wasn’t “deep” enough.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top each with half of the pepperoni, mushrooms, bell pepper rings, onions, black olives and sausage. Ladle the sauce evenly over each 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, slice and serve hot.

Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (I usually mix 1/3 cup hot water and add enough room temperature water to make 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil, plus 2 teaspoons to grease bowl
  • 1 teaspoon salt 

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.

2014-09-28 17.15.48

PhotoGrid_1411957081792Turn 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.

Divide into 2 equal portions and use as directed.

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