It was truly delicious, truly authentic, Italian fare.
And then I began to miss my best friend, Lizzo. And Chicago deep dish pizza. And Home.
Because, frankly, even with delicious delicious Italian pizza, my taste buds knew the pizza that was being consumed was great on the one hand. However, on the other hand, the hand of "best pizza to ever be eaten/made/enjoyed on the entire face of the ENTIRE earth", we have Deep Dish Chicago Pizza.
Look at that glorious glorious pizza pie!
These shots/recipes were found by my previously mentioned BF- Lizzo. One afternoon this summer (when I was being a slacker and didn't post anything), we made our own Chicago deep dish pizza, taking the time to make the dough and sauce from scratch.
It went by extremely quickly due to the fun and friendly chatter between us. And no injuries or accidents were caused by me! Shocking considering my usual clutzy cooking mantra. But with Liz, she always makes me feel proud and actually able to cook. We both did well at pretending we were able to do so with ease- no burns, cuts, or "oops" moments to speak of!
I know, guys. Very proud. We'll make an award later.
ANYWAY! So, if you have never had Chicago Pizza, you are missing out. As you can see, contrary to what one normally expects from a pizza, the sauce is on top, the cheese is melded to the crust, and wow! That crust is gynormous!
Yep. Gynormous. We make up words here in the clutzy kitchen.
While Chicago deep dish doesn't necessarily fit the image one has for a pizza, it is a triumphant change on the norm. In my opinion, it is the crust that makes a deep dish go from okay to "ooooooooooooooooooooh, wow. kay, what a first bite!". If you have a legitimate deep dish pizza, it will have cornmeal in the crust. This creates crunch, and almost a buttery/flaky quality to the crust. This crust has to be as huge and sturdy as it is in order to support whatever bad-ass toppings you're going to add. This pizza is a beast, it doesn't mess around, you want to load it UP with toppings! If you are just going to do cheese, make it a proper layer of cheese. This pizza isn't topped with cheese, you need to layer it, in large LARGE quantities to the crust. It'll melt and adhere to the crust and then, when you top it with sauce, it'll seem as though your dish was stuffed with cheese and toppings.
Doesn't that just sound amazing? I promise, it's amazing. I hope you all have been to the Chicago area and have had top notch pizza such as Giordano's or Lou's at least once in your life. It's quite an experience. If you check out the web pages- you can see for yourself: drool worthy pizza.
Okay! That is quite enough rambling. I am merely sincerely missing home and, when missing home, you miss the comfort foods of home. This is all of Chicago's comfort food. I hope you too will find a feast within this recipe. Make and enjoy :)
Homemade Pizza Sauce
-2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
-5 minced garlic cloves
-1 (28oz) can San Marzano Tomatoes
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
Heat oil in medium size sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, crush tomatoes then add all ingredients to pan. bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Deep Dish Crust
-1 c. water
-1/4 c. shortening
-1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
-1 tsp. salt
-1 1/2 pkg. active dry yeast
-1/2 c. lukewarm water
-3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
-3 or 3 1/2 c. flour
Heat 1 cup water, shortening, sugar and salt until shortening melts. Cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Combine yeast and shortening mixtures in large bowl. Add cornmeal and flour to shortening mix and knead until smooth and workable. Oil pizza pans with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cornmeal makes it nice and crunchy, don't be afraid to add more to the bottom/sides. Press dough into pans (deep dish pans required, press crust up sides) and pierce with a fork several times. Bake in 425 degree preheated oven for 7 minutes. Remove and add your favorite pizza toppings and bake for additional 20 to 25 minutes.
Don't forget the layering order: