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Godfather’s Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

Note: Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo wanted to open a restaurant in Chicago and were thinking of featuring Mexican food. Lucky for us their chef made them so sick from the enchiladas he made that they changed their minds and instead perfected the deep-dish pizza. Uno’s Restaurant started the deep-dish pizza craze and it soon swept across the nation. This is an American original.

1 package rapid-rise active yeast (1/4 ounce)
1 cup warm water, between 105 to 115 degrees F
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound cooked Italian sausage, crumbled
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, well drained
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In the mixing bowl add the warm water, yeast and sugar, stir with a whisk. Add 2 cups of the flour, salt, cornmeal and olive oil. Use the paddle and mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes. Put on the dough hook and add the remaining flour. Knead on speed 2 until the dough clings to the hook, then knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes longer. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 hour.

With oiled fingers press the dough into a deep-dish pizza pan. Cover the dough with the mozzarella, then top with the sausage. Place the tomatoes over the sausage. Top with the basil, oregano and Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 500 degrees F oven for 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is brown.