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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chicago Style Pizza

Living in the Chicagoland area my whole like, pizza is something I took for granted until I moved out of state. I was so sad when I learned that when someone not from Chicago says pizza, they don't mean the same thing I mean when I say pizza. Now there is thin crust, deep dish. I'm going to show you how I make deep dish.

2 cups boiling water
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons yeast
Olive oil to brush on
Pour your boiling water in to a bowl and add your yeast. Mix together the dry ingredients and slowly add water while mixing. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for a few hours.
Remove the dough on to a heavily floured surface. Kneed and add flour until it's no longer sticky. Separate in to two balls. The only way to make good pizza dough is to toss it. Pound the dough out until it's a flat disc. Use the tips of your fingers to gently toss in the air while spinning. Start small and you will get good at it eventually. My kids run in to the kitchen to watch me toss the dough, they think it's hysterical. If you want to roll it out a bit with a rolling pin, that's fine, but continue to toss it afterwards.
Place it in to a greased cake pan and pres down the sides. Use a fork to poke little holes all over the bottom of the crust.

Now the way Chicago Pizza works is Crust, cheese and meat, crust, then sauce and veggies with the exception of spinach which would go traditionally with the cheese. Don't, I repeat don't buy shredded mozzarella in a bag for this pizza. It will not taste good, get a pound of mozzarella from the deli counter, or buy it in a package whole. Drain and pat dry your cheese, slice it in to discs and place it on the crust. I use the whole pound with the exception of three slices. One for me, one for my daughter, and one for my son.
At this point if you plan to add Italian sausage, pepperoni, or spinach, place it on top of the cheese. 

Now toss and roll out the second part of the crust. Place this on top and cut off the excess. Turn the sides straight up to create a ledge around the pizza to hold your sauce in place. Now it's time for sauce. Now you all know by now that most things I like to make from scratch. Pizza sauce is not one of them, only because it's such a small amount that I need and I've found a brand that I like the taste of. I use an 8oz can of Contadina Pizza Sauce. At this point you can add your veggies. I'll list some of my favorite and my family's favorite toppings.
Sliced tomato and garlic
Bacon and onion
Ham and red onion
Spinach (inside) mushroom and garlic
Mushroom, Broccoli, and Feta
Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper

You can really get creative. The pizza in this picture has pepperoni inside one half and mushrooms and garlic on the top.
You can brush the sides with a little olive oil and then cover them with foil.
Bake on the bottom rack of your oven for 35-40 minutes at 450. Set it out to set for 5 to ten minutes, and enjoy.


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