Saturday, February 13, 2010

Deep Dish Pizza

Some people like to argue whether Chicago style deep dish pizza or New York's thinner crust pizza are better (mainly these people are from Chicago or New York...) but I don't think there is any way to compare them!  They are different meals altogether.  Personally, I have never appreciated true New York pizza that when folded "properly" becomes a conduit for massive amounts of grease to be delivered directly to your mouth...but that's another story.  My favorite is the Neapolitan style with super thin, crispy crust, lightly sauced with very little cheese.  Maybe that will be next Saturday's blog post!

So when deep dish pizza was requested today I spent some time reading blogs and recipes and found there was quite a bit of variation in the approach to all things deep dish - crust, cheese, toppings.  I took a little bit from each of the recipes and here is what I came up with.

Megan's Deep Dish

Ben and I shopped today looking for deep dish ingredients, which can be as varied as what your family can possible love/hate.  I saw some huge, beautiful shiitake mushrooms from a local farm and grabbed them immediately.  I also picked up a red pepper, sweet onion, and basil.  For the meat,  I used Whole Food's in-house made Tuscan turkey sausage...similar to sweet Italian sausage with a bit more heat and sweet red peppers. 

For the dough

3 cups all purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast (these are 2 1/4 teaspoons each)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup of warm water
4 tablespoons butter - melted

In your stand mixer put the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Add the water and butter and knead with the dough hook for about 4 -5 minutes.  If you don't have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients together until they are combined and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.  Either way, the final dough should spring back slowly when you press your finger into it. 

Put the kneaded dough into a bowl greased with olive oil in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.  The dough should double in size.  Punch the dough down and let it rise for another 30 minutes.

 For the filling: 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, rough chop
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3/4 lb tuscan style turkey sausage
2 small crowns of broccoli, cut into large chunks.

In a large skillet on medium high heat cook the onions and peppers for 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook.  At this point much of the liquid will be drying up and the veggies will stick and brown to the pan - this is OK, good flavor.  Let this mixture cook for another 10 minutes, being careful not to let things burn.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the turkey sausage - removed from its casings - breaking up with a spoon.  Cook just through.

In a veggie steamer, cook the broccoli for 10 minutes.  You can also blanch them in boiling water for 2- 3 minutes, shocking it in ice water afterwards to stop the cooking.

Combine the sausage mixture and the broccoli - check the seasonings.

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 28oz can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons sugar

In a large saucepan, cook the onions and garlic over medium high heat, until softened, about 5 - 6 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.


3 large balls of fresh mozzarella
1/2 lb of fontina

Grate the fontina and slice the mozzarella, very thinly.


Grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil.  Press the dough into the skillet. Place half of the cheese on the bottom of the crust.  Add the sausage filling.  Add the remaining cheese. Pour on the sauce.  Sprinkle the final dish with 1/4 cup of freshly grated parm and a bit of dried oregano.

Bake at 400 for 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling bubbling.

The final product turned out just as I had hoped!




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