Raise your hand if you love pizza!!  Wait… honestly, who doesn’t love pizza.  There are so many kinds to choose from, surely anyone can find something they like.  And if you don’t love pizza, then clearly something went wrong when you were a child.  I’m just saying.

Brad and I eat pizza often.  I’d say it’s a staple in our diet.  Sometimes we make healthy pizzas and then other times we bust out something like this.  Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.  As an Ex-Chicagoan, deep dish pizza will forever have a special place in my heart…. And so I make Brad eat it.  He likes it though, but let’s face it, sometimes you have to be in the mood for deep dish.  You can’t just spring it on yourself out of nowhere.  It’s the kind of pizza you have to have a craving for.  And I had a craving for it TWICE this week (what can I say?  I love my deep dish pizza!).

Believe it or not (I feel like I say this so much in my posts) this is sickeningly easy.  You just need about 2 total hours for the whole thing, that’s the only downside.  But this pizza is so good that all the time is worth it.  It’s the kind of pizza that you make time to make.  A whopping hour and 15 minutes of that 2 hours, by the way, is rise time.  So you literally don’t do anything during that time.  See?  Doesn’t it sound easier now??

Now, I’m a hand kneader.  If you read my blog while it was on Tumblr, then you know this.  But if you haven’t read that blog, then you don’t know this.  Therefore, I will re-explain why I will forever hand-knead eveything:

You can easily make this pizza crust in a stand mixer (eh hem… Kitchen Aid) and then you will have even less work to do.  BUT.  I never do that.  I’m old fashioned, I suppose.  Why would I want a machine to do the work for me??  Kneading dough is one of my most favorite things to do (there’s probably a relation between that and wedging clay… hhmmmm).  It’s fun and it makes you feel good for putting real work into what you are eating.  It helps you (at least me) take pride in my work.  Like… “yea, I kneaded this pizza crust for 10 minutes, that’s why it’s soooo good”.  See?  Don’t you want to be able to say that?

 

Just like how I’m picky about kneading dough… I’m picky about my sauce.  But only when it comes to deep dish.  I like my sauce to have chunks of tomatoes.  If it doesn’t have chunks, there’s a good chance I won’t eat it.  So I actually like to combine half a jar of pizza sauce and half a can of tomato chunks.  It’s seriously the best way to make it!!

This really is an easy recipe.  You combine all the crust ingredients, knead it and let it rise.  Then you form it into a pan and let it rise a little bit more.  After that, you just cover with mozzarella and sauce and stick it in the oven for only 15 minutes!  It’s really simple, not labor intensive and ridiculously delicious.  I promise, when you make this, you’ll want to eat again in the same week… Just like me!

Homemade Deep Dish Pizza
Adapted from Eat Live Run
Makes one 8 inch  pizza

For the crust:
1 (1/4oz) package of dry active yeast (1 1/2 teaspoons if you have a jar of yeast like I do)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup of warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2- 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour (I found that I have really only needed 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the topping:
8 oz of packaged mozzarella, shredded OR one ball of fresh mozzarella sliced (fresh is my preference)
7-8 oz pizza sauce (usually half a jar)
7-8 oz diced tomatoes (usually half a can)
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italain Seasoning or Herbs De Provence

In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water.  Let it sit for 5 minutes until bubbly and creamy.

Add flour, salt, cornmeal and olive oil.  Mix just till combined then dump out onto a floured surface (or leave in bowl if you are kneading with a mixer).  Knead by hand for 10 minutes, by machine for about 6, until dough is soft and elastic.

Place back in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for one hour and 15 minutes.  Dough will double in size.

Preheat oven to 500.

Once the dough is done rising, punch down a few times and place in a greased cake pan.  Form into the pan, going up the sides a bit.  Cover with a towel and let rise for another 10 minutes.

While rising, slice or shred mozzarella and mix together the pizza sauce and diced tomatoes.

When the dough is done rising, cover with mozzarella and sauce and sprinkle on the seasoning.  Bring oven temperature back down to 425.  Place in oven and let it back for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes.  Then slice and serve!

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