Football season has begun and I have lost my husband to the dreaded ‘football coma.’ Therefore, me, Jack’s wife, Karin will be writing the posts…at least for now. When I first met Jack, almost twelve years ago, the first thing I found out about him is that he loved football! I loved him, so I ‘hunkered down’ and tried to teach myself the complicated sport of football; after all Jack had taken the time and taught himself the complicated sport of shopping.
Every man who loves football has their team, my husband Jack, loves his San Francisco 49er’s. Being a wife that would like to have a conversation with my husband between the months of September and February, I jumped on the 9ers ‘ban wagon.’ Now, I love them too. I bought a a sweater, hat AND scarf to show my devotion.
I taught myself what I could but I still don’t understand everything. Intentional grounding, on side kicks, and the line of scrimmage still confounds me but I’m getting there. I might not be an expert in the rules of football, I am however an expert in JUNK FOOD! I’ve been to many football parties in which the hostess tried to ‘fancy it up,’ by making complicated foods but I am a junk food purist and think football is best watched eating PIZZA!
I’ve always loved pizza, in the traditional sense, boxed and served to your door with one of those ‘fancy plastic devices’ that keep the cheese from sticking to the box.
While Jack was deeply engaged in a football game, I was deeply engaged in my own program Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. In this particular episode, Guy Fieri was based out of Chicago. The show was featured out of the famous Chicago pizzeria, Lou Malnati’s, the restaurant that has been credited has the father of Chicago style deep dish pizza.
As much as I’m devoted to the 49ers, I am equally devoted to the quick delivery of my boxed pizza. The episode however, opened my eyes to a different way of making pizza. I researched and most Chicago made ‘pizza pies’ were baked with a cast iron skillet. Being amateur cooks, Jack and I chose a non-stick that we already had. (For those calorie counters look away). We covered the pie pan with butter. Instead of the traditional ‘Chicago style pizza’, which normally contains a ton of tomato sauce and cheese, Jack and I decided to add hot sausage to the mix. The tomato sauce which I made from scratch and will be featured on a future post. For now I want to focus the slightly controversial ‘is it pizza or not’ but who cares really…the delicious Chicago style deep dish pizza.
This deep dish pizza dough recipe was inspired by Emeril Lagasse from the food network. You can really add whatever toppings you want but we kept it simple with just cheese, tomato sauce and spicy Italian sausage.
Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza Dough
1.5 Cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 (1/4-ounce) Active dry yeast
1 Tea sugar
3.5 Cups all-purpose flour
½ Cup semolina flour
Spicy Italian Sausage
500g Ground pork
¼ Cup smoked parika
¼ Cup paprika
¼ Cup chilli peppers
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
Rest of the ingredients
5 Cups of tomato sauce
3 Cups of shredded mozzarella
1 Cup grated parmesan cheese (powdered will work too)
Pizza Dough Recipe
In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1½ cups of the flour, the semolina, ½ cup of the oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, ¼ cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
Divide into 2 equal portions and use as directed. I froze one half of the dough for another day.
Spicy Italian Sausage
Heat a non stick pan on medium heat, and add some vegetable oil. Add the ground pork while trying to break up the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon.
After 3 minutes of cooking add all the spices needed for the spicy sausage recipe. Cook meat all the way through. Once cooked remove from heat and allow to cool.
Deep Dish Pizza
Butter all sides on the inside of your cake pan. Lightly flour the surface where you will roll out your pizza dough. Roll your pizza dough from the middle going outwards. Roll it ¼" to ½" thickness. (Important that the dough is a couple inches bigger then the buttered cake pan)
Place the dough on your cake pan pressing inwards on the dough so it sits tightly in the pan. Let excess dough hang outwards over the edge of the cake pan. (you will later fold over once pizza is filled with its toppings)
Add your cheese to the first layer making sure there is a good amount on the bottom. Add your cooled spicy sausage mixture while spreading it out evenly on the second layer. For the final layer add your tomato sauce. The final layer will be a fair amount as the bulk of the pizza is the sauce.
Preheat your oven 450F.
Once pizza is filled fold over the excess dough. Add chilli oil or chilli peppers on top and place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool. Sprinkle some parmesan on top. Undo cake pan from the pizza. (This is where using a cake pan makes this dish easy to execute.