Brought to you for the Zaar World Tour II by the Dirty Pan Gang. If you want EASY...just use a purchased pizza crust, add toppings and heat per directions on crust packaging. But...the crust can make or break a great pizza!! So for something fabulous and different...try a homemade DEEP DISH CRUST. The crust recipe is brought to you from "The Best New Recipes" by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated...(*see end of description for notes). All you need is two 10 inch cake pans and a baking sheet (or a pizza stone). The toppings represent everyone on our team...but we won't be offended if you omit or change a topping. Topping amounts are guesstimates, you may want to add more or less to your taste. The tomato sauce should not be too heavily applied (but not too thin either), the pesto and ricotta (if used) should be kind of placed in dollops on the pizza, not spread over the whole thing. We hope you dirty your deep dish pan and make our pizza!! *If you actually have a deep dish pizza pan, dough will make one 14 inch pizza. Changes fo 14 inch pizza include rolling the dough to 12 inch round and increasing the initial baking time on the lowest rack to 15 minutes. The amount of oil used to grease the pan may seem excessive, but in addition to preventing sticking, the oil helps the crust brown nicely. *The role of the potato - boiled potato in the dough results in a moister, more tender, sweeter, and softer dough than one just made with flour. Potatoes cause less gluten to be formed in the dough, producing a softer, more tender product. and the sugars in the potato lend a bit of sweetness..."
- 1 medium baking potato, about 9 oz (peeled and quartered)
- 3 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (17 1/2 oz)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 1 3⁄4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus
- extra virgin olive oil, for oiling the bowl
- 3⁄4 cup tomato sauce (your favorite homemade or store-bought)
- 1⁄3 cup pesto sauce (your favorite home made or store bought)
- 1⁄2 cup chicken sausage (or seasoned cooked chicken cut into bit sized pieces)
- 1⁄4 cup sun-dried tomato, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup onion (your favorite kind, raw or sauteed, chopped or strips)
- 1⁄3 cup ricotta cheese
- 3⁄4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- hot pepper flakes, to taste
- Bring 1 quart water and the potato to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until tender 10 - 15 minutes. Drain the potato and and cool until it can be handled.
- Press potato through a potato ricer or grate on the large holes of a box grater.
- Measure 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potato; discard the remaining potato.
- Adjust an oven rack to the highest position and the other rack to the lowest position; heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain the heat for 10 minutes then turn off the heat.
- Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. With the motor running, add the water and process until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball.
- Add the potato and process for several seconds, then add 2 tablespoons of the oil and process several more seconds, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled medium bowl, turn to coat with oil and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the warmed oven until the dough is soft and spongy and doubled in size, 30 - 35 minutes.
- Oil the bottom of two 10-inch cake pans with 2 tablespoons of oil each.
- Turn the dough onto a clean, dry work surface; divide it in half.
- Pat each half into a 9-inch round.
- Transfer the round to the oiled pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until the dough longer resists shaping, about 10 minutes.
- Place a pizza stone or rimless baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Uncover the dough and pull it into the edges and up the side of the pans to form a 1 inch high lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Uncover the dough and prick generously with a fork.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake on the heated stone or baking sheet (on the lowest rack) until the crust is dry and lightly browned, about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add the toppings.
- Bake on the stone or baking sheet until the cheese melts, 10 - 15 minutes.
- Move the pizza to the top rack and bake until the cheese is golden brown in spots about 5 minutes longer.
- To make sure the crust is done, use a spatula to lift up the crust - it should be nicely browned underneath.
- Let cool 5 minutes, then holding the pizza pan at an angle with one hand, use a wide spatula to slide the pizza from the pan to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.