PERFECT Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

"This is an excellent Chicago Deep Dish pizza recipe. It uses a cold-fermentation method, rather than letting the dough rise at room temperature, so you need to prepare the dough at least 1 day in advance. It can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen after 1 day and kept for months."
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Ready In:
24hrs 25mins
8 slices




  • 24 Hours Prior to Baking: In a mixing bowl, add the water, sugar, yeast, flour, cornmeal, and salt.
  • Mix on low speed for a few minutes until the dough comes together, then slowly add the oil. Continue to mix dough for 7 more minutes.
  • The dough should be somewhat moist and smooth, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and place into a bowl twice the size of the ball. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then put a dish towel over it and place in the refrigerator for 24hrs.
  • Remove the bowl from the refrigerator about one hour prior to making the pizza. Set the bottom oven rack to its lowest position and preheat the oven to 450° F for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • After letting the dough rest for one hour, coat the bottom of a well seasoned 15" × 2" deep cast iron skillet with a light layer of canola/vegetable oil (do not use olive oil).
  • Place the dough ball in the center of the pan and press it out until it covers the entire bottom. Then, using you fingers, work the dough up the sides of the pan about 1 1/2 inches.
  • The top of the edges should be pinched up against the side of the pan. If the dough resists holding shape, cover with a towel and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before trying again.
  • Using sliced mozzarella (NOT fresh, only low-moisture), or a blend of sliced mozzarella and provolone, cover the bottom of the dough with cheese.
  • Add your desired toppings (Italian sausage is very popular). If you are going to use pepperonis, it is recommended to chop them into 1/4's before layering them in the pizza.
  • Top with 1 LARGE can of crushed tomatoes, no seasoning added. Use your hands if necessary to spread out the tomatoes. **Note that 6 IN 1 brand tomatoes are very fresh tasting, as are Bianco DiNapoli if you can find then at a store near you**.
  • Finish topping with Italian herbs/seasonings (chopped fresh basil and dried oregano flakes are favorites) and finally with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • Place the pan in the center of the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once half way through, until the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the pizza from the baking pan and place on a cutting board or serving pan. Slice and serve.

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