Recently I stumbled across this recipe for deep dish pizza on a blog called SparkPeople and this pizza sounded like and turned out to be a real winner. We haven't traditionally been deep dish pizza fans at our house, but one taste of this fantastic pie and we are now converts.
The recipe below calls for pepperoni but I opted for a Pizza Margherita (tomato and fresh basil) and sausage and olive for my first attempts. It is hard to say which I liked better. They were both fantastic. This dough for the crust is so wonderful and pliable. Unlike thin pizza dough that has to be coaxed into what I always hope to be a circular shape, this is easily pushed into the cake pan and up the sides. It bakes into this extremely favorful (thanks olive oil), very light, and richly browned crust. I highly recommend this recipe for anyone interested in making pizza from scratch at home.
Deep Dish Pizza
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1 package instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 (3.5-ounce) package sliced pepperoni
1 1/3 cups tomato sauce (see related recipe, "Basic Pizza Sauce")
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Instructions for Basic Pizza sauce
Cook oil and garlic in medium saucepan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, herbs and peppers, increase heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Instructions for dough
1. To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil.
2. Mix milk, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3. To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2-inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle 2/3 cup sauce on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 (or four, as was our case) wedges. Serve.