Recipe adopted from Cook's Illustrated's January & February 2010 Magazine. [Recipe makes two 9-inch pizzas].
Using this recipe as a way to prep myself up to making a true quality puff dough at home (it'll happen one of these days), I knew I had to give it a try. As the authors noted, you really can't compare to the deep-dish pizzas offered in the heart of Chicago, but this recipe comes pretty darn close.
16 1/4 ounces (~3 1/2 cups minus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
2 3/4 ounces (~1/2 cup) yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
10 ounces (~1 1/4 cups) water, room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup grated white onion
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound mozzarella, shredded
1/2 ounce (~1/4 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast with the dough attachment. Add the water and melted butter and mix on low for one minute. Increase the speed to medium and knead for an additional five minutes. Form the dough into a ball, and coat the dough and bowl with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 45 to 60 minutes, until doubled in size.
For the sauce, heat the butter in a saucepan until melted. Add the onion, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and sugar, and simmer until it reduces down to 2 1/2 cups, roughly 25 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the basil and olive oil. Season to taste.
Once the dough is ready, roll it out to a 15-inch by 12-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on the dough, making sure to save a 1/2-inch border that's free of butter. Position the dough so that the shorter end is closest to you, and roll up the dough into a log. Making sure that the seam-side is down, flatten out the log and roll it into a 18-inch by 4-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half. Fold each of the two dough halves in thirds, making sure to pinch together the seams. Tuck the corners underneath, forming two dough balls. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover, and let them proof for another 45 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 425° F. [Side note: Although the authors claim it's not necessary, I'd throw a pizza stone on the bottom rack while you're preheating, if you own one. It'll help give the bottom crust a nice crunch].
Grease two 9-inch round pans with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in each pan. When the dough is ready, roll each out to a diameter of 13 inches, and then transfer to the pans. Use your fingers to spread the dough out and up 1 inch on the sides. Evenly coat the bottoms with mozzarella, followed by the sauce, and Parmesan. [Side note: If you choose to add any fillings, they'll go in between the mozzarella and the sauce]. Bake until the crust is golden brown, roughly 25 to 30 minutes. Let the pizzas rest at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.