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Deep Dish Chicago Pizza

Debbie's picture

Just got back from a weekend in Chicago. I ate at Gino's East and had the best deep dish pizza! How could I duplicate making it at home? Anyone have ideas, techniques and recipes to share? I'd appreciate the help.

EM_'s picture

Gino's is the best Pizza in the world! I would challenge anyone to find a better one. For years, I've tried to duplicate it, but never have even come close. The crust is to die for and the closest I've come is to make a yeast roll recipe and spread it thickly in a cast iron skillet, spritz lightly with olive oil and parbake it for about 1/2 the cooking time before adding the toppings.

FlavourGirl_'s picture

In the archives there is a reference to pizza dough for Deep Dish Chicago Pizza. If I remember correctly, the recipe is from the Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith.

Chiffonade_'s picture

I ate so much pizza when I went to Chicago (and keep in mind, I lived in
i New York,
another pizza capital!) I got a zit
i in the middle of my cheek!!!

I had it at both Gino's Downtown and a place called Nancy's.

Here is the recipe I swear by...It's from the
i Frugal Gourmet Cooks American.

Have lots of fun with toppings, etc. This crust is not to be beat for "tooth" and flavor.

c Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

c 2 packages Quick Rise Dry Yeast
c 2 cups tepid water (90 degrees)
c 1/2 cup salad oil
c 4 tablespoons olive oil
c 1/2 cup cornmeal
c 5 1/2 cups flour
c 1 tsp. salt

b For the Crust:

In the bowl of a KitchenAid or other Heavy Duty mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the oils, cornmeal, and 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Mix for 10 minutes. Add the dough hook and remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour and continue kneading for several minutes with the machine. The dough is rich and moist and difficult to knead by hand.

Pour out the dough on a countertop and cover, or proof in a large oiled bowl, until doubled in bulk. Punch down and allow to rise again. Punch down a second time and it's ready to use.

Oil round cake pans (for individual pizzas) or a very large pan. Put dough in the pan(s) and press down, using your fingers (no rolling!!). Bring the crust up the sides of the pan(s).

c Filling:

c 1/3 pound sliced Mozzarella
c 2 cups canned plum Tomatoes, drained and squished
c 1 teaspoon Basil
c 1 teaspoon Oregano
c Salt to taste
c 2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed
c 3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese for Topping
c 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Place the cheese in tile-like layers on the bottom of the pie. Next put in the tomatoes and basil, oregano, garlic, and salt, reserving the parmesan cheese for the top. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the pie and you are ready to bake.

c Additional Topping Ingredients:

c Before you put on the Parmesan Cheese and oil drizzle, you might like to add any or all of the following:

c Italian Sausage, hot or mild
c Yellow Onions, sliced
c Pepperoni, sliced thin
c Mushrooms, sliced
c Green Sweet Bell Peppers, cored and sliced thin
c Olives, pitted and sliced

b Baking the pie...

Bake the pie in a 475 oven until the top is golden and gooey and the crust is a light golden brown. This should take 35 or 40 minutes.

c (*) (*) (*)

b Note:
Keep in mind that if you make a large pie instead of smaller ones, the baking time will be longer. I cube thick slices of pepperoni and scatter the cubes all over the pie as opposed to putting it on in slices. If you put the loose sausage meat in a thin layer on the top of the pie, pre-cooking is not necessary. If the sausage is in the deeper part of the pie, you may want to pre-cook it. If you prefer your mozzarella on
i top
of the pie, add all the topping ingredients
i except
the mozzarella and bake until almost done. Then, scatter your mozzarella over the top and bake until just melted and still white. (In New York, when we get a pizza with brown cheese on it, we call it "burnt".)

One more thing...I usually use 1 cup of corn meal to 5 cups of flour, which gives a "toothier" crust.

Smittyroo_'s picture

EM, I agree on the Chicago deep dish...ummm, dont know how good this is as I haven't tried it- if you try it let us know

Smittyroo_'s picture

belay my last post..Chiff sent hers while I was pecking around..then I checked and saw hers, and read hers,.. I am leaving the office immediatly to purchase ingredients..spots on carpet are drool

Debbie's picture

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Keep sharing!

EM_'s picture


Be sure to give us a report! Do you live in Chicago?

Walt's picture

One of their places was closed by the health dept. I haven't been in the other one for years but it seemed to be better at the time. I don't like their pizza... to much tomato glop. Try Uno's pizza. Same deep dish but the cornmeal (my guess) added to the crust is just great. As much as I like Unos... my favorite is one I make with whipping cream, procutia and caramilized onions. Sounds crazy... but it is good.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

By the way Chiff, I ran into your buddy Jeff Smith the other day at the Pike Place Market when I was doing some shopping. He looked awful and soused again as usual. He couldn't even carry on a coherent conversation with the people who were wishing him well. I think he's in big personal trouble.

Smittyroo_'s picture

Nope, live in Dallas area but travel a lot on business and have been in and out of Chicago a few hundred times..

Rebecca's picture

That hole-in-the-wall, Nancy's! Years ago my sister & I lived close by - Nancy's pizza w/black olives was great! Gino's was pretty good back then, too.

Chiffonade_'s picture

Mean...thanks for the update...Sounds like he has fallen on hard times. Like I said, I'd love to have his e-mail address. Any hints on how I can get it? (I'd bet he has a computer.) If not his e-mail, his physical or mailing addy. Do you live in Seattle? Any way you can get it? I'd be forever grateful.

dixie_'s picture

Chiff, Just enlightens as to how quickly one can "fall from grace", whether innocent or guilty, convicted or not. My heart really goes out to the "casualties", family, friends, etc. They are having to suffer the humiliation the same as he.

I, too, enjoyed his shows on PBS and have a couple of his cookbooks I really like.

Carolina posted a message addressing this, but for the life of me I could not find it under this new format.

coco's picture

I live in Australia which I believe is sadly lacking in good pizza. I spent a couple of years in San Francisco where I ate the best pizza I had ever tried. A place called Uno's. Also Chicago deep pan style. Have you tried this?

Smittyroo_'s picture

Well I'm the star of the neiborhood. Thanks Chiffonade I owe you twice (at least) for the pizza and the lasagna..any of you want a nice tasty home done pizza instead of the $15 rubber cheese special delivered to your door by a teen robot, do this!

aussiechef's picture

Couldn't believe my eyes when you say Aust is sadly lacking in pizza. I'd kill for one from Don Giovanni's in Adelaide. Where on earth are you located? Oodnawoopwoop? Half of Melbourne is full of Italians who claim to have invented it.

By the way, Uno's pizza crust seems to have an enormous quantity of butter - almost like a cookie crust.

nihon_no_cook's picture

Not really deep-dish, but pizza-related, so here goes:

Had more folks over for pizza this past weekend, and tried some newer pizza toppings. The hit of the party was a pizza topped with olive oil, slices of fresh tomatoes, slices of fresh garlic, whole basil leaves, and lots of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. The basil leaves cost a bundle, but were actually worth it. Slightly less popular, but still tasty, was the "pesto pizza", using pesto sauce, slices of fresh garlic, and loads of Parmesan (and a sprinkle of Mozzarella to weld everything together). The pesto soaks into the crust (I don't prebake mine), so you have to get past eating green-crusted pizza, but the taste was nice. And I have plenty of leftovers . . . mmmm, pizza for lunch for weeks!

Chiffonade_'s picture

Nihon...Last night it was too late to start cooking so we went to a place right up the road here in HOOTERVILLE for the Monday Night Pizza Special.

My S.O. and I split a pizza down the middle with (his side) pepperoni and (my side) pesto. The pesto side just had sliced tomatoes, onions, pesto and mozzarella. It was fantastic and now I am happy to say that if I want pizza on a Monday night but don't feel like making it myself, I know
i just the place to go!!!