When the goinâ€™ gets tough, the tough get pizza! And thereâ€™s no other pizza that makes the tough get weak in the knees other than an ultimate Chicago style deep dish. I donâ€™t think there is anyone in this planet who can resist a slice of pizza. And if there is anyone out there, I say they are missing out on one of the best things in life that has been put in an oven.Â Whoever discovered this brilliant, most heinous disc of unutterable goodness should have a place in the heavens.
Research shows a colourful history of this flat bread dish. It would be difficult to maintain that it solely originated in Italy, as we commonly know that fact to this day. However, the humble beginnings of this flat bread would date back as early as the 900â€™s in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries.
It was was sold in the streets and would include the most austere toppings. In fact, this was considered poor people food. It was only in 889 when this simple flat bread fare was dressed up by a Neapolitan chef to honor the Queen consort of Italy , Margherita of Savoy.
The chef, garnished the round flat bread with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He called his creation â€œpizza margheritaâ€. From then , this innovation sparked many variations of pizza all over the Mediterranean. Not only did the pizza evolve with toppings, the stories of its origins have also given this dish a colourful past. In the Northern part of Italy, the Tuscan tribes believed the pizza to hold the spirits of their deceased relatives.
I donâ€™t know if it would be a good idea to eat pizza with dead relatives disguised as tomatoes and cheese, but Iâ€™m glad thatâ€™s all in the past. We have yet to thank those who have contributed much to the existence of this awesome round bread topped with a bazillion things you can think of to enjoy. Pizza has come a long way in this day and age and I can only give props and total surrender to the mighty Chicago Deep Dish.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
For the Dough:
.5C whole wheat flour
.5C semolina flour
.5C veg oil
1T brown sugar
1T active dry yeast
1.5C hot water
olive oil to coat dough ball
9 ripe roma tomatoes
1T garlic powder (or 2T granulated garlic )
1T red chili flakes
1T fresh oregano – chopped
1T fresh basil – chopped
.5C dry red wine
salt /pepper to taste
1lb italian sausage
.5C parmesan – grated
1 bell pepper – cut into circles
1 yellow onion – med cut, rings
1.5C cremini mushrooms – sliced
6 cloves garlic – minced
1C black olives – sliced
2 12in deep dish pizza pans – seasoned
Whisk yeast, sugar, salt and water in a large bowl. Let stand 5min until frothed. Add semolina and wheat flour and mix. Add oil then, mix. Add AP flour .5C at a time. Incorporating it well. Dough should be slightly sticky. Knead 2-3min until surface is shiny. Coat in just enough olive oil to cover dough ball. Cover bowl with damp towel and let rise for 1.5hrs
Blanch tomatoes in boiling water to remove skins and heat oil and then red pepper flakes until hot . Add tomatoes and break them up for 15min as they simmer. Bring to a full boil and add wine. reduce for 5min. Lower heat to simmer and add garlic, oregano and basil. Continue to break up tomatoes and reduce for 20min. Remove from heat and let cool prior to use.
Prep the Pizza :
Heat oven to 475deg F. Lightly coat insides of pizza pans with olive oil. Take half dough and place on counter. roll out in a rough circle using a rolling pin, approx 16in across. Lower into pizza pan. push up against the sides. repeat for 2nd pan. Trim off excess dough from the rims of the pans. Use 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese spread as bottom layer of pie. Add meats, veggies and garlic. Spread pizza sauce on top of this. Use remaining .5 cup mozzarella as next layer, followed by parmesan cheese. Cook for a full 30min. Rest the pizza before slicing.
Photo Credit: ckandi007
Photo Credit: I_Love_Pizza
Photo Credit: Muy Yum