Simply THE Best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Simply THE Best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Hey all, it’s MAN-ic Monday again and I can’t wait to share my best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza recipe with you!  I’ve tried lots of crust recipes and struck out over and over again till I developed this one.  It is, quite simply THE best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza I’ve tasted outside of Chicago – no lie!

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza - Bianco Style Slice

It seems like lately the only deep dish crust recipes I can find on the internet include cornmeal in the dough.  Well yeah, I can see how it became popular when Chicago Uno printed their “secret” recipe and it included cornmeal in the list of ingredients.  But after a lot of research, and after talking to a couple of authentic Chicago pizza makers, I found out that true deep dish pizza dough has NO cornmeal in it!  Not even one pinch.  It also uses all purpose flour in order to produce that almost pastry-like texture.  So here are the basic things you need to know, got a pen and pencil? 

1. Only use standard all purpose flour for the dough
2. Never add cornmeal
3.  Use Corn Oil for a buttery taste if you like that in your deep dish pizza.
4.  Don’t over mix the dough – just mix it till it forms a ball of dough.
5.  Don’t over knead the dough if you want it to be tender and pastry-like.
6.  Leave it in the refrigerator overnight if you want to develop more flavor in the crust.

Whew, got all the important Need-To-Know stuff out of the way so now I can prattle on in my usual fashion about this and that. 

This:  It’s all about man food on MAN-ic Mondays.  But I have a husband who really doesn’t care for Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, so what to do?  Uh huh, you guessed it, I make it anyways and then make a sad face when he tells me that he’d prefer my standard 16″ thick crust pizza.  Sure, I make him the 16″ thick crust pizza most of the time, but when I have a hankering for some real MAN FOOD, I break out the 9″ cake pans and go to town with the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza dough.  (and don’t forget – I make sad faces when he doesn’t fully appreciate the wonderfulness of the crust!)

and That:  So if Tim doesn’t care for Deep Dish crusts, does make him less of a man?  Hm, since he’s an avowed meat and potatoes man and will do bodily harm to anyone who get between him and a porterhouse steak, I’ll give him a pass and declare him truly manly.  (are you reading this Tim?  I get points for putting the emphasis on truly, right?  right? )  And for the rest of you manly men, and women who love a manly man, I’m betting that you love Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, so follow along and find out how to make it easily, quickly and deliciously!

First up, the ingredients – they are simple and I’m betting that you have all of them in your kitchen right now, so there are no excuses for not making this today!  All you need is some plain old flour, oil, a bit of yeast, sugar, salt and cold tap water to make the dough.  It sits overnight in the fridge to develop the flavor, so make it on a Sunday night and it’s ready for baking on Monday when you get home from work. 

Deep Dish Pizza Dough
Oh gosh, sorry about the pink hands – I forgot to tell them to get a sun tan this week.  See the filling and topping ingredients in the background?  Here’s a better shot of them.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Crust and Toppings

I love Bianco style Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, so my ingredients are the raw italian sausage, plenty of garlic (it’s in that grinder looking thingy), at least two cheeses and fat slices of tomato.  Tim prefers a pepperoni chicago deep dish pizza, so his ingredients are the pepperoni, tons of mozzarella cheese, red onion, basil and oregano and a thick schmear of canned spaghetti sauce.

These are some of my favorite kitchen helpers. They're Dang Good and I love 'em!

Once you’ve patted the buttery crust into the pans, it’s time to add a huge pile of grated cheeses.  I LOVE a mix of mozzarella, gruyere, provolone and parmesan on mine, but heck, almost any cheese is awesome on pizza, right?  Well, maybe not Limburger… unless you aren’t planning to have neighbors over.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Crust with Cheese

Now that I’m looking at the picture I’m thinking I should have used more cheese.  My arteries are still pumping so clearly I didn’t use enough!  Next up are the toppings.  For Bianco style Chicago deep dish pizza I place tons of bits of raw Italian sausage all over the top of the cheese layer.  Then I grate an uber amount of garlic from that jar of McCormick garlic.  If you’ve never tried it, go buy a jar today – you’ll love it – I promise!
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza - Sausage Layer
And to finish off the Bianco style pizza I add a layer of thick sliced tomatoes, then drizzle with a bit of olive oi, a sprinkle of basil and top it with a light layer of parmesan cheese.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza - layer of tomatoes

For Tim’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza with Pepperoni I put a thick layer of sliced pepperoni on top of the cheese layer, then add thinly sliced red onions and top it with a 1/2″ thick layer of tomato sauce.
Uncooked Chicago Deep Dish Pizza with sauce

It’s off to the oven to bake these babies at 450F for 30 minutes, and then we can dig into a buttery, tender deep dish crust filled with spicy rich fillings!
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Now go grab the ingredients for simply THE best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza crust that you’ll ever eat and make it NOW so that you can bake it tomorrow! 
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Slices

Well, now I’m so hungry just looking at my post that I need to go reheat the extras.  My waistline isn’t going to be happy about this, but my stomach is gonna love me for it.

Simply THE Best Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza is classically baked in a well greased cast iron skillet. I don't have two 9" cast iron skillets in my house! If you don't have them too, then you can substitute two well greased 9" cake pans. Just watch the crust to be sure that it doesn't brown too quickly. If that happens, turn the oven down to 400 for the last 15 minutes of the cook time.
Recipe type: Pizza
Cuisine: MAN FOOD
Serves: 4
  • 4 Cups all-purpose Flour
  • 1½ cups Cold Water
  • ¾ Cup Oil - Corn Oil for a more buttery taste but any oil will work
  • 3 teaspoons Yeast
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl, then mix together to form a slightly sticky ball of dough. This takes about 1 minute. Do not overmix! If dough feels very sticky, add another ¼ cup of flour and mix gently just till it's no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. If dough feels dry and looks shaggy, add ¼ cup of cold water and mix till it forms a ball.
  2. If you are going to make the pizza on the same day
  3. Knead the dough gently for 2 minutes - no more than that!
  4. Let rise for 6 - 8 hours. Punch down, then cover and let the dough relax for 15 minutes.
  5. If you are using the overnight dough method
  6. Mix all dough ingredients together for 1 minute, then place in a large ziplock bag or oiled plastic tub. Do not knead the dough! Place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. 1 hour before baking, remove from fridge and let the dough sit, covered, on the counter to warm for 20 minutes.
  7. For Both Dough Methods
  8. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  9. Divide the dough in half, then pat the dough into two well greased 9" cast iron skillets or two well greased 9" round cake pans, pushing the dough up the sides. The dough should be quite thin! Trim off any extra from the rim of the pan.
  10. How to Assemble the Deep Dish Pizza:
  11. Deep Dish Pizza is upside down! First you put a layer of cheese, then your favorite toppings and then a layer of sliced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
  12. For Toppings:
  13. Cheeses - grate or break the cheese into small pieces, then layer it on top of the dough.
  14. Meats - Do not pre-cook meats like sausage or ground beef. Break it into small bits and drop it on top of the cheese layer.
  15. Vegetables - Veggies won't cook all the way through in this pizza, so if you want soft onions, etc. you will need to pre-cook them before layering them on top of the cheese.
  16. Bianco Pizza is classically a white pizza with plenty of cheeses, lots of garlic and a thick layer of italian sausage. There is typically no red sauce in this pizza, but I love putting fresh tomato slices on top!
  17. Bake at 450F for 30 minutes or till the crust is golden brown and the sauce/toppings are bubbly.
You can turn any extra dough and trimmings into rolls, just make 2 inch balls, place on a baking sheet and bake at 450F for 15 minutes.





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