If deep-dish pizza wasn't actually born in Chicago, it certainly was catapulted to celebrity status right here. This is one of the most popular renditions of Chicago-style pizza, loaded with rich, gooey cheese, spicy sausage, and pungent green peppers, all topped with a tomato-mushroom sauce. If you'd rather have onions than green pepper, olives instead of mushrooms, go for it. Pizza recipes are meant to be improvised.
Makes one 14-inch deep-dish pizza, 6 wedges
- 1 pound mild or hot italian sausage, casing removed, meat crumbled
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1- to 3-inch-wide strips, about 1¼ cups
- 10 ounces Herkimer or white cheddar cheese, shredded, about 2½ cups
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ teaspoon each : fennel seed, dried oregano, red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large mushrooms, trimmed, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- 2 cups store-bought pizza sauce
- One basic pizza crust dough, click here for recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for oiling the pan
- Put a rack in the center of the oven ; line the oven rack with a pizza stone and preheat the oven to 425F.
- Oil the bottom and sides of a 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan, preferably black steel ; sprinkle the inside surface with cornmeal, set aside.
- Cook the sausage in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes ; use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to paper towels, than to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the green pepper, cheese, flour, and seasonings to the sausage ; toss until combined.
- Put the mushrooms and pizza sauce in a small bowl, mix well and set aside.
- On a floured board, roll the pizza dough into a 20-inch circle ; fold the dough into quarters and transfer it to the prepared pan.
- Unfold the dough and adjust it to fit the pan ; press it into the bottom and sides of the pan, then gently ease the dough up the sides until it extends above the rim.
- Trim away the excess leaving ½ inch of the dough ; brush the bottom and sides of the dough with the oil.
- Add the cheese filling in an even layer ; spread the mushroom-and-pizza sauce evenly over the top.
- Fold the ½-inch dough down and pinch in to form a rim ; bake until the topping is sizzling and the rim of the crust is well browned, about 22 minutes.
- Let it rest 10 minutes and serve warm, cut into wedges.