Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicago Pizza

I've never tried Chicago Pizza before. I do, however, remember watching an episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate Pizza and remember how Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes almost salivated just thinking of his favourite Chicago Pizza. So when Val from More Than Burnt Toast invited me to share her table with a Chicago Pizza...I mean, how could I refuse that?

The concept of "Invite a Blogger to Your Table" is to invite another blogger to share a recipe with you. It doesn't even have to be a blogger you know, as long as you're setting up a new challenge and creating new friendships.

The Rules

1) Choose a dish to prepare and invite 1(one) blogger to create that dish with you. You can source your recipe from a cookbook, magazine, blog or any other source. Your dish can be sweet or savoury; easy or complicated.
2) Decide upon a date that you can both mutually post your recipe within a 4 week time frame.
3) Link back to More Than Burnt Toast somewhere in your post as the caretaker of this event.
4) Please feel free to use the Avatar/Badge above "Invite a Blogger to Your Table".
5) Once you have made your dish with your blogging friend or friends and posted it, you can choose to STOP or CONTINUE on and "invite another blogger to your table" to make something DIFFERENT on a mutually agreeable date within the next 4 week time frame.
6) If you would like to please e-mail Val at bloggerstable(AT)gmail(DOT)com for no other reason than to let her know you have participated. She would love to see what you have accomplished.
7) Cut and paste these instructions into your post and contact a friend. Let magic happen and let's get cooking!!!

Pretty simple

Val and I emailed back and forth trying to agree on which recipe to try and we decided on one that we found on Annie's Eats , that's an adaptation of a Cooks Illustrated recipe.

For the dough: (OK, I'm not getting an award for beautiful dough)

1½ cups plus 2 tbsp. (8 1/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1 3/8 oz.) yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. (5 oz.) water, at room temperature
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

For the sauce:

1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. grated onion
Pinch of dried oregano
¼ tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

For assembling and topping:
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (about 2 cups)
¼ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 tbsp.)

To make the dough, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed. Mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the water and melted butter and continue mixing on low speed until fully incorporated, 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is glossy and smooth, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 4-5 minutes.

Using your hands, coat a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer until reduced to about 1¼ cups, about 25 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To laminate the dough, turn the dough out onto a dry work surface and roll into a 8- by 6-inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. With the seam side down, flatten the cylinder into a 9- by 2 inch rectangle. Fold into thirds like a business letter, pinch the seams to form a ball, and return to the oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until nearly doubled in size, 40-50 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. To assemble, coat a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the dough ball to a dry work surface and roll out into a 13-inch disk about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the pan. Lightly press the dough into the pan, working into the corners and 1 inch up the sides. If the dough resists stretching, let rest 5 minutes before trying again.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the surface of the dough. Spread the tomato sauce over the cheese and top with Parmesan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Yield: 1 9-inch deep-dish pizza

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, January-February 2010


I originally thought that the addition of cornmeal would make the dough gritty; not so much. It was, however, pretty bready and if you like bready crust, it's great.

Making the sauce was fun and the aroma in the house was just fabulous. I would use this sauce for any pizza.

2 cups of mozarella cheese and additionally parmesan was alot of cheese making for excess sodium and fat. But.... since you really can't finish more than 2 small pieces, I guess one could consider it a treat.

According to Duff Goldman, having a Chicago Pizza means sausage. I didn't use sausage and didn't really feel I missed anything. Sorry Duff!
I did, however, throw in 3 lonely mushrooms that were crying out for something. Many think it's just not a Chicago Pizza unless it's completely loaded with your choice of fillings.

All in all, an interesting challenge and appreciated the opportunity to share the table with Val. StumbleUpon


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I didn't try the cornmeal in my crust believing the reviews but who knows it may have added something special. Thank you so much for joining me in this challenge Giz. It was fun to share a kitchen with you virtually.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

What a fun event. I usually had cornmeal to my dough because I like the crunchiness. I haven't had Chicago Pizza for years. That looks delicious.

That Girl said...

I am so glad we're going for pizza tonight! I just wish it wa thicker crust.

kat said...

Its been years since I had a Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.

MommyLisa said...

I prefer a hand tossed or thin crust pizza. Chicago is way to bready for me - although I have been known to make a pizza bread...
Isnt' that weird?

pam said...

This is a fun idea! Also, thank you for the kind comments about Scrappycat.