deep dish pizza at home

by jenna on October 6, 2011

Homemade pizza is one of my favorite dinners. I usually keep a batch of my homemade dough in the freezer for easy and delicious weeknight meals. However, deep dish pizza was an entirely new concept to me.

I should have known. I’m a crust girl, after-all! I should have known how I would fall hopelessly in love with deep dish pizza and never want to make regular pizza again. For this style of pizza, you press the dough into a greased cake pan then fill it with your toppings of choice. If you don’t own a cake pan, run to Target and buy one. Really. Then make this.

Or just use a cast iron skillet to make this pizza. But remember, the deeper the dish you use to bake your pizza in, the more crust you’ll have!

The ideas for toppings are pretty endless! When I’m making pizza for Adam I always add tons of mushrooms and goat cheese, but when I’m flying solo I love simplicity: fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced tomato and a sprinkle of oregano and red pepper flakes.

I think it goes without saying that deep dish pizza goes down as one of the best dinners ever. I never could understand why you can’t really find thick crust in California. Or bagels for that matter. Do you even eat carbs, California? I’m tired of all this “gourmet” wine country pizza with thinly sliced duck breast and truffle oil. Give me bread, tomatoes and hunks of cheese!

If you could also give me a Panera asiago cheese bagel I would be greatly indebted. And maybe throw in there a Chick-fil-a sandwich and waffle fries? Some chicken and dumplings from Cracker Barrel? Sweet tea from Steak & Shake? Oh, the glorious tastes of my youth!

Going too far? I’ll stop.

Instead, I’ll just eat a thick slice of this and love every chewy, doughy bit of it.

Deep Dish Pizza

makes one eight-inch pizza

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

for crust:

1 (1/4th oz) package active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees—should feel like idea bubble bath water)

1 1/2- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (add the extra 1/4th cup flour if dough seems too wet but start with 1.5 cups)

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

for topping:

1 large ball fresh whole-milk buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin

1 jar pizza sauce

1 large heirloom or regular tomato, sliced thin

sprinkle of oregano

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit for five minutes until creamy and bubbly.

Add the flour, cornmeal and salt to the yeast mixture and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add additional flour if dough seems too sticky, or a tablespoon more warm water if too dry. Knead until a dough forms and then continue kneading (by hand or with a Kitchen Aid) until dough is soft and elastic. This will take about 10 minutes by hand or about 6 minutes using a Kitchen Aid.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a dish cloth and place in a warm area to rise for one hour and fifteen minutes. At that time the dough should have doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Once dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down several times. Press into a greased cake pan, pressing dough against side of pan to form short edges. Cover pan with a cloth and let sit for 10 more minutes.

Cover base of the dough with sauce then sliced mozzarella, followed by tomatoes and a sprinkle of oregano. Reduce oven temperature to 425 and bake for 15 minutes, or until crust has just started to get golden. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.

Time:

2 hours


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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn October 6, 2011 at 4:11 am

I’m drooling at the computer screen right now – that looks so good!

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Jane October 6, 2011 at 4:17 am

Chick fil a- best ever!!!!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes October 6, 2011 at 4:37 am

This is great!! Looks fantastic :D

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Molly @ RDexposed October 6, 2011 at 4:45 am

It may be one of the best dinner ever, but definitely not the best (immediate) post race food. That’s what happens when you run Chicago races! I’m getting nauseous thinking about that again…

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) October 6, 2011 at 4:53 am

You need to go to Zacharys pizzeria in Berkeley (or Oakland too I think!?) for Chicago style deep crust – they also do a wholewheat… which sounds kind of lame, but is actually awesome!!! xox

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Emmy (Wine and Butter) October 6, 2011 at 4:54 am

Although, given that you just made a really good looking pizza maybe that comment is kind of redundant….!?! xox

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Susan October 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I was going to suggest Zachary’s, too! Really good!

Also Old Chicago in Petaluma.

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Emily October 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

Yeah, I second Old Chicago. It’s my go-to when I need some lovely, starchy, carby bread and cheese, you know? I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse that I live eight minutes away from it…

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Sarah G. October 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I was just about to suggest the same thing! Zachary’s has 3 locations in the East Bay: one in Berkeley, one in Oakland, and one in San Ramon (which is a bit further east). Their specialty is a mushroom and spinach deep-dish pizza, which is one of the best pizzas I have ever had. You should totally check it out next time you’re in the East Bay!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 6, 2011 at 4:54 am

Ooooh yum! I saw your pizza tweet yesterday and got pretty excited about it… but I had no idea it would look THIS good!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 6, 2011 at 5:00 am

I like your nail polish…the green complements the oregano sprinkles :)

I lived in Chicago before ultimately settling in San Diego…so went from deep dish to thin and crispy…totally different pizza styles from there to here, that’s for sure!

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Faith @ For the Health of It October 6, 2011 at 5:01 am

Mmmm…bring on the dough! I couldn’t live in a place where carbs are verboten – thank God we Floridians love our bread and pasta!

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Kelly October 6, 2011 at 5:06 am

I have never had deep dish pizza but I should remedy that…soon.

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B n B October 6, 2011 at 5:15 am

That dough looks really….doughy. Good stuff. I don’t know if I could live in CA if carbs are shunned.

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Khushboo October 6, 2011 at 5:30 am

I feel like I live under a rock- I’ve never tried deep dish pizza!

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Bev Weidner October 6, 2011 at 5:34 am

O.
M.
G.

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Heather (Heather's Dish) October 6, 2011 at 5:36 am

this is one of those things i never thought to make at home…and now that i’ve seen this i won’t STOP thinking about it!

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Katrina October 6, 2011 at 5:41 am

Mmm I love a good deep dish. Yum!

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Chrissy October 6, 2011 at 5:49 am

Love the colour of your nail polish!
Your pizza dough is my go-to dough!

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Rachael October 6, 2011 at 5:54 am

Oh. My.

Just took a trip to Chicago for the first time, and I was in love. But also sad. Where could I find real deep-dish pizza at home?!

Saved the day again, Jenna. We all owe you ;)

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove October 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

I’m a crust girl, too (I typically eat the crust no one else wants). I can’t wait to try this!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

This looks beautiful Jenna!

I think I must be the only person on earth who actually prefers a thinner crust. I tried deep dish in Chicago and I just wasn’t sold on it. I love a thinner crust with tons of sauce and toppings. Maybe your crust would convert me though… ;)

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Sally Anne @ PaleoRunnerGirl October 6, 2011 at 6:05 am

Oh. My. Yum!

Deep dish pizza is the best! Gosh, I miss gluten-filled pizza crust! Nothing else compares!

I miss Steak-n-Shake, as well!

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kathleen @ the daily crumb October 6, 2011 at 6:14 am

jenna, you just stole my heart out here in chicago. while we have deep dish galore in these parts, i have always wanted to try an at home version, but the recipes seemed way too tough for little ole me! thanks for this!!

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 6, 2011 at 6:15 am

Delicious! I went to Panera the other morning for one of their breakfast sandwiches and they were out of the asiago bagel. The horror!

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Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) October 6, 2011 at 6:16 am

Um, I want that pizza for breakfast NOW. Also, I think you should keep going down this carbs route- you have NOT gone too far. I want waffle fries on the side of my bagel sandy. ;-)

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Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray October 6, 2011 at 6:17 am

Oh yum. Can’t beat this!

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Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy October 6, 2011 at 6:35 am

I never thuoght to make a deep dish pizza at home! I like homemade pizza way more then delivery pizza. Fabulous recipe! The next time I make homemade pizza I will have to try this.

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Krystina (Organically Me) October 6, 2011 at 6:35 am

Oh sweet Jesus. I want a slice of this more than anything right now – it’s 9:30am.

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Leslie Means @ Her View From Home October 6, 2011 at 6:40 am

So I’m seriously making this over the weekend. My husband/girls are obsessed with pizza!!!! Why haven’t I made a deep dish before? What a great idea.

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pinkflipflops44 October 6, 2011 at 6:42 am

i love deep dish! we make it at home occasionally and it is soooo good.

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Mara @ What's for Dinner? October 6, 2011 at 6:43 am

I just made a deep dish pizza as well using a laminated dough with butter… It’s what makes Chicago deep dish the best!! You should try it :) http://www.imadedinner.net/2011/10/03/deep-dishing
Trust me… You’ll love it even more than this one!

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

laminated pizza dough?! woah…my mind is blown.

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Mara@ What's For Dinner? October 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

Totally :) It’s what makes Lou Malnati’s pizza one of the best in the world!! Nothing like a layer or 12 of butter in your pizza :)

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Cait's Plate October 6, 2011 at 6:44 am

If there is no such thing as bagels and thick-crusted, greasy pizza in California I don’t think I can ever live there. Get your butt back to the east coast! There are bagels and pizza waiting to be devoured by you!! They miss you! :)

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Erin @ Cooking on Whim October 6, 2011 at 6:48 am

I have always wanted to make deep dish pizza, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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brandi @ BranAppetit October 6, 2011 at 6:51 am

gorgeous! nothing beats a simple tomato + mozzarella pizza. and anything made in my cast iron pan makes me swoon.

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Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food October 6, 2011 at 6:57 am

I just made homemade pizza this week but I have never thought of making it in a deeper dish! I think I’ll need to make homemade pizza again tonight! :-)

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Coco October 6, 2011 at 7:15 am

Oh. My. Word.

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Liz October 6, 2011 at 7:29 am

Whoa that looks good! (and I’m not usually a Chicago style pizza lover – New York style is my fav, but I think I’m gonna have to try that one! ;) )

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Cait H. October 6, 2011 at 7:32 am

You had me at “Chik-fil-a Sandwich and waffle fries”. The pizza is beautiful :)

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Kara October 6, 2011 at 7:49 am

I totally know what you’re talking about. Chick-fil-a might be the sole reason I’m not a vegetarian.

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Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen October 6, 2011 at 7:51 am

Come visit me in San Mateo – I’ll take you for bagels and donuts. :-) If you are in the city I love Little Star – they have a cornmeal deep dish crust that is to die for!

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Liz @ Southern Charm October 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

Wow this looks so fresh, rustic and just amazing!!

ps .. love the nail polish color!

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Rachel @Balance and Blueberries October 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

I love a good pizza recipe! Thanks for the deep dish idea :)

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Deva @ Deva by Definition October 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

My cake pans are about the same size as my cast-iron skillet, so I’ve made cast-iron skillet pizza a lot!

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Cat October 6, 2011 at 8:22 am

You just need to come to San Francisco for your pizza fix! There are two REALLY good deep dish pizza places: Patxi’s and Little Star. Patxi’s has a restaurant in Hayes Valley, also near the original Blue Bottle coffee kiosk and there is great shopping in the ‘hood too (I lived in that neighborhood for 7 years and had my first date with my boyfriend at Patxi’s — yes, he had me at pizza!). Little Star is slightly more hip, and has locations in the Mission and on Divisadero. One of my favorite combos to get at Patxi’s is a Hawaiian, add Jalepeno peppers…basically perfection. Patxi’s also has some locations on the Peninsula, I think, so if you find yourself in Palo Alto, look ‘em up.

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:38 am

good to know!! thanks :)

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning October 6, 2011 at 8:23 am

I’m not a big fan of deep-dish, but this looks sooo good. (And pretty!)
I use your regular pizza crust recipe all the time (we make pizza at home every Friday!)- can you sub out something for cornmeal for that crust? I love the idea of it, but don’t want to screw it up. Or maybe you’ve posted about a cornmeal crust before? :)

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

I would stick with the cornmeal just to be safe ;)

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Hannah October 6, 2011 at 8:27 am

Hi Jenna! This looks divine. Next time you’re in SF, make a stop at Little Star pizza on Divisadero/Fulton. The best deep dish with cornmeal crust!

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

Never been but will definitely check it out next time I’m in the city!

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Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles October 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

What a very clever idea…and way less of a mess than using a pizza stone and inadvertently flinging corn meal all over your kitchen floor (and the inside of your oven…). I’m with you on the carbs. If only my turtle-slow metabolism agreed…

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine October 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

I can’t wait to try this. I am in love with deep dish pizza, and yours looks amazing!!

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Moni'sMeals October 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

good lord, this is so amazing. It reminds me of my favorite place in CO called BeuJos’s Pizz and the crust is so thick they give you honey to drizzle over it. Yum. :)

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claire October 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

I hear ya on California pizza. I’m an east coast girl originally, and I miss the simplicity of the pizza back home. I think the best deep dish I’ve found out here is Zachary’s in Oakland (there are also locations in Berkeley and San Ramon). Nothing fancy/trendy about it – just some awesome deep dish pizza.

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:37 am

nice! I’ll have to check it out–thanks!

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Lisa October 6, 2011 at 8:47 am

Oh gosh, this reminds me of Pizza Hut Pan Pizza here in the South. I too love ChikfilA, Cracker Barrell, etc. But, Cali has amazing restaurants (and In-n-Out)!!

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Sharona October 6, 2011 at 8:48 am

there is a place called Zachary’s pizza in the bay area that has AWESOME deep dish pizza! FYI!

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Caitlin @ Cake with Love October 6, 2011 at 8:48 am

When I waas living in Chicago I was having deep dish pizza probably four times a week for lunch, I am such a crust girl :)

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Ryane October 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

I admit, I read most of your posts through reader… but by far, of all the blogs I read on there, your recipes are the only ones I “star” and I don’t do it often because really, I know they’re pretty easily searchable. I’ve starred like 3 this month already. Who’s a genius… you aaaarrrreee! : )

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

thank you!!! :)

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Lara Matos October 6, 2011 at 8:54 am

We make lots of homemade pizza but never a deep dish. I must try this soon!

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Claire October 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Love,
A Proud Chicagoan

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 6, 2011 at 9:11 am

I’ve never had deep dish pizza before, but this looks so drool-worthy!! YUM :)

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Liz @ IHeartVegetables October 6, 2011 at 9:16 am

Yummm!!! Do you think basic Trader Joe’s pre-made pizza dough would work in this? Is there anything different about this crust?

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jenna October 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

I’ve never tried! This dough recipe has a little more yeast than usual and is made to fit in a cake pan. I’m not sure how the TJ’s dough would work but you could definitely try and see what happens!

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Mari October 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I’m trying it out with TJ’s whole wheat dough tonight. I’ll try to report back!

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Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well October 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

I’m a crust girl too! I absolutely love Chicago style deep dish. You’ve definitely inspired me to make my own dough, this time deep dish! I’ll be making mine GF though. Looks wonderful!

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Hilary October 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

Umm, Yum!!

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Raya October 6, 2011 at 9:30 am

I think my jeans are tighter after simply reading about this. YUMMM!

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Andy October 6, 2011 at 9:35 am

can you use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose? would that affect the recipe at all?

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jb October 6, 2011 at 9:50 am

oh if you like deep dish, you’ve got to try zachary’s in berkeley next time you’re out that direction. it is unreal. and i lived in chicago for a while, so i can attest that it stacks up to the real thing!

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Jennifer October 6, 2011 at 9:50 am

If you are craving deep dish close to you – go to Old Chicago Pizza in downtown Petaluma! They have amazing pizza, I live in Boston now and I constantly crave it! I’ve been a lurker on your website for months – and I’m definitely going to make this, it looks like it will be a nice fix to my Old Chicago cravings! Thank you!

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Sara K October 6, 2011 at 10:03 am

That pizza looks absolutely scrumptious- I’ve never had proper deep dish pizza before. I will say though that I still love the crunch of a thin crust gourmet pizza (so long as there is A LOT of wonderful cheeses atop)- I’m also a sucker for the gorgonzola/balsamic/pear/fig/shallot pizza combo.

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Ashley L October 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

have you ever heard of BJs I think you would love it. If anything just google it. total food porn haha. Pizza might be like that in NorCal but not in SoCal I wish it was like that here. SoCal is a totally different place.

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Cara October 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

There is plenty of deep dish around, just got to know where to look! Old Chicago Pizza is close to you in downtown Petaluma, and you can’t beat Zachary’s in Berkeley and Oakland, as well as Little Star in SF and Berkeley.

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Cookie and Kate October 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

I spent the weekend in Chicago and ate deep dish pizza twice. It was a total cheese-fest and I loved it!

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Jessica @ Jess Go Bananas October 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I agree- California needs to start carbo-loading!

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries October 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Holy frikin’ moly, this looks fantastic! My mouth is watering and my stomach is growling right now. I LOVE deep dish pizza, and the photos of your’s look amazing. This might just have to be our dinner tonight!

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Erica @ In and Around Town October 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Wow! You might have well told me you bought that from some place in Chicago, looks delicious and perfect!

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meghan@ struggle muffins October 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Those pictures would resurrect a silenced carb addiction in a heartbeat. I would know, because I took one look and started salivating. And I’m not much of a pizza person. BUT THAT CRUST! Oh myyy. Perfect for munching by the fireplace on a damp and chilly evening. Thank you!

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Maggie October 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I see you already have a bunch of folks who recommended Zachary’s and Little Star to you, so I could just keep my trap shut. But seriously. You need to know about them and make a beeline asap!

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Kristin Murdock October 6, 2011 at 2:02 pm

As a Chick-fil-A employee AND Californian I will gladly tell you that we are coming to NorCal soon!

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Maggie October 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

ooh!

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Amanda October 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

What a beautiful pizza, I must make this!

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed October 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

yum! I’ve never had a deep dish crust like this. For shame. Must make it soon!
Heidi xo

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jenna k October 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm

i’m more of a thin crust girl, but that looks great!
i’ve made your pizza dough before, and LOVED it. but can you walk me through how to freeze it? like, what step in the process do you freeze, and then do you thaw it in the fridge overnight before using, or what? i’m so clueless when it comes to freezing food!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen October 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm

What a gorgeous pizza! You just gave me a serious pizza craving.

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anna maria October 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

that looks ah-mazing. i just finished dinner, i’m plenty full but i’m pretty sure I could eat a whole one of those on my own. right now.

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Jill October 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

This looks so yummy. Will definitely be making this. I’ve never tried buffalo mozzarella so will be giving this a try.
Also, I’m curious about freezing the pizza dough. I like to freeze things so they’re ready on the spur of the moment. I’ve never frozen pizza dough. How do you do it?

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Mari October 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Totally making this tonight! It’ll be our last meal before the Yom Kippur fast! I think pizza sounds like a fantastic pre-fast meal, don’t you agree? :)

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Courtney October 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I made it tonight and it turned out delicious!! Thanks for sharing :)

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Sarah October 8, 2011 at 3:17 am

Wow thats a great idea. I make quite a bit of homemade pizza but always just on a baking tray. It comes out fairly deep if the dough is fresh, but if its been frozen its more of a thin and crispy. My husband loves deep pan pizza so will have to give this a go. Solves the problem of getting it into a round shape on the tray as well.

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Taylor (greens & chocolate) October 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’m switching my dinner plans around this week to make this happen ASAP!! Looks so. freaking. good!

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Trish October 10, 2011 at 5:41 am

This looks soooo good. We make pizza at home all the time, just never thought of going deep dish.

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Monique (@AmbitiousKitchen) October 10, 2011 at 9:03 am

Absolutely making this. Fantastic. Do you think I could use whole wheat?

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jenna October 10, 2011 at 9:44 am

you could try!

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Gabrielle October 10, 2011 at 9:57 am

I made this on Saturday night and it was delicious! I used a springform pan which was great and made it especially easy to slice!

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Christina October 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

Hi Jenna! I am so excited to make this deep dish pizza tonight! I do have one question though – what is the reason for preheating the oven to 500 degrees and then reducing the heat to 425 before you put the pizza in?

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Kelly October 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I love making deep dish pizza. I love it because the crust texture is so different than any other pizza, so buttery and almost biscuit like.

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Jenny October 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it (or if it’s been mentioned yet), but Round Table Pizza has awesome pizza. And a ton of locations in Cali. I have family in Atascadero and it’s a must everytime I visit. (And they have a deep dish…)

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Katie October 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I moved from SF to Chicago just over a year ago, and I don’t like deep dish (The Horror!) . However, I do have a sight obsession with carbs, so there is really no explaining my lack of love for the deep dish.
Anywho.. there is a Panera in SF at Barry & King (and they DO have asiago cheese bagels!) If you go, you HAVE TO stop and get coffee from Philz too. Philtered Soul is my favorite, have them make it with cream and sugar, lightly sweetened. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Rachel March 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You should drive a few hours to Roseville (east of sac) and get your chick-fil-a, panera & Chicago style pizza fix (Chicago Fire – amazing!) As a Midwest girl, I love having some if my favorites so close.

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kayleigh May 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

Hi, Jenna! I am wanting to make this tonight but I just ran out of cornmeal and don’t really feel like running to the store. Could I use something else as a substitute in the dough recipe? Maybe grits run through the food processor or no?

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Alli August 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I’m eating this pizza right now and it’s so good. This will be my go-to pizza dough for now on.

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Dana January 17, 2013 at 6:16 am

This looks phenom!!! I also love your nail polish color. :-) Love Chicago. Love Pizza. Love deep dish pizza! Thanks for sharing this! You are such a talented writer and chef!

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sl February 9, 2013 at 7:59 am

There is no–and never has been any–cornmeal in authentic Chicago deep dish pizza. The yellow color comes from food dye.

Chicago deep dish depends on two factors: a very short knead and lots of oil (usually corn oil). Mix for 1 minutes and knead for 2–this is how the biscuit-like crust is created (you can still laminate, though, if you like, although the pizzerias don’t do this). Use the formula of 2 1/2-3 Tablespoons oil per cup of all-purpose flour.

Use a premium brand of ground tomatoes (like 6-in-1) and do not cook. Please don’t use jarred pizza sauce!

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