Here’s the (deep) dish: Chicago’s favorite pizza

Oh, boy… Chicago deep-dish pizza. Just the ticket for a cold January night.

It’s been an icon on the culinary landscape since 1943, when the story goes that Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo “invented” deep-dish pizza at their newly opened Chicago restaurant, Pizzeria Uno.

Ike and Ric’s new pizza was fashioned after a traditional Italian tomato pie: a thick crust with 1”-high sides, filled with tomato purée, and sprinkled with Romano cheese. But Pizzeria Uno’s proprietors went a step (or a couple of layers) further, adding mozzarella cheese and sausage to the mix.

I’d always dreamed of sampling deep-dish pizza at its source: in Chicago. And several years ago, courtesy of a trade show, I got the chance.

I wasn’t able to go to Pizzeria Uno: everyone else had had the same idea that night, and the place was mobbed. But I asked the front desk folks at our hotel where I might find some authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza, and they quickly recommended a nearby restaurant.

The initial vibes were good; old wooden booths, dark yet warm lighting, casually friendly waitstaff. I ordered the “classic deep dish,” and eagerly anticipated a landmark pizza experience.


The pizza I got was thick, all right. But the descriptors that spring to mind are “sloppy mess,” referring to its presentation. Followed by “sludge,” which would describe its unknown filling.

Basically, this pizza was a deep crust filled with watery tomato sauce and something chunky (peppers? sausage?), topped with a sprinkle of grated cheese. I barely made a dent in it before admitting to myself that this simply wasn’t the deep-dish pizza of my dreams.

Now, with another trip to Chicago coming up soon, deep-dish pizza is on my mind again. But rather than wait for the authentic experience, I decided to create my own: Vermont deep-dish pizza.


Ahhh…. distinct layers of cheese and sausage and tomatoes and more cheese on top of a light, buttery crust.


Here’s a picture of Pizzeria Uno’s deep-dish pie, grabbed off their online menu. Save for a lack of green peppers, I think I came up with a pretty good match, no?

So who needs to go to Chicago, when you can make your very own classic Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza at home?


A buttery, crunchy/soft crust is key to classic deep-dish pizza. We’ll start with this interesting dough, blending flour and cornmeal with three different fats: olive oil, vegetable oil, and butter.

Combine the following:

4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or salad oil
1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water


Mix till cohesive…


…then knead till smooth. This will take about 7 minutes at medium-low speed in a stand mixer. You can also make the dough in a bread machine set on the dough or manual cycle.

The dough will be fairly soft, but not soft enough to coat the inside of the bowl.


Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or 8-cup measure (which makes it easy to track its rise), cover, and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes.


Look at that yeast work!

While the dough is rising, ready your 14” deep-dish pizza pan. Grease it with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.


Stretch the dough to make as large a circle as you can. You can do this on a lightly oiled rolling mat, if you choose; or simply stretch the dough in your hands.

Lay the dough in the pan, and stretch it towards the edges till it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes.


When you come back, you should be able to stretch it to the edges of the pan. If you can’t, give it another rest.


Stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. The olive oil may ooze over the edge of the crust; that’s OK.


Let the crust rest for 15 minutes or so, as you preheat your oven to 425°F.


The crust will puff up just a tad as you wait. No need to cover it; it’ll go into the oven before it dries out.


Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it’s set and barely beginning to brown.

While it’s baking, prepare the filling.


Open a 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, lightly crushed; or a 28-ounce can of diced or chopped tomatoes.


Drain the tomatoes thoroughly.


Combine with 1 to 2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning or mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary), to taste. If you like – and this is strictly optional – add 2 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced; and 1 tablespoon sugar.


Fan 3/4 pound of sliced mozzarella cheese into the bottom of the baked crust.


Top with 1 pound Italian sweet or hot sausage, cooked and sliced; or about 3 cups of the sautéed vegetables of your choice. My choice is definitely sausage, but mushrooms and onions would be a tasty vegetarian alternative.


Spread the drained tomato mixture on top.


Sprinkle with 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese.


Finally, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.


Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.


Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Leaving it in the pan will give it a soggy bottom. A giant spatula is definitely a help with the maneuvering here.

Yes, the pizza pictured above is still in its pan. I’d carried it from the kitchen to a big window in the hallway, where I often take photos. And I was so enthused by its looks, I forgot to take it out of the pan. Do as I say, not as I do!


Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes (or longer, for less oozing) before cutting and serving.


Thick, buttery crust; mozzarella; sausage; tomatoes, garlic, herbs; Parmesan; olive oil. Now THAT’S deep-dish pizza!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza.

Speaking of Chicago, I’ll be attending the year’s biggest housewares trade show there in March. And I’ll be blogging my daily discoveries (technology permitting).

So, start thinking – what does King Arthur NOT currently carry, in the way of tools, gadgets, or pans (anything non-food), that you’d like me to look for? Speak up, folks – now’s your chance! I’ll make a list of requests and see what I can find. Thanks (in advance) for your help.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Kelly

    Having worked in Chicago for 12 years, might I suggest some pizza places for Chicago style pizza? Uno’s is great but if it is too crowded try Due’s just a block or two over (619 N Wabash Ave). It was their first branch. Giordano’s is probably the next “famous” option for Chicago style pizza. (Their pizza gives me heartburn. I like Uno’s better.) Gino’s East is the 3rd in the famous Chicago Pizza makers. They have a graffiti theme and feel free to write your own note on the walls there. Special note, their sausage pizza is a wheel of sausage the size of the whole pizza found in the deep dish. Enjoy!

    I just saw on the Food Network someone demonstrating a wheel of sausage same size as the pizza, just laid atop the crust. They made the wheel in a big pastry press, flattening balls of sausage. I was trying to figure the easiest way to make a round wheel of sausage, same size as the crust, that could easily be moved around. I figured the best way would probably be to roll it to size on a piece of parchment, then flip it out onto the pizza. Definitely something to try sometime. And I’ve noted Gino’s East… Thanks, Kelly! PJH

    1. Mindy McGrath

      I don’t understand when you write …”they are first branch?” And, again, you wrote, …”they are pizza gives me heartburn?” I wonder if you meant to write THEIR first branch, and THEIR pizza gives me heartburn.

    2. Dawn Lindley

      do you think I could use KA gluten free bread and pizza mix for this recipe or would it not yield enough dough?

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ve never tried, Dawn. The batter may not work well in this application, but feel free to give it a try. Jon@KAF

    4. NANCY

      A bread machine has a dough cycle and it does the first rising.
      I think the cornmeal ??might be to coat the bottom??
      Heartburn might be some red pepper that are in a lot of Italian sauce in Pizza. I love it
      I can tell its in there and it DOES me cause heartburn. I can’t tolerate ANY pepper except white
      I like to substitute 1/3 of the flour with SEMOLINA flour. I LOVE Semolina.

    5. Robert Gallo

      I really don’t like to be called a foodie, I’m just a retired firedlfighter who’s a great cook my recipe is tried and true 6 1/2 cups flour , 3 1/2 teaspoons yeast 1 1/2 water ,2 teaspoons salt , 2 tablespoons karo or sugar , and one cup of oil , olive or reg vegatable , kneed till workable , don’t oil the pan , let raise till double it works like a soft pie crust , try not to burn it , 350 works , but not on a low rack . Makes two crusts

  2. Collette

    Now can you work on stuffed pizza from Chicago? 😉 (I live in Chicago.)

    Yes, Collette, I didn’t realize what the difference was till I started researching the deep-dish. Stuffed is crust, filling, crust, tomato sauce, right? Pizza is endlessly fascinating, so I’m sure this will be on the docket at some point- PJH

  3. Val

    I’d love to find a dough-maker/kneader. Like a bread machine, but that you wouldn’t bake in, so that the appliance would be smaller and take up less space. If it could also double as something else, that would be great. I’ve seen one that doubles as a rice cooker, but the paddle is apparently not strong enough to knead — the instructions call for mixing the dough in the machine, then taking it out to knead. I just want to be able to knead the dough in the machine.

    Oh, me too, Val! Long-time wish of mine. We tried to get Zojirushi interested – no dice. The closest I’ve ever seen is actually Zo’s mini bread machine, which has a small footprint – 8 1/2″ x 11″, same as a typical sheet of copy paper. But – I’ll keep looking. Thanks for your input – PJH

  4. Shirley

    There are so many things I don’t have from your company, I hesitate to add things but I do love anything for the grill. There are many companies that do make articles with varying quality. I would like something to cook jalapeno poppers on the grill. Another item, a slicer that works and is sturdy for slicing mozarella cheese for pizza.

    OK, Shirley – duly noted. I doubt we’ll get back into grilling tools – we tried a couple of years ago and ended up with reams of overstock – guess people just don’t think of King Arthur + grilling. And we carried a mozzarella slicer last year, one that you put the ball of mozzarella in, push down the handle, and it slices the whole thing at once – is that what you’re thinking, or something else? I agree, a good, solid slicer is a godsend for so many uses. I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Thanks for the suggestions – PJH

  5. Jess

    I am looking forward to trying the recipe but I see one thing right off the bat that I take issue with and that is the addition of cornmeal. None of the big-time Chicago deep dish establishments use cornmeal, and I personally find cornmeal in my crust to be gritty and unpleasant. I plan on substituting semolina in your recipe, a recommendation which is found on many of the posted recipes for deep dish on, and has worked well for me. Also, I have never heard of parbaking a Chicago style crust. I’m willing to give it a try though, minus the cornmeal.

    Also, if you are in the Uno’s area again and they are too busy, try Due’s. Same owners, same pizza but less busy in general, and walking distance from Uno’s. And if you are ever a couple hours south in Champaign (home of the University of Illinois, Go Illini!), make sure to stop at Papa Del’s, one of the best Chicago style places outside of Chicagoland. If you are on the east coast and see an Uno’s Chicago Grill and think you might want to try a Chicago deep dish, keep going. It is not even remotely the same thing. It’s not terrible pizza but it is nothing like authentic Chicago deep dish.

    Jess, what can I say? I’m an Easterner. The first 5 Chicago deep-dish pizza crust recipes that came up on Google search results – including, result #5 – included cornmeal. So I figured cornmeal was the “authentic” ingredient. And it works for me in this recipe – with just 3 tablespoons, it adds mild crunch, not noticeable grittiness. Semolina sounds like a great addition, though – I’ll definitely try it next time. As for parbaking – force of habit, I always parbake my pizza crusts. I like the crusty/crisp texture parbaking imparts. And I’ll try Due’s if I get the chance – thanks for the tip! PJH

    1. JP

      Papa Dels is my favorite, although my wife prefers Giordano’s. And, yes, you can substitute maybe a 1/4 cup of semolina or whole wheat flour for the all purpose. But, I have always used olive oil and cornmeal on the bottom of my pan. I do not pre-bake my crust, however. I use a baking stone at the lowest point and heat it up to 500°, giving the stone additional time to heat up. Then I throw the pizza in there for around 25-30 minutes.

    2. PJ Hamel, post author

      JP, thanks so much for your feedback. I love how we all share our experiences here; each person has his or her own special ingredient or technique, and together they add up to a wonderful teaching experience. Cheers! PJH

    3. JB

      Lou Malnati’s crust definitely has a bit of corn meal . . . not just on the bottom of the pan. Little Star Pizza, in SF and Berkeley, CA, also has a wonderful deep dish pizza which has corn meal in the crust . . . makes a crispy crust which we have come to appreciate. We are also fans of Papa Dels in Champaign, IL.

  6. loowaters

    This actually looks quite good but I would suggest leaving out the corn meal, even in it’s small amount. With that much flour you will not need a substitute. When prepping the pan, use of a solid like Crisco to grease the pan makes it easier to pat out without the rest periods. Don’t oil up the sides, makes it very difficult to keep the dough walls up. You can also skip the par-bake as this will cook thru without worry. Better coverage with the sauce will yield better results as well allowing you to extend the cook time without concern for burnt cheese. I use two 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes, hand crushed after removing cores and de-seeding for a 14″ pie. I’ll add some puree back in. I cook at 500* in a dark pan, middle rack. If cooking with a shiny pan of any sort, preheating a stone on the bottom rack at 550* and cooking directly on that stone at a reduced temp of 500* will yield better results. Shiny pan, no stone = bad deep dish.

    The pics look like this pie was cold when it was sliced and the pics taken. Is that the case?

    Good effort with no background or flavor recollection to draw upon.

    Thanks – yes, it was cooled down when the slice picture was taken. And thanks for your hints; I’m sure your pizza must be delicious. As is mine. I really love the olive oil flavor in place of Crisco, and the cornmeal added nice crunch, and the parbaking worked find… Thankfully, there’s lots of room in the world for all kinds of interpretations of recipes! PJH

  7. Joy

    Actually, some of the restaurants do use cornmeal. Gino’s East definitely does in its crust. I think though, that the others dust the peel with cornmeal and so its not in the actual dough but you do get the crunch. This recipe looks great! I would recommend trying Due and Gino’s East if you can’t get into Uno. Also, Lou Malnatis is fabulous. Its slightly different than the others, but wonderful.

  8. Beth

    Hi PJ, here’s something I hope you can find at the Chicago trade show: foil and plastic wrap dispensers that can be used with Stretch-Tite and Freeze-Tite. For Christmas, my neighbor gave me something called Wrap Master, and there is a container specifically for aluminum foil and another for plastic wrap. I’m pretty sure she got them from QVC. They work great, but the Stretch-Tite and Freeze-Tite rolls are too big and too long for these containers.

    Thanks, PJ, and hope you have fun in the Windy City.

    Beth, I use one of those dispensers in the test kitchen – I’ll find out where it came from. And yes, I’ll definitely have fun – sounds like I Might be sampling some pizza! PJH

  9. loowaters

    Joy, Gino’s East definitely DOES NOT use cornmeal in their dough formulation. The yellow coloring comes from an old friend, food coloring. In fact, the only restaurants that do use cornmeal in their dough would be falling into that myth that it belongs. That rumor began with either Jeff Smith or Pasquale Bruno. Using it on the peel for traditional or thin crust pies in accurate in that many do.

    PJH, what I’ve done for some olive oil flavoring when greasing the pan is whisking olive oil into some Crisco for a solid. I’ve been doing this for a while, I just know how frustrating this can be for newcomers when your dough keeps sliding down from the oil in the pan.

  10. Katie

    Hey Everyone, I love this website! However, I am from chicago, born and raised, so there is a couple things I noticed are not quite “authentic”. The main thing is the amount of sauce- with chicago style pizza, there is a good 1/4- 1/2 inch of sauce over the whole thing, with big tomato chunks as the main component. It completely covers the cheese- when you order a deep- dish pizza, all you see is red- no white from the cheese. So maybe, readers should double the sauce recipe for an authentic chicago pie 🙂

    Also, I agree with joy- I would try lou malnati’s next time! It’s my favorite out of all the chicago pizzas! Next is giordanos, and then Uno’s/Due’s and Gino’s east tie for third.

    1. Maria

      Yes +1 for Lou Malnati’s. And they do use a bit of cornmeal. I believe most places do even if it’s just a sprinkling in the pan under the dough. At least that’s what I’ve seen and that’s how I do it at home.

  11. Patti Stirn

    I think I’m making Chicago-Style Pizza tonight!
    All of the suggestions are helpful to me, even though I rarely demand an “authentic” pizza from anywhere! I just love pizza and what I put on the table is a reflection of what I have on hand. If I don’t have a specific ingredient, I put it on my grocery list and don’t usually head to the store just for one thing. When I was growing up, we used venison sausage if that’s all we had on hand.
    As for technique, that’s where I love to experiment. I’ll take a dough from one recipe because it says a laminated crust is superior, and I’ll take a sauce from another recipe because I love it thicker or thinner (depending on mood!), and I’ll use a stone one time and the dark pan the next.
    The experimentation feeds my Foodie Soul as the finished dish feeds my tummy. Thanks for all the excellent suggestions!
    This the best way to bake- make it your own and to use what you have on hand. There are so many new favorites out there waiting to be discovered! Joan @bakershotline

  12. Ed from Chicago

    Joy, loowaters is correct. It is true that some restaurants may use cornmeal on a thin crust (aka cracker/bar style/midwest style) pizza, but I must correct you:

    Gino’s East does NOT use cornmeal in their crust and NONE of the authentic deep dish pizza restaurants that you mention use cornmeal. It is a myth that continues to be perpetuated.

  13. Nicole Shugars

    I’m also going to put in a vote for Lou Malnatti’s — I specifically would recommend “The Lou” which is their vegetarian pizza even though I’m not opposed to a good sausage pizza. Try it…you’ll love it.

  14. Lydia

    Things I’d like:

    The smaller pullman pan you used to have.
    A mister/spray bottle for spritzing oil or water on food.
    A dough whisk with a finished handle.
    A graduated cylinder style of container for keeping sourdough starter so I can see how much it’s risen.

    Thanks, Val – duly noted, and good suggestions. BTW, we do currently carry the smaller pullman pan – I love it! Just gave my mom one for Christmas… PJH

  15. Tonia

    I love cornmeal in dough and if I don’t want it quite so “crunchy” I do a pre-soak with hot water — softens the cornmeal, gives a nice yellow cast to the dough and tastes great! Whether it’s authentic or not doesn’t matter as long as it tastes great! I’ll be trying this as soon as my hot-water heater is fixed! Thanks for all your great recipes and ideas!

    Thanks for your enthusiasm, Tonia – hope that water heater gets fixed soon! 🙂 PJH

  16. Peggasus

    All the recipes for deep dish that I have from the Chicago Tribune from the last 15 years all call for some cornmeal in the dough, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup, and supposedly these recipes were from people who used to work at Uno, Due, Gino’s or Malnati’s. Half a cup is definitely too much, but 1/4 cup is about right for a bit of chewiness, and not so much doughiness. I’ve taken some from each one over the years: Malnati’s, for instance, calls for pressing half-dollar sized discs of fresh sausage and putting them on top of the tomato sauce layer, but the cheese always goes on the bottom.

    @ Jess: Papa Dels’ is still here, still good! I have a copycat recipes for theirs I found a while ago on the web, and it’s pretty close. I need to make that again.

    1. connie

      To Peggasus…Malnati’s does not put the sauce and then sausage on…their thin crust yes but NEVER a deep dish..Giordanos to me is more like stuffed pizza… Most of the recipes do not call for cornmeal…I have made it with and without…it can make your crust very dry…If i am using 4 cups of flour I tend to take a 1/2 out to make room for the Semolina,,,that makes it ….no substitutes…

  17. Jeff

    Personally, Lou Malnatis is my favorite. It is interesting that Lou started working at Pizzaria Uno, only to break out on his own. I personally find the crust at Malnatis to be superior to Uno’s.

    My pizza of choice is the Sausage, Mushroom, Spinach, and extra sauce. As mentioned earlier, The Lou (mushroom, spinach, sliced tomato) is also great.

  18. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez, Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    I´d baked this lovely pizza.
    I just eliminated the butter, only used olive oil, and had replaced parmesan cheese by bread crumbs. I ´d added some local goat cheese sliced in small cubes sliced cornichons and mixed with herbs ( oregano, rosemary and grounded black pepper).
    I´d added some whole wheat flour and semolina on dough. It turns absolutely perfect and Yummy. Here in my city Petrópolis, we have a Pizza place, named Toni´s where they made a thick pizza since 1965 and all the folks go there, year by year!
    It remembers me my adolescence when me and my friends went out of Club, after those 70´s Night fever ballads and enjoyed those thick pizzas to stop our hungriness!!
    Amazing post P.J.!!

    Ricardo, you come up with the most imaginative twists for all these recipes. I would have never thought of cornichons, but why not? I like the mental picture of you and your friends enjoying pizza after some ’70s “night fever” – thanks for connecting, as always. PJH

  19. non

    “Grease it with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides”

    Is this in addition to the oils and butter in the crust? (does it really require all this oil for the full flavor?).

    Up to you, Non – Greasing the pan keeps it from sticking; the olive oil imparts superior crunchy texture to the bottom of the crust. The oil within the crust itself is for flavor and soft texture. Remove any of the oils if you like – you can certainly bake pizza crust with no fat at all, just a simple water/flour/salt/yeast crust, baked on a stone. This is definitely at the other end of the scale; both are delicious, they’re just different. PJH

  20. Sandy

    Thanks so much for posting a Chicago Deep Dish style pizza. Being originally from the Midwest, I must say the Chicago style pizza is my hands-down fav. I used to have a great deep dish pizza recipe where everything is homemade, even the sauce, and made it for special occasions. It came from a local newspaper. But, alas, over the years…and many, many moves….it has disappeared. Will have to put my thinking cap on for suggestions of what you should look for at the convention in Chicago this spring.

  21. Jess

    Cornmeal is not authentic. Started as a rumor years ago and has turned up in a ton of published recipes but not in any of the pizzas made by the big players in Chicago.

    If you like it, go ahead and use it. It is all about making food that you enjoy. But don’t think it is in the recipe because it is authentic.

    Neither is the semolina that I use either, as far as I know. But I think the semolina contributes texture without grittiness, and does not detectably change the flavor, to me, unlike the corn meal.

    Another thing to do to make it more authentic – get some good bulk Italian sausage and spread it out in a layer on the pie like a big patty rather than slices of sausage in casing. You don’t precook it, it will cook along with the pizza. That said, I have made deep dish pies with sliced Portuguese linguica and they were wonderful, though not remotely authentic. Again, it is about making something that you and your family enjoy.

    And Peggasus, I agree Papa Dels is still great. I was back home in CU in the fall and had some. Garcia’s, however, is not what it used to be. You have a clone recipe for the Papa Dels thin crust? That’s good stuff too!

  22. Leigh

    I will second Katie’s statement that my experience with good Chicago style deep dish pizza is that it comes with a layer of red sauce covering the cheese and other ingredients.

    My favorite pizza restaurant in Chicago is without a doubt, Giordano’s. I have dreams about their pizza.

  23. Andrew Kirch

    PJ: It’s really disappointing that that was your experience. I stayed on the north side a few years ago and went to a little hole in the wall called Nancy’s. It’s up in Lincoln Park. The pizza was INCREDIBLY expensive for it’s size but wow was it worth it. tomato puree over fresh sausage and basil with a mozzarella base with aged parmigiana over the lot of it. The pizza took 40 minutes to cook in a commercial oven that appeared to date back to WWII. When it came out it was amazing. The crust was perfection, not gooey at all, a very wonderful bread texture, dense and warm, the cheese was fresh, the sausage fresher and the tomato was quite good though a bit acidic. All in all a really enjoyable pie. Next time you get to Chicago take the red line up to Lincoln Park and try Nancy’s. There’s a Nancy’s location here in Indianapolis… sad to say the oven isn’t the same, and the results are as you described above still expensive but in this case very disappointing.

    One note, the mozzarella is quite well developed at Nancy’s so if you don’t like a very thick stringy cheese look elsewhere. I’m not against making a mess for a good pizza.

    Andrew, gooey mozzarella doesn’t faze me in the least – thanks for the hint. I’ll put Nancy’s on my list and see if I can get out there. I don’t know Chicago at all, but I’m staying across from Grant Park – is that far away? – PJH

  24. Michael

    This looks like a great way to go for Chicago style pizza. I’m thinking of using my 14″ Lodge cast iron pan for the pie. It’s about 3″ deep so it would seem to be a good fit for this.
    Does anyone know if the cast iron in this case might retain too much heat for the dough if that’s possible? Seems to me I’ve seen cast iron pans/skillets used for this before.

    Michael, I think cast iron is a great idea – I’m betting it makes a superb crust. It might be a bit dough to get the pizza out afterwards, with those 3″ sides; so if you serve right from the pan, remember that it’ll keep baking a bit even after it’s out of the oven, so watch carefully that you don’t overdo it in the oven. Let us know how it comes out, OK? PJH

  25. Janet

    I’m a native Chicagoan (who moved to Philly a few years ago) so I feel obligated to chime in.

    Yes, Uno’s and Due’s are good, but my favorite has always been Gino’s East on Superior. It has become a chain over the years and sometimes I swear the pizzas in the satellite locations just don’t taste the same. Maybe it’s all that graffiti holding up the walls that makes a difference. Get The Supreme.

    That being said, Lou Malnati’s is also really good. I just got a “Lou’s” care package as a Christmas gift and the pizzas were quite good even after being frozen – they’re bake at home. Lou’s started in the suburbs but now he’s got quite a few locations even in the city.

    And by the way, they don’t call it “pie” in Chicago like they do out here in bad-pizza land. They do something they call ‘tomato pie’ here in Philly that is just canned tomato sauce on dough – what’s the point?

    Another thing that you won’t find in a Chicago pizza is pretend sausage like they use here. I have yet to order a sausage pizza locally that did not use those brown extruded pellets that taste like bad breakfast sausage. Even the neighborhood take out pizza shops in Chicago make better pizza than anyplace I’ve tried in Philly.

  26. John F

    A subject near and dear to my heart as a lifelong Chicago suburban brat! LOL

    I live between a Gino’s East location and a Lou Malnati’s location. I like them both, but find myself going to Lou’s more often! I vote for Lou’s. Marc Malnati has demonstrated how to put together a pizza on a bunch of shows on both Travel Channel and Food Network. If you see the reruns some great tips there.

    Malnati’s has a butter crust available that I just love and have been trying to find a recipe for it for years! Don’t miss it while you’re here.

    If you want to do a bit of research you can actually have Lou Malnati’s pizza sent to you, anywhere in the country. (no I don’t work for them LOL)

    When you come, save yourself some time. Call the restaurant before you get there and place your pizza order. It will shorten the wait time at the table! All the menus are online!

    No need to par bake the crust first. The crust isn’t actually thick like most people imagine. It’s just a bit thicker than thin crust. The difference is the depth of the pan and the ability to pile on the fillings! A bit of oil in the pan helps you stretch the dough and as Mr. Malnati said on TV it sort of helps crisply fry the crust as the pizza cooks. Blistering hot oven helps too!

    Like cast iron pans, Chicago pizza pans are seasoned over time. No soap and water. A new pan might stick a bit. But keep making the pizza and they won’t ever stick. Treat the pan as you would a cast iron skillet. Scrape out the bits and lightly clean with a scrubby pad. But don’t take off the seasoned finish!

    Welcome to Chicago! Come and enjoy our pizza and our city! Have fun baking! You won’t regret it! Good stuff!


    Try the leftovers for breakfast! Guilty little pleasure. I like it cold from the fridge, but you might want to heat it in an oven first..LOL

  27. Lish

    Ricardo’s goat cheese with cornichons sounds so good! It reminds me of my first attempt at deep dish pizza. I just made my favorite crust really thick and made it with meatballs and dill pickles. I know it sounds strange but the acidic salty addition of pickles goes so well with the rich seasoned meatballs. I always put pickles on my meatball grinders. I am going to have to make that combo again soon, and this post has certainly gotten me in the mood to make pizza. I almost wish I wasn’t planning on making lasagna today, because I would certainly make this. Authentic or not I love cornmeal in a pizza crust, I don’t find it gritty, just crunchy and a nice flavor. Maybe it is because I am from the Northeast, it seems we like a lot of inauthentic foods here. I just love food that tastes good to me.

  28. Jess

    Michael, if you go to one of my other favorite baking forums,, there are a number of discussions about making deep dish in a cast iron pan. I have yet to try it but some there have had great luck. The website is an excellent resource (as is this one). There are some extremely knowledgeable posters there, who have made a science of pizza crust.

    PJH, there is a Lou Malnati’s on State Street near Grant Park. I don’t think there is a Nancy’s. Please correct me if I am wrong, Chicagoans. I am from a couple hours south of the city originally and have not lived in Illinois for quite a while.

    The oil in the pan is necessary to get the crust right. Real deep dish crust is fairly oily – the crust pretty much fries in the oil in the pan, giving the distinctive texture. It will still be good pizza with less oil but the real stuff is downright decadent.

    If you are really into pizza, don’t limit yourself to just deep dish when in Chicago. The thin crust in the Midwest is great too. It is cut into squares rather than wedge shaped slices and is thicker and crisper than the pizza I have had out East, and has a more bread-like texture than the biscuit-like deep dish. This is the type of Midwestern pizza where you will find cornmeal, to prevent sticking to the peel, rather than as an ingredient in the crust.

  29. Casey

    I agree Lou Malnati’s or Giordanos are the places you should try. I am not a fan of sausage on pizza but the sausage wheel thing is delicious.Have fun!!

  30. AJ

    This looks really good. For the last few years I’ve been rebelling against
    an overload of tomato-y sauces and trying out various other versions of
    things. I’ve become a fan of Greek pizzas. This interests me because it
    has diced tomatoes instead of sauce. I, too, get a bit testy with people
    insisting that this or that ingredient isn’t “authentic”. My credo is if you
    rather replace an ingredient with something you like better-go for it!

    Right on, AJ! I love Greek-style pizzas; I feel oftentimes the tomato sauce on pizza overwhelms the somewhat subtle flavor of other ingredients like mushrooms, or the different cheeses. We have a spinach and feta and garlic pizza around here that’s extremely yummy… PJH

  31. Pam Baker

    I like a lot of Pampered Chef tools but I am not fond of uni-taskers. I hope you are going to bring back the hamburger bun pan for the summer. And if there is a pan for making New England style hot dog buns…that would be awesome too.
    Since you are talking about a recipe of a local food that obviously has a loyal following…have you ever heard of “Michigans”? They are a specialty found only in Plattsburgh NY but there are one or two places in Burlington VT that sell them. The original was Clare and Carls on Rt 9 and Nitzies also on Rt 9 in Plattsburgh but they are no longer in business. Clare and Carls still is and they use car hops. the building is fun and funky. Anyhoo…a “Michigan” is a steamed hot dog in a steamed New England hot dog bun with a meat sauce. Have a “buried” dog means chopped onions under the dog. The meat sauce is the key. It’s not typically spicey although some knock off’s in town make them spicey. And no one really knows why they are called “Michigans”.
    I have a recipe for the sauce that supposedly came from Carl of Clare and Carls…and that’s all I can tell you, I’ve been sworn to secrecy! Comes awfully close. Anyway, if you’ve never tried them…be careful, they are addictive!! ;o]
    I would love an adjustable pie shield. You know, one shield to fit a 9 or 10 inch pie.
    On a side note: I made the turkey and dumplings…. O M G.
    Thanks KAF!
    We will have both the New England hot dog pan and the hamburger pan-soon. I love the idea of local food-it is a treat to enjoy the local foods. An enrichment of our culinary experiences. I will have to check Burlington the next time I visit for a Michigan. Joan @bakershotline

  32. Jess

    Giordano’s is excellent but different from the recipe here as they serve a stuffed pizza rather than a traditional deep dish, meaning that there is a top layer of crust similar to a double crusted pie. Cheese and fillings are enclosed inside the 2 layers of crust, sauce on top of the top crust.

    And PJ, I agree, you should try to hit Giordano’s when in Chicago. How long will you be there? We can make you a list of required stops for a pizza tour. 🙂

    Three nights on a tight budget, Jess – I’ll have to plan my “tour” carefully! PJH

  33. Jess

    “. I, too, get a bit testy with people insisting that this or that ingredient isn’t “authentic”. My credo is if you rather replace an ingredient with something you like better-go for it!”

    AJ, I can’t speak for the rest of the posters but I can tell you why I have been posting on authenticity. Look at the title of the blog. To me, it implies that the recipe is authentic and true to what you will find in Chicago pizzerias. The article itself does not really make that claim. I absolutely agree that you should make pizza how you like it. But the title implies authenticity and those of us who have noted some inauthentic additions are merely pointing that out. Still looks like an awesome pizza, authentic or not! I have yet to try a recipe I have not liked on this site.

    PJ, what better way to stay within a budget than pizza? I checked several websites – under $14 for a small pie at Giordano’s (serves 2), a personal pizza at Lou Malnati’s for under $7, and about the same for a single serving pizza at Pizzeria Due’s.

    And if you want a break from pizza, consider going to one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants. You can get lunch for about $15 at Frontera Grill. It’s been several years since I have been there but as I remember, it was excellent. I hope it is as good as I remember, because I’ll be in Chicago next month for a few days as well. Chicago also has awesome Thai, Greek (Greektown), Polish, and Indian, all of which can be had very economically. Have a great trip!

    Thanks for the dining tips, Jess. And I guess I’d better rename this blog, to head off any more controversy, huh? I’ll think of a new title… PJH

  34. Alice

    What I’d like to see is an oil pump spritzer. I had one for I’d say nearly 10 years that I used olive oil in. I would fill olive oil to a certain level (very important to not overfill), hand pump it to build pressure and spray! It would come out like an aeresol sprayer. It no longer works. It only streams. Water works fine but no kinds of oil sprays only streams. It was called Oil-O Pump or something like that. I LOVED that thing and I cannot find anything close to it. Could you find that for me, please? You would think this would be popular in this time of wanting to be healthy but I’ve looked everywhere.


    On the list, Alice – thanks! PJH

  35. Marianna

    I live in NY so most of the pizza I see is Neapolitan and Sicilian style. Even so, there are many interpretations of those styles. Most people are always up to trying a variable as long as it tastes great. We used to have an UNO near my office that we enjoyed but unfortunately, it closed. I think I am going to give this “Chicagoesque” 😉 crust a whirl over the weekend. Thanks PJ-I really appreciate all the time and effort you and the other bakers put into these blogs.
    I am racking my brain for a trade show wish list. I love all my kitchen gadgets like my Thermapen. I have often thought about getting one of those infrared guns that reads temperature. I also like decorative cake and muffin pans. I know you will find us some new treasures!

    Thanks, Marianna – we’ve actually tested the infrared thermometers, haven’t settled on one we like yet. I’ll add your suggestions to the list – PJH

  36. Emma

    This looks great, it’s on the menu for tonight!

    Would it be okay if I used a smaller pan though? I have a cast iron pan that I’m going to try using, but I don’t think it’s 14 inches.

    Just cut back on the ingredients, Emma. Make the same amount of dough, but use less; otherwise the dough will be too thick. If you want to figure it out mathematically – the diameter of a 14″ crust is actually 16″ (14″ bottom dia. plus 1″-tall crust all around = 16″). Area would be pi-radius-squared = 201 sq. inches. So if your pan is 12″, say – 14″ total dia., apply formula = 154 sq. inches. Which is about 3/4 of the total dough recipe. So use 3/4 of the dough in the pan, and make rolls or mini pizzas out of the rest. Hey, who says you never use high school math in “real” life?? 🙂 Good luck – PJH

  37. Nancy

    Ahhhhh, the ol’ “no cornmeal in my Chicago style pizza” argument! This is also a currently hot thread on other baking bulletin boards. Very similar to the ol’ “no beans in my chili” argument. Who’s to say what is “authentic”. My feeling is if you like it, go for it.

    “How many angels can dance…”? Are pizza and chili our modern equivalent of medieval scholasticism? Thanks, Nancy – PJH

  38. Sig

    I think I just drooled all over myself.

    I better go clean up! I will be making this one this weekend!


    Go for it, Sig – I know you’ll enjoy it. Feel free to experiment with other toppings, too – including the “sausage disk” – bulk sausage pressed into a thin disk, set atop the crust, and baked. UMMMMM…. PJH

  39. Kesha

    Please find a decent bread slicer. I absolutely love to bake bread but it is difficult to use for sandwiches because my slices are always 2-3 times the normal size!! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Added, Kesha. Do you mean the bread you bake is too large for a normal slicer? PJH

  40. Kesha

    I’ve tried one other slicer but it smashed my bread up and my attempts to slice my own loaf are miserable failures!! Maybe it is the ameteur in me but I would absolutely love to walk by the bread aisle in the grocery stores,knowing that I am providing a superior loaf (that isn’t thick like texas toast)to my family. It would be liberating. Thank you so much for your time and I absolutely love your products, blogs, and customer service!! By the way, Wegmans in Virginia now carries your unbleached cake flour!! I buy at least 4 boxes every time I go!! I haven’t had the chance to bake with it yet but I want to make sure Wegmans knows how important the King Arthur brand is to consumers!!
    I hope you bake something soon and let us know how it turns out. Joan D @ KAF

  41. Peggy

    Great post PJ.

    As you have surely noticed pizza can be a touchy subject. Recently I was in NYC and mentioned to someone that my favorite was Two Boots. The room went silent and someone close by said “Them’s fighten words!”

    Yikes!! People…It’s Pizza! Everyone has their favorites and one persons “authentic” is another persons imposter. At the end of the day it’s about what you like and what brings a fond memory of a great time to you.

    Personally I love cornmeal in my crust, Two Boots has quite a bit of it in theirs which is why I love it…that and the fact that they offer crawfish and anduie (I’m sure that’s spelled wrong) sausage.

    Bottom line…if you don’t like cornmeal, don’t add it. If you like sauce versus diced tomatoes…use it. Who cares? Just enjoy it and be thankful for PJ and the gang for providing us with all of their support and great ideas.

    Thank You King Arthur. Everyone there always goes out of their way to provide the best service and I will always be a fan.

    Thanks, Peggy. I love the different viewpoints, so long as no one gets too strident in defense of their position. Here at KA, one of our business tenets is to “disagree agreeably” – good advice all around. And, English major that I am, I can actually spell it – andouille! PJH

  42. linnie

    The one thing that stuck in my brain when I read to blog before going on to the “how to” part was
    “Now, with another trip to Chicago coming up soon, deep-dish pizza is on my mind again. But rather than wait for the authentic experience, I decided to create my own: Vermont deep-dish pizza.”
    Yes…Vermont Deep Dish Pizza – not Chicago

    True, Linnie – I gave myself an out, didn’t I? Thanks for reminding me! 🙂 PJH

  43. RobynB

    Pizza looks great, PJ!

    Wish list for me: I would love a better selection of not-nonstick bakeware of high quality. I’m trying to gradually replace all my nonstick because of the health warnings, and the alternatives are mostly not wonderful. Looking for heavy-duty stuff that doesn’t warp and from which it is easy to remove baked goods, and that holds up well.

    Also, pancake griddle! Not nonstick, not electric; something to use on a stove that is safe for a ceramic/glass cooktop and is actually big enough to cook a big batch of pancakes or crumpets on! Ideally something that could straddle a couple burners, or ???


    Gotcha, Robyn. Is there any kind of non-stick you feel comfortable with? For instance, is silicone OK? Just clarifying… PJH

  44. RobynB

    Not silicone, either 🙂 It might be great stuff but it just feels too weird to me, plus I think it warps the finished product in some cases. Cast iron is so darn heavy, which is why I keep looking at aluminum. Does anyone except All Clad make SS bakeware? Or some other amalgam of metals that would be better?

    Thanks again!!

    Well, not silicone bakeware – but a hard silicone coating over steel/aluminum. I’m just loving our new USA Pans bakeware… have you seen it? Take a look at their round cake pan, for instance, read the writeup, and tell me what you think, OK? Have you looked at Calphalon, as an alternative? and not sure if Gourmet Standard makes bakeware, but their ss/aluminum core cookware is awesome… PJH

  45. Jess

    So when are you going to Chicago? You need to write an addendum to your blog reporting your culinary adventures!

    Jess, March 13-16, international housewares show at McCormick – I selected the hotel specifically so I’d have in-room free high-speed wireless internet (and boy, that better not be a come-on!) so I could report each day what I find. Both products, AND pizza! 🙂 PJH

  46. Anne

    I am going to be doubling this tonight! My husband is a Chicago native and now we live in AZ, so we don’t get very good deep dish here. I have made other recipes and they have been great, but your crust looks better than others I have tried!

    When hunting for new goodies to sell at KAF, I am always open to anything, but LOVE when I see the made in the USA label (plus if I see it I am more apt to buy it!). I also enjoy different size bake and give pans as well as I bake and give on a weekly basis! I go through pans like crazy! Cupcake boxes are always fun too! I also love to give boxes filled with cookies or brownies, but I haven’t noticed this boxes on the KAF site, so I have to buy them elsewhere (kind of like the bakery boxes, and since I love to bake doughnuts, these are a necessity!).

    I hope you have a great time in Chicago, and I agree with the other posters regarding the best places to get pizza. You cannot go wrong with any of them! Enjoy!

    Have you seen our new USA Pans, Anne? I’m lovin’ ’em… We’ve got a large assortment now – take a look at a cake pan for an idea of what they’re all about… And I’ve got your requests on my list – thanks for you good input. PJH

  47. Bridget

    As a fellow Vermonter, but who spent her college years in Chitown, I HIGHLY recommend Lou Malnati’s or Due’s…

  48. jenn

    Shirley up at the top was asking about a sturdy cheese slicer- I find that my potato peeler makes a decent cheese slicer, though you may have to cut your cheese block in half to fit the width of your peeler (and whether or not this works for cheese depends on where the handle is on the peeler).

    I like utensils that I can use for multiple purposes when possible! I also use my potato peeler for making thin vegetable shavings like length-wise strips of cucumber or carrot for salads or garnish!

  49. Annie

    I would just like to say that when I saw the addition of cornmeal, I got a little excited. Being from Oklahoma, I like to use cornmeal in all sorts of things where you least expect it so I will definitely use it in the pizza dough. We prefer yellow cornmeal here and as far as it giving it a “gritty” feel, we call that texture. (I like to add a little cornmeal to my pancake batter and no one is the wiser AND they prefer my pancakes to any of those at the pancake houses.) Thanks for your great recipes. And like @Bridget {Bake at 350}, I gain weight just reading your recipes! Your hard work is much appreciated!

    I’ve never thought to add a bit of cornmeal to pancake batter, Annie – this New Englander is definitely going to try that. Thanks for the tip! PJH

  50. Jess

    I agree, cornmeal is wonderful in pancakes, and I am a huge fan of cornmeal in baking – I LOVE a good cornbread. I think the difference with pancakes is that with a batter, the cornmeal is hydrated better than in a pizza dough (mine is 47% hydrated) so it is less likely to add a gritty texture.

    I made some stuffed crust last night (similar to Giordano’s) and tried something new – home made sausage. My grocery was out of sweet Italian sausage so I got some 90/10 ground pork and mixed with some spices from a recipe on recipezaar and it turned out great! Took maybe 5 minutes to mix up, and the decreased fat in the ground pork compared to commercially made sausage offset some of the fat in the crust. Still not exactly diet food, but if you can cut some fat without sacrificing flavor…

    PJH, I’m not sure if you are up for trying a stuffed crust (the top crust is very thin so it is still not very bready) but the recipe I tried last night seems very close to what I remember from when I lived in IL. It was sort of a conglomerate of a bunch of recipes on Let me know if I can send it to you somehow. I’d love to get your input.

    Jess, I’d love to see the recipe – I want to do a stuffed pizza sometime. And funny, I just recently saw a recipe for homemade sausage, too, if I can remember where it was… Anyway, if you mail me at, I’ll look for it. Thanks- PJH

  51. HeidiRenee

    Oh God bless you! I grew up near Chicago and it spoiled me forever. We’re in New Brunswick Canada now and not only can we not find Chicago style pizza, we can’t even find decent pizza. I can’t wait to make this!

    But you do have Tim Horton’s coffee! Glad we were able to provide a recipe to sate your pizza cravings! Irene @ KAF

  52. Teresa

    Ideas to look for at the trade show? How about a selection of bread boxes. You only have that expandable one.

    Will do, Teresa – thanks for the suggestion. PJH

  53. Deluxe

    This recipe is so wonderful! Just made it today and it was tasty. I also third the call for cornmeal in pancake batter. Cornmeal blueberry pancakes are the best kind ever made.

  54. ginger

    My wish: An accurate oven thermometer, for a gas oven.

    Modern thermometers are very accurate. If you are having WIDE temperature swings in your gas oven, it is more likely the thermostat that needs attention. You might want to get that checked. Frank @ KAF

  55. kathi

    This sounds just incredible. Being a long way from anywhere (closest walmart is a 250 mile roundtrip), if you crave anything like this, it has to be made at home. Thanks so much for ALL of the wonderful recipes.

    My wish list is short, but apparently difficult, at least my search so far has been for naught. It is a small wind-up, I believe cast iron, fan to put in your oven. My two ovens are so different and mostly inconsistent for heat. This little fan winds up and goes on the floor or rack of the stove and makes for a nice even heat all around. I don’t think it would rival a convection oven, but a similar, much lower tech idea. Have you tried Lehman’s Non electic catalogue? I bet they would have something like that. Mary@KAF

    Safe travels.

  56. Brenda

    Kesha–to successfully slice bread, lay it on its side and slice (“saw”) using a good serrated knife with very little pressure.

  57. KathyD

    PJ, My husband will be at the Houseware show in Chicago in March. Stop by the United Solutions booth (they make plastic STUFF) and ask for Big Joe. He will be there Friday through Sunday. He will be flying home on Monday. I’ll tell him to look for you.

    Enjoy the housewares show….I’ve always told him that I think I should come along to see what’s new.


    Will do, Kathy – just got my map/schedule the other day. And I agree – you SHOULD go, as a consumer advocate for products that WORK… 🙂 PJH

  58. Melissa in Montreal

    A few requests for new KAF products: 1) I second “Pam Baker’s” request for a bigger, 1-piece pie shield. 2) In my home I’m slowly replacing all my plastic ware because of health concerns – particularly I don’t want to use plastic in the microwave or dishwasher, so more things like your Five Piece True Seal Gift Set – perhaps in square shapes. Also, I like the glass prep bowls with lids that are sold by Pampered Chef, but I’m not happy with the lids, so something like that – but with sturdier lids. 3) Silicone spatulas and “spoonulas” with really sturdy wooden handles; I’ve broken several when dealing with very heavy dough. 4) Finally I prefer to buy things made in the US and/or that are environmentally friendly. Thanks and have fun!

    Hi Melissa in Montreal – thanks for the list, so noted. We were just talking yesterday about shipping to Canada – do you ever order from us and, if so, is it a pain? Just curious… PJH

  59. Linda J

    Yummers! I have got to try this recipe, posthaste or least after a grocery store run for the sliced mozzarella. THX!

    As far as what non-edible supplies I would like to see added—a tortilla press and spaetzle press though I guess maybe I need to check what you have in the way of potato ricers first.

    We do have a potato ricer (see item 2465). I’ve added your other suggestions to our customer observations. Irene @ KAF

  60. Del


    I also vote for Lou’s… Not the best in town but they produce a great pie. Instead of cornmeal, I found a excellent food blog damngoodfood and he uses a 1/2 cup of corn flour. It is wonderful lighter crust and not gritty.

  61. Elizabeth

    PJ, I have a question.. Have you ever made a pizza using only flour, water, yeast and salt? uses only these ingredients…

    I would think it would be impossible to chew… they do recommend KAF though, and are trying to duplicate pizza parlor pizza…All your recipes for pizza are great. I made one today with your Pizza Dough Flavor, and Pizza seasoning. It really made a big difference.

    Anyway, I’ll try it if you do. LOL

    I have indeed, Elizabeth. This is the basic artisan bread formula. It’s all in how you put those ingredients together. Lots of yeast and salt, lots of flour, little water, and a fast rise will yield a dull, fairly tasteless crust. Ah, but use a small amount of yeast, more water vs. flour, medium salt, and the baker’s best friend – TIME – and you get a flavorful, chewy crust with wonderfully light interior, and a crisp outside. I’d guess that typical pizza parlor pizza (and I just had one about an hour ago) is made with bleached flour, dough conditioners, and lots of yeast. It’s light-textured, very white, and fairly flavorless. GOOD pizza parlor pizza is made more with the method I outlined above – concentrating on a long rise time. Try it sometime- you’ll taste the differenc ein your dough if you refrigerate it for 24 hours before baking. 🙂 PJH

  62. Jess

    Agree completely PJ, regarding Elizabeth’s question, although the ingredients she discussed are appropriate for a Neopolitan style. With Chicago deep dish, the oil is essential. Both wonderful but totally different pizzas!

    So true, Jess – viva la differenza! PJH

  63. Cathi Deal

    I’ve been going to Uno’s (Due’s if needed) since the 60’s and there’s truly nothing like the original…UNLESS you have pizza baked by one of Ike’s original cooks! “Louisa” opened her own restaurant in Crestwood, IL (13500 South Cicero or thereabouts) and it’s the real thing. Here in the Houston area there just isn’t good pizza, be it thin or thick, so we’ve taken to making our own. Louisa doesn’t use cornmeal IN her dough, but there is some on the pan, possibly to make it slide out easier??? We’ve also taken to ordering several pies from Lou Malnati’s to ease our pizza pangs – it’s probably the closest. Personally, I don’t like the sausage “wheel”. If you can, use fresh herbs with the tomatoes – both Unos and Louisa keep fresh on hand for their sauce.

    About your doughmaker – try using a stand mixer. I have a Viking 7 qt. and use it for all my pizza dough as well as bread. It kneads it beautifully, although I do have trouble with the head popping up – just have to stay close, but it does do a great job and is the one appliance that has earned its counter space over the years.

    Thanks, Cathi – we’re loving hearing about pizza from so many areas of the country… PJH

  64. Lindsay O'Brien

    I’ve lived here in Chicago for 4 years and have tried a good many Chicago style pizzas. I totally go with Uno/Due or Lou Malnati’s and Gino’s East suggestions. Personally, I’ve never cared for Giordano’s (even though there is one down the street from me)…I suppose I’ve never been a stuffed crust person?

    The best Chicago style pizza I’ve ever had is a tiny independent place called J. Alberto’s…its in Roger’s Park so it would be a bit of a trek from downtown but it is right off the Red Line Morse stop so it would be easy to get to transit-wise. Sometime it pays to get out into the neighborhoods and see a different part of the city all while having some of the best pizza in town.

    Why don’t you do a pizza tour while you are here in Chi-town and report back to us your favorites?

    Anyways, hope you enjoy your time here in Chicago!

    PS. If you ever find yourself in Nebraska (my home state) try Valentino’s pizza. I would reccomend the original location in Lincoln off Holdrege street as the best, but the satellite location aren’t too bad either.

    Thanks for the hints, Lindsay. Not sure a pizza tour is in the KA budget, though – any traveling we do is pretty much work-work-work-sleep-work-work…. I ma be able to get to one pizza place – I’ll just have to choose from the wide array. And – you must miss your Nebraska pizza, huh? There’s no place like home… PJH

  65. cindy leigh

    oh, this is an adventure! Decided to forego thin crust pizza this week and give this a shot. My dough would not stay up the sides of the pan- too slack I guess. BUT, I’ve got to get daughter out of the house and to a school function in less than an hour! What to do?! I placed a piece of parchment over the dough, topped with a slightly smaller pan, and prebaked the crust as directed. Perfect! It formed a nice “side”. I’ll let you know how the whole thing comes out! Happy Friday!!

  66. cindy leigh

    oh my gosh it was awesome! Daughter and husband loved it. Used a whole wheat sourdough with high maize and flax, half a lb of sausage, some turkey pepperoni, and mushrooms on my part. Used low fat cheese. Small can of diced tomatoes instead of large, cuz my family is not fond of tomato chunks. They told me this is a keeper and it didn’t totally kill my diet or cost me a fortune for takeout. Thanks for the nice recipe!

    Thanks for sharing your tweaks, Cindy – always interesting. PJH

  67. Marianna

    My husband lamented the loss of our local Uno as we drove past the boarded up building last night. I told him not to be sad, that I had a plan! Well, this evening I made this recipe for dinner and the peasants rejoiced! I made it in two nine inch pans and it was delicious. There is even some left over for midnight snacks or BREAKFAST! 😉 THANKS PJ! I got to be a hero saving them from a deep dish drought! Oh, btw I see one of my OTHER favorite websites (CI) has put up a recipe for Chicago style deep dish pizza and it contains cornmeal in the crust too!!! hee hee

    Gosh, KA and CI are either both wrong or both right – I feel like we’re all in good company! Thanks for the news from teh homefront, Marianna – PJH

  68. Hope

    How can I make my pizza crust pizza dough seems stiff, and cannot get it to roll out…do I just keep resting the dough and then push out more…

    Yes, Hope, you can just keep letting it rest, then rolling some more; let it rest for 15 minutes, covered, then come back and try again. You could also make the dough with our Italian-Style Flour, which makes a crust that’s SO soft and extensible, and excellent for thin-crust pizza. And you could try our Easy Roll Dough Improver, which helps the dough relax so you can roll it thin. PJH

  69. wes

    I am on my way to Chicago this weekend–my first time there. I hope that I get to sample some real Chicago deep dish after reading about it here. And then I’ll come back, and try making some of my own.

    Enjoy the Windy City and all the taste test adventures it offers! Irene @ KAF

  70. Anna

    Sent from Kerrville, TX Wonderful recipe, and mostly good comments; my eyes glazed over before I read all the way to the bottom. No work here today: we are having a spinach deepdish from Giordanos which an incredibly generous friend sent us (frozen) for Christmas. He sent two (won the lottery?) and we had one in January and can’t wait for tonight to have #2. Giordanos does a great job of shipping…arrived in perfect condition and frozen solid. YUM…

  71. Beck

    I make a Chicago pizza weekly, have been for years. This recipe sounds pretty good, will try it out. Here are a few things I do that differs from this recipe.
    I use 2 large cans of diced tomatos instead of one. I season them with an Italian seasoning blend, garlic, and about a teaspoon of sugar and a about 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar.

    I use about a pound and a half of italian sausage, and if it’s mild or sweet, I will add a touch of red chili flakes.

    My family likes the cheese, so I add more moz on the top, and just when it comes out of the oven I top with parm. To me,m it jsut looks better this way.

    I do not let my crust rise in the pan. I roll it out and put it in there, then start building the pizza. The moz goes down first, I think thats important as it seals the crust and keeps the crust from being mushy. You don’t want a thick crust., and you sure dont want real thick sides – yuck!

    I let the pizza sit about 5 minutes prior to serving, its hard to keep the family calm!

    Thanks for posting your recipe, it has given me a couple of ideas. I will try pouring more olive oil in the pan this weekend.

  72. Deb

    I was just reading through the posts for the featured Deep Dish Pizza. I have printed it and am going to go to a local Italian Deli and purchase a Sicillian Sausage in bulk to attempt a sausage wheel. I will add mushrooms, onion adn spinach.

    I was in Vermont summer before last and visited KA. Is this crust by any chance the crust that is used for pre-made pizza/calzzone sold in the bakery? That was the best crust, and we ate ours cold in the car. LOVED it! I wish we weren’t a half a country away!

    I don’t think they are quite the same recipe. Mary@ KAF

    Not the same – I believe they use an overnight dough, like a lean baguette-type dough (just flour, water, yeast, and salt). We do have plenty of good pizza crust recipes on our site – try our Guaranteed Pizza Crust, which gets a 5-star customer rating. PJH

  73. Debbie

    Recipe sounds great. I vote for Giordano’s, great pizza. They also have locations in the Orlando area. One pizza feeds two people Dinner and breakfast. I’m so jealous of your trip. We live in CA. and miss the Chicago style pizza. Enjoy.

    Thanks for the input, Debbie – I really have to narrow down my choices here… PJH

  74. Ricardo Haurie

    Since I registered in KA I am enjoying your mail and improving my bread making. So, the following is not intended to critic but is rather a question of curiosity. In Naples, where pizza reigns, I never met a pizza with grated parmesan cheese as an ingredient. It seems that this cheese flavor is reserved to pasta sauces as much as mozzarella is for pizza. In the States for some reason the taste for parmesan in pizza is well stablished. Wonder how this came to be. The atmosphere of a pizza parlor feels to us more like that of an Spaguetti restaurant. But in taste preferences, certainly there are not rules.

    Cordially, Ricardo
    Viva la difference! Mary @ KAF

  75. Elmo

    I’d like to try making a sausage and mushroom version. Should I saute the mushrooms first, or just add them raw? And do you recommend fresh mozzerella, or regular? Thanks.

    Elmo, sauté the mushrooms till they lose their liquid; this will help keep your pizza from getting soggy. I used regular mozzarella, but I’d guess fresh would be delicious, too. Enjoy! PJH

  76. Mrs. Something Else

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!…I have been a chef for 27 years for a large wonderful family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get tired of the same old thing and Im sure they do too!!! I made the pizza tonight …well…the reviews were ….this is the best deep dish pizza ever…..gotta love it !!!!!!!!!! thank you !thank you !thank you!..Im wondering if I can find individual size… round pans anywhere….I didnt have the fourteen in …i used 9 inch 🙂 Your in my prayers King Arthur!!!

    Thanks so much for your enthusiasm… I’d think you could find individual round pans at a cake decorating supply store. They have round, 2″ deep pans in sizes ranging from about 3″ on up… PJH

  77. Betty Jo Campnell

    At the Housewares Show could you see if anyone manufactures a hinged, crimped round bread pan for two loaves in which cinnamon swirl bread can be baked? I’ve seen antique ones on Ebay and new 4-loaf capacity for sale on the internet. Would you also know where a Baparoma Steam Baking Master Artisan French Bread pan can be purchased? Thanks.

    i don’t know where a Baparoma can be purchased? Do any of our readers? Mary@ KAF

    We used to sell the steam baker, Betty Jo, but the company went out of business. Haven’t seen anyone else pick up the slack. And I know the hinged pan you’re talking about – it’s ridged, right? Like, concentric rings? It’s a food service bread pan – I think they only make them in 4-loaf or 6-loaf sizes, not 2-loaf. At any rate, they won’t be in Chicago – but I’ll check with our pan manufacturer to see if they have a 2-pan model. – PJH

  78. Helen


    I prepared this recipe for supper tonight, as is, didn’t change anything,
    my family loved it. I even sent some care package to my Mom and sister, they also loved it. This is definately a recipe I will make again many times.

    Great website.


    Great! Thanks for connecting here and sharing your success, Helen. Always nice to discover a new “go-to recipe,” eh? PJH

  79. Katie P.

    I made this pizza for dinner last night. We all loved it! The crust was thick and very tasty. I pre-cooked sweet italian sauage (1/2 #), and used “bag” mozzarella, KAF Pizza Seasoning, and Garlic Oil drizzled on top. It was very filling, too. Definitely a keeper! Thanks so much!

    Good show, Katie – glad you liked it! PJH

  80. Jess

    So a little update after a recent trip to Chicago. When I lived in the NW suburbs, I frequently ate Chicago style pizza, especially Uno’s/Due’s (the real ones), Giordano’s, and Edwardo’s. But I had never made it to Lou Malnati’s. When I was in the city last week, I stayed at a place across the street from Grant Park, and it so happens there is a Lou Malnati’s within walking distance, so I was finally able to try it. My impression? Meh. Yea, it’s good pizza, but I much prefer Due’s and Giordano’s, as well as my downstate favorite, Papa Del’s (which I also sampled on my way home). Oh, and for the record, I detected no cornmeal. Have you tried my stuffed recipe yet?

    PJ, Since you will be in the same area soon, I also highly recommend the tortas at Rick Bayless’ street food restaurant, XOCO in the 400 block of N. Clark. A fantastic meal for under $15. I recommend the Ahodaga, a pork sandwich served with a spicy tomato broth for dipping. And the hot chocolates are amazing. If you go there and have any ideas how to clone the bread for the tortas, I would be forever indebted. The best meal I had in Chicago, even better than my lunch at the Frontera Grill.

    Bought the tomatoes for the pizza yesterday, Jess – need to do some preparation (loading recipe into module, making sausage, etc.) REALLY looking forward to it – thanks again! Thanks for the info. on Lou Malnati’s – maybe I’ll try Giordano’s instead. And I’ll write down your torta recommendation – and consider it a gauntlet thrown down, as a cloning project. Thanks for the suggestions, as always – PJH

  81. Mike (formerly from Chicago)

    Having lived in Chicago in the 60’s and 70’s, and having enjoyed many great pizzas while there, I use both corn meal and semolina in my pizza dough, and also make my own sauce. There are several different styles of pizza in Chicago, but the TV shows always seem to focus on the Big 4 names. The lesser-known places were usually better, less crowded, and far less expensive.

    When we’ve been back to Chicago in recent years, the pizzas have been generally disappointing at those ‘name’ establishments, most which have too many locations to have good quality control in any of them. :sigh:

    Alice, try running HOT water through the pump of your oil spritzer, mine stops misting every now and then (just squirting a thin stream of oil) and that always fixes it.

    Thanks for the tips and good advice, Mike – PJH

  82. Jess

    For the record, my opinion on Lou Malnati’s does not appear to be in the majority, as many consider it the Holy Grail of deep dish (do a search at My friends who went with me (all new to Chicago deep dish) loved it. It was a good pizza. And it was still 1000x better than anything I can get here in TN. I just prefer Giordano’s. As for making the sausage, it is just a matter of mixing spices and ground pork. No cases required, Chicago deep dish is generally made with bulk Italian sausage, either in a thin disk that covers the entire crust or in chunks. Also, no precooking required, it cooks along with the pizza, and since I use a pretty lean pork, it does not get greasy.

    I will be anxiously awaiting a clone of the XOCO bread. It was like a mild sourdough with the perfect crunchy crust. And the spicy tomato broth for dipping was amazing. And you HAVE to try the hot chocolate. They grind the cacao beans on the premises for a traditional Mexican hot chocolate. Go for the spiced one made with water rather than milk. The ones with milk are almost like drinking a cup of brownie batter! It is super rich but fantastic with the fresh churros. We went there for lunch but they have soups after 3 pm, so you it would make a great, very reasonably priced dinner.

    I read a review of it online, Jess – hopefully by the time I get there the crowds will have died down a bit. They did mention that sandwich you referred to, as “in your face salty/acidic” – aggressively flavored/textured. I can go for that! Thanks again – PJH

  83. Jess

    For lunch, we got there at 11 and had no problems with lines. We also got churros and hot chocolate to go after lunch the day we ate at Frontera Grill next door, and although there was a line, it moved pretty quickly. We were in and out in 10 minutes or so, at about 1 pm. For takeout, it would definitely be quick, there is a separate line (but no Ahodaga take out). I would expect it would be fine for an early dinner as well. Frontera Grill for dinner, forget it, the dinner lines start at 4 for a 5 pm seating, and only 20% of their tables are reserved, and you need to make reservations 2-3 MONTHS in advance.

    I was impressed with the attention to detail as far as presentation and service at both restaurants. Even though XOCO is “street food” and supposed to be rustic, they were wiping up edges of plates and paying the same attention to presentation as they do at the more expensive sister restaurants. The service at both places was also excellent – everyone is willing to spend time answering questions, without making you feel rushed. Kudos to Bayless for his choice of employees.

  84. Mike (formerly from Chicago)

    Jess, where in TN? I visit Crossville TN frequently and there’s a SURPRISINGLY GOOD pizza place there called Gondola.

    PJ, have you experimented with Pizza Bread recipes? When I was living in Chicago/Evanston we frequently went to Gullivers on Howard and that was the best thing on the menu, people would place their orders for it while waiting for a table. (I’m told by friends in the area that new owners changed the recipe to use cheaper ingredients, sadly.)

    Mike, describe pizza bread for me, would you? I see it on their menu “Pizza Bread with meat or marinara, $4.25” – but what is it? PJH

  85. Missy

    OMG PJ, Its 4am and i am soooo craving this! The pics and your instructions are always soooo wonderful, and I love the sounds of this dough! It sounds perfect! I wish I could remember the name of the place in Lincoln Park area where i had my one and only true Chicago Deep Dish, it was amazing! Unos is good too….

    Thanks for this, I cannot wait to try it! We are getting married on Sunday, maybe I will make it for my hubby on Monday! :O)

    Have fun in March! Can’t wait to read about your travels and adventures! be well!

    MISSY- CONGRATULATIONS! Best of luck Sunday, hope everything goes beautifully and perfectly. And pizza Monday – wedding, pizza, ah, it just doesn’t get any better than that… 🙂 PJH

  86. Sharon

    Just got back from Lou Malnati’s for dinner. PJH, try the buttercrust on a Thursday or Friday. I don’t know why but on those days it seems to be the best (we eat there often). Uno’s and Gino’s East are also delicious. The spinach sticks at Gino’s are yummy!

  87. Eileen

    Thanks for the great recipe! Her’re my housewares show requests:
    I’d like the individual bun/hoagie pans QuilterKnitterBaker asked for at:

    …or at least a multi pan no bigger than 12″ x 12″. Right now we only have a countertop oven and most of your standard pans won’t fit. Shorter baguette pans would be especially helpful!!!
    · timer with two channels whose time selection numbers are entered from a number pad not an up/down arrow
    · Oil mister that works over the long haul
    · Breadbox with clear front that can be mounted up under cabinet or other arrangement so bread will be seen and eaten before going bad, modern or at least transitional styling a plus
    · taller baking pans in general (very helpful for GF baking!)

    Thanks, Eileen – good suggestions, and noted. PJH

  88. tim

    I have always baked deep-disk pizza in a cast iron pan. It works very well. I’ve never oiled it but will try that for flavor. The pans are well-seasoned so the pizza doesn’t stick at all.

    I’ve lived in Michigan for 30+ years now and was amused to find the “Michigan” hot dogs in northern New York state – I first saw them in a diner near Massena. It’s a lot like what we call a Coney dog here in Detroit, though we grill the dog rather than steam it. The meat sauce is chili (no beans). It’s always served with onions and mustard.


    My comment is not about the pizza recipes but is about the Housewares show. I did the show about 10 years ago and came home like a pack rat with every tool in the world. My suggestion is a more practical one – WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!! AND HAVE A BALL I KNOW I DID.

    You’re right on both counts, Jamie 🙂 PJH

  90. New Items...

    I think edible wafer paper would be a great addition to your catalog….even if just during the holidays. It is such a versatile item for all kinds of things…yet almost impossible to find. And to go with, maybe edible inks.

    My $0.02.


  91. erinbishop

    Olive oil goes in the bottom of the pan sprinkled with cornmeal. The cornmeal is not actually in the dough. Then you put the dough in the pan and stretch it out towards the sides and up them. you may have to let the dough rest as you are pressing out if you are making a larger pizza. The oil and cornmeal will give it a crunchy bottom.

  92. drwho5

    I haven’t made this pizza but would like to know of if i could simply substitute the deep dish pan for a pizza stone? thanks,


    Actually you can’t use a stone for this – it needs to be made in a pan. Also, its crust really doesn’t lend itself to baking on a stone; it’s a somewhat softer, more buttery crust… So a pan is exactly the right choice. PJH

  93. maemae

    It might be nice if the 14″ deep dish pan had a removable bottom, like spring form pans or tart pans have. That way you can just set it on a large can and the side will just lower to the counter. Sliding the pizza across the bottom of the pan onto the cooling rack may be easier than trying to “lift” a heavy and large pie onto the cooling rack, (even with a large spatula) particularly when it is still hot and gooey. Just a thought…

    That does sound like a good idea. I think you are onto something! Elisabeth

  94. sugarbeetn

    We made this yesterday afternoon and it was just fabulous. Did not have any problems removing it from the pan to cool. The crust is amazing…yum. My son ate the leftovers for breakfast today! Thanks for the recipe and step by step pictures.

    We aim to please! 🙂 PJH

  95. piamsud

    this is delicious. Somehow i messed up with the flour and only used 3 cups instead of 4, but that was enough for 2 x 12 inch pans. my family just loved it. i made the vegetarian version with lots of caramelized veggies. it’s definitively a keeper

    1. norm teachman

      I don’t know where Steve got his info from, but as a life-long Chicagoan, AND a life-long pizza lover,… I’m here to tell you, cornmeal is certainly in the mix. In Chicago, even the old school thin crusts have corn meal sprinkled on the bottom of the baking pan. I haven’t tried this recipe yet , [it’s mixing as I type]..but I ‘ve made enough deep-dish to think this is going to be a winner! Steve, go to lou malnoti’s, pizzeria uno and any other northside pizzeria……cornmeal!! here’s to good eating!!!

  96. steve

    This recipe is entirely wrong–what you will get is bread with tomato sauce and cheese. First of all, there never has been cornmeal is Chicago deep-dish pizza. Authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza dough depends on two things: lots of oil (3 tablespoons per 1 cup flour) and a short kneading time ( 1 minute mix and 2 minutes to knead). Then a long rise.

    Steve, there’s been a lot of back-and-forth on this post; thanks for adding yours. PJH

    1. bptr

      The Old Chicago restaurants all across the country use corn meal in their crusts and they are great.

  97. pjmaas

    As a former Chicago resident that has been a Texas transplant since 1978, I was thrilled to receive a deep dish pizza pan as a Christmas present this year. Chicago style pizza is my favorite food in the world, and because Texans still think that pizza is something only consumed at children’s birthday parties and it’s all terrible, I put this recipe to the test tonight. I was NOT disappointed! This is terrific and got rave reviews from my entire family. I don’t much care if cornmeal is authentic or not. If it tastes good to you, use it! I will be making this again and again, I am certain. I don’t get to the Windy City as often as I used to since my folks have both passed on, and I lament not being able to indulge in Lou Malnati’s. But now I can make something almost as good at home. Now all I need is some decent Italian Sausage, as Texans don’t know diddly squat about what that is at all. I think I will try making my own. Texans may know chili, but they don’t know beans (pun intended) about making pizza. Thanks KAF!

    SO glad to hear this was a success for you! And thanks for sharing your comments here. Have you seen our recipe for stuffed pizza? It includes a recipe for homemade sausage… very easy and delicious. Enjoy – PJH

  98. pjmaas

    Thanks for the tip about the sausage. I tried it out for tonight’s pizza, and it is excellent! I tried a couple other things as an experiment as well. Since I work full time, and still have to come home to feed a hungry family of four at the end of the day, it’s tough to keep the wolves at bay if you are making pizza dough. So I mixed up the dough the night before and put it through the first knead, and then ‘retarded’ it by covering my bowl of un-risen mixture in the refrigerator overnight. The dough still rose, though more slowly. When I got home from work today, I took it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about an hour and a half. Then I followed the rest of the recipe as directed, though I needed one additional 15 minute period of stretch and rest. The dough did not rise as much overnight in the fridge as it did for me at room temperature in 60 minutes, so it was a bit more dense and elastic, and was a tad more difficult to work with. However, when I baked it, the consistency and crunch were perfect! The dough, when allowed to mellow overnight, gained a wonderful, rich flavor. I’m not sure I really saved any time doing it this way, but my family agreed that we like the overall results better. I also mixed the sausage the night before, to blend the flavors better. I flattened the raw sausage very thin, and laid patches of it across the entire top of the cheese layer, added some sauteed mushrooms and onions, and then the sauce and Parmesan. I baked the pie an extra 5-8 minutes to insure the sausage was cooked through. I think as long as your ground pork or sausage is lean, you won’t have problems with excessively greasy pizza. My second pie came out even better than the first!

    Ah pizza night! My family and I held a massive pizza night while we were all home for Christmas. I ended up making four different doughs with various flours and processing methods. Our favorite was a thicker crust BBQ pork pizza we made using shredded pork, BBQ sauce, onions and green peppers. Delicious! – kelsey

  99. Flupie

    I made this tonight and the kids LOVED it. I was shocked because they tend to be pickey eaters. I used a 9 inch cake pan and froze the other half of dough. One thing I did differently was I used marinara sauce from a jar on top, but I put it in a pot and reduced it while the crust was rising. Great recipe! We will try again!

    Cost of ingredients: ?… Pleasing picky eaters? Priceless! 🙂 PJH

  100. Chi-town

    If you’re back in Chicago, go to a Lou Malnati’s. Skip Uno’s and Gino’s, Lou’s is where it’s at!!

  101. salem1a

    I made this last night and it was great! Unfortunately my husband and I only ate about 1/3 of it and am wondering if anyone has ever frozen the dough? I am going to look for individual sized pans. Thanks so much for recipe!

    I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze the dough. Let it rise once in the bowl, then deflate, and wrap airtight in plastic, then in aluminum, then put the whole thing in a zip-top plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Enjoy – PJH

  102. lennycubfan

    I always use semolina in my pizza dough. With a little semolina the dough has less bounce back when you are stretching it. I’m going to make this recipe but will sub out 1/2 cup of semolina for the AP.

    The thing about Chicago deep dish pizza (which is not to be confused with stuffed or simply thick crust pizza) is a special treat when properly made but most pizza restaurants, even in Chicago, don’t get it right. I think Geno’s East is the most consistent of the big names.

    Now here’s a fact that may surprise some of you, most Chicagoans eat thin crust pizza.

    Thanks for the tip, Lenny – Chicago deep-dish pizza certainly can generate a lot of opinions! I like adding semolina to pizza dough, too – it gives it a nice color, aside from its other attributes. So – how are the cubs going to do this year?? 🙂 PJH

  103. lennycubfan

    PJH, the Cubs are going all the way this year, I can feel it in my bones 😉

    I don’t know if it’s too late to ask you to look for a gadget or pan at the housewares show, but I would like to see a real hot dog bun pan (not the New England style pan).

    Sorry, Lenny, they’re already back from the show. But I’ll pass your request along- and, as the niece and cousin of long-time (since the 1920s) Cub fans, I’m sending the Cubbies good karma (unless they meet the Red Sox in the World Series, then all bets are off!) 🙂 PJH

  104. andre4104

    Let me add to the recommendations for Papa Del’s in Champaign. Their recipe would be of particular interest to King Arthur because their crust is much more bread-like than the Uno/Malnati style from Chicago. The claim is that Dels is a family recipe from Sicily, but it’s the thickest, breadiest pan pizza I’ve ever experienced. And also the best. The custom cheese blend and tart garlic and thyme flavored sauce combine perfectly with the sweet bread crust — without being fat heavy like the recipe in this article.

    The Dels crust is pretty much a classic bread recipe, with overnight proofing that results in a strong alcohol side-effect — the employees call ’em dough hits when they punch the dough down and inhale. Del’s ships semi-baked pies worldwide, so the results can be sampled out east. Searching online will show that it is a highly regarded midwest specialty. I’ve been trying to reproduce the dough recipe, getting close with online tips, but still not copied perfectly yet. The sauce and cheese are their own challenges as well.

    Sounds like you are willing to go the distance – meaning you’ll try again and again to get the results you see in your mind’s eye. That’s terrific as long as you keep track of the changes should you reach your own pizza nirvana – then you can repeat the excellent results. We hope you continue to enjoy the journey. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  105. Joekun

    Early in the comments PJH mentioned trying to interest Zojirushi in a different type of bread kneading machine. You should ask them about the models they sell in Japan. They’re expensive, but have a lot more features, including the ability to granually control just about everything the machine does for custom recipes (they call this the “homemade course” feature). It would be awesome if KAF could get them to bring over an advanced model like the BB-KT10 for the KAF Store.

    I’ll pass this along to our product development team – thanks! PJH

  106. aprilbee

    I can’t wait to try this! I am an east coaster who moved to the Chicago a few years ago and had a similar take on deep dish on arrival. Well, that was, until I went to Pequod’s, where, to my delight, I had some of the best pizza of my life. Next time you come, please try to check it out: Gorgeous, gut busting deep dish that might give you some new ideas!

  107. Todd March

    This is by far the best Chicago deep dish recipe I have found. I have tried several (mainly we are talking crust recipes), and this one comes out great and buttery and slightly biscuit like (like my favorite Chicago type pizza) every time. I perfected my Naples style Neapolitan in a wicked hot (800F) oven, and make great regular take out style pizza, but Chicago have been tricky. This recipe really does nail that cornmeal-butter crust so popular with many in Chicago. Kudos to PJH for the great work on excellent recipe!

    I make it with sausage and bell peps and onions and mushrooms (veggies sautéed first to remove water), and the end result is delicious! My Californian friends love this pizza—most have never had this sort of Chicago pizza, but they really enjoy it. A winner!

    Todd, thanks so much for sharing your success (and enthusiasm!) here – much appreciated. Now I WANT A PIECE OF PIZZA… 🙂 PJH

  108. bibiswas

    Fantastic pizza! Followed directions to the T (almost – did not have KAF AP at home, used KAF Bread flour instead) and the outcome was out of this world. Never thought I could like the crust quite this much. I did not have the recommended 14″ pan, used two 9″ cake tins instead. Great results indeed.

    It’s a very different crust, isn’t it? I love it, too. Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm here! PJH

  109. peaceland

    What a PIE! I posted a picture and comment on Facebook – but wanted to add here that this was the best “baking adventure” I’ve been on for a while. Authenticity wasn’t an issue for me…being a rural central VA girl (Appomattox, ring a bell?) – I’ve never experienced a classic Chicago deep dish pie. I’ve made pizza for over 40 years – so I might be set in my ways (with all the websites and blogs – I learn more all the time) …but this recipe provided fantastic results with new delicious options for more pizza making. I’m anxious to try it again and work with the crust a little more. I loved the diced tomatoes – gave such a great flavor (w/KAF pizza seasoning and about 1 teaspoon of the sugar) (I dry sauteed some onions and green pepper for my qtr of the pie, too). My husband prefers bulk country type sausage – so that was on his 3/4 part. Did everything else as the recipe called for. As always – thanks for much for all that King Arthur Flour and it’s staff does for us home bakers!!! I’m going to take another adventure soon – why should I keep baking the same thing, except that they’re all good!

    Love love LOVE your enthusiasm! Isn’t it satisfying to find a new recipe, try it, and be able to add it to your arsenal of favorites? AND to plan the personal tweaks you’ll make next time. Thanks so much for connecting here – PJH

  110. Geoff Male

    I’ve been making pizza for over 40 years, but I’ve never made or bought one better than Giordanos. What a wonderful pizza! I’m basically a bread baker, and bake a few loaves once or twice a week. I’d like to get into baking some of these fancier things you guys talk about, but I never do. I’ve tried pastry, but it never seems to turn out right. King Arthur has always been my favourite flour, and while I sometimes put a little spelt or rye or something in with it, the regular unbleached is the best! Thanks so much for your great product.

    And thanks for your kind words, Geoff – so good to hear from a fellow bread-baker. I love baking with yeast – spent all day writing about sourdough, yummm…. PJH

  111. holyoak35

    I found a recipe that you make a yeast dough let it rise then roll it out to a12x15 rectangle and spread it with 1/4lb of softened butter roll it up jelly roll style. flatten it out seam side down to a 18x4inch cylinder cut this in half work with half at a time fold into thirds letter style pinch the seams together and form into a ball repeat with the other half put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap let rise in fridge for about an hour (doing this will harden the butter) roll out the dough and fit it into 2 9in cake pans that have been well oiled and make your Pizza similar to flaky pastry….buttery and flaky really good

    Wow, that sounds really tasty – I imagine the cheese topping can be rather low-key with all that butter. I’m definitely trying this sometime – thanks! PJH

  112. bwcarson

    I bought my husband the pizza pan from KA for his birthday this week and as I type this, he is in the kitchen making this recipe. Can barely wait for dinner! We LOVE Chicago and the pizza there. Lou Malnati’s is our favorite but Gino’s East is also good.
    What is the name of the place you referred to in your initial post that had the bad imitation? We want to steer clear of there next trip to Chicago.

    Sorry, I have no clue the name of the original place I had Chicago deep-dish pizza… it’s lost in the mists of memory! PJH

  113. MikeG

    I’m new to making pizzas. I’ve been using the pizza stone I got from King Arthur, and making my dough from scratch and my wife has made me vow to never again buy store-bought doughs again.

    I’ve just purchased your deep dish pizza pan and am eager to make this recipe, but step 1 has stopped me cold: I do not own a stand mixer or a bread machine. I have a hand-held mixer, and a pair of hands. Is there a way I can still use your recipe without either of the machines you listed?

    Thank you.

    Sure, Mike. You can knead this dough with your hands; better yet, your hands and a bowl scraper, if you have one, which makes the job easier. Just knead until the dough is smooth and soft, like the picture. And if you feel like you can’t get it as smooth as the picture, add another rise after the first; the dough will continue to develop/smooth out as it rests/rises. Enjoy! PJH

  114. Peter J. Fusco

    To make the dough easier to spread in your pizza pan, use vegetable shortening instead of oil. Give the pan a nice coating all the way around and up the sides too (of course). The crust will turn out nice, brown and crunchy on the bottom and sides just the way it’s supposed to.
    Neat idea, I never thought to do this with pizza. Thanks for sharing! ~ MaryJane

  115. steve

    I would say that if you’re going to make Chicago deep dish pizza, then you may as well do it correctly! This recipe wil not duplicate Chicago deep dish, which depends on two factors: lots of oil and a short kneading time. This is the way to achieve the famous biscuit-like crust–just as a biscuit depends on a lot of fat and a short kneading time, so does Chicago deep dish. otherwise you will get bread. Also, there is no–and never has been–cornmeal in Chicago deep dish. This seems to be an Internet myth started years ago by the circulation of a false recipe. The crust’s golden color comes from food coloring.

    So a good formula is 3 Tablespoons of oil (usually corn oil, which gives a buttery flavor) to every cup of all-purpose flour (some restaurants use cake flour), then 1 minute to mix, and no more than 2 minutes to knead. Let the dough rise a long time (4-8 hours).

    It’s up to you, but why not do it right if you’re going to do it?

    Deep Dish Pizza Done Right – thanks for sharing your how-to tips. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  116. Nick Green

    I recently acquired a Zojirushi bread maker. The dough cycle takes about 90 minutes. However, your recipe calls for 7 minutes using a stand mixer.

    Do you think the longer cycle on my bread maker would be okay?


    It sounds like your dough cycle is including the rising time for the dough as well, if possible I would take the dough out after 1 hour of rising.-Jon

  117. "Erin@TexanerinBaking"

    This year I’ve started a new tradition. Deep dish pizza on New Year’s Eve! But only with this recipe. Why try another when this is perfect? I made it with 1/2 whole spelt. No problem there! I live in Germany and we definitely don’t have deep dish over here so this recipe is awesome to have. Thank you very much! I only made half the recipe but ate 2/3 by myself. But I couldn’t help it as I was deep dish pizza deprived. 😉

    And I’ll definitely use the springform pan tip next time!

    Glückliches neues Jahr, Erin – and enjoy that pizza! 🙂 PJH

  118. Indira

    Thanks for sharing. Looking for this base for yonks. A nona client Francesca said she used cold white wine & omit the yeast for her delicious brunch version of quiche Loraine. Enjoy!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I would suggest to freeze the crust after it has par baked. Then it can be filled right before it is needed for the best result!-Jon

  119. Sheila

    Hello! I tried making your pizza last week initially with a dough hook and totally screwed it up. Does that special flour you use make a huge difference? Can All-Purpose flour be used instead?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I do believe this recipe actually calls for all purpose flour. What exactly happened to your dough?-Jon

  120. Sue

    I purchased the 12″ deep pizza pan. My problem is this…….when I bake the crust it bubbles up quite a bit. Can you tell me why and what can I do better the next time?
    Thank you much

  121. MicheleK

    I love Chicago deep dish pizza and have been fortunate to dine on the real deal. I will be making this pizza as a surprise for my Chicago born boyfriend. His favored pizzerias do a rectangular pizza. What would be the best size rectangular pan(s ) for doing this pizza? Thank you!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Actually, using my geometry I find that the area of a 14″ round pan is 153 sq. inches. And I deduce the closest equivalent would be two 9″ x 9″ square pans, or a 9″ square and 8″ square. A 9″ x 13″ wouldn’t be large enough; and you need something with a deep rim, so you can’t really use a 10″ x 15″ jelly roll pan, since it’s only 1″ deep. Good luck, and enjoy! PJH

  122. bptr

    Sorry PJ, but authentic Deep-dish pizza is always served in the deep dish pan. If it gets soggy, you did something wrong.

    1. Amy Trage

      Thanks for the feedback, I think the suggestion to remove the pizza from the pan is just to ensure optimum crispness. Certainly anyone may choose to serve it as they wish. ~Amy

  123. J.C.

    1. I made this.

    2. It was incredible.

    3. I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

    4. I’m not upset at number 3 since it gives me a reason to make it again (for the rest of the house).

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Wow, J.C. – what’s the opposite of faint praise? I think this pizza earned it! Glad you enjoyed it AND that you’ll be sharing it in the near future! 🙂 PJH

  124. susan sutherland

    I made this today and the 4 cups of flour seems like it was not enough. I actually made a double recipe and carefully measured everything in doubling. My dough looks great as it is raising, and I’m sure it will be good, but I was much closer to 6 cups of flour (12 for the double recipe) than 4. Has anyone else had this problem?? I didn’t read all the comments, because many were not about making the dough, but comments on deep-dish pizza in general.
    I am a very successful home yeast baker and have taken classes at Zingerman’s Bake in Ann Arbor. I’m not a novice, but an intermediate/advanced home baker.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It may be that your kitchen was very humid, and the recipe needed a bit more flour to firm it up! However, sometimes doubling a recipe can extrapolate minor mismeasurements. Using a scale might help when working with large batches. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  125. Holly Greene

    Would refrigerating the dough over night be worthwhile? If so, what steps should I take the next day that may differ from the instructions given?
    Thank you!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Refrigerating the dough overnight is a step you should take only if you are looking to save some time on Pizza Night. If you’d like to do this, you can prepare the recipe as written through the first 60 minute rise and then gently deflate the dough, shape it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. The next day take it out and let it warm slightly (about 15 minutes at room temperature) before your try stretching it out into your pan. You may need to take a few periodic rest periods if the crust starts to snap back. Once it is in the pan and slightly puffy, you can proceed with your cheese and toppings–be prepared for some deep-dish magic to appear! Kye@KAF

  126. Glenn

    Loved reading all of the different ideas and opinions. Tried a lot of them. My taste went with removing the cornmeal from the dough and sprinkling a little bit on the bottom of the pan before spreading the dough. I also added some homemade tomato sauce to the crushed tomatoes. I scaled the recipe by dividing by 4 and used a 9″ Lodge cast iron skillet for the pan. Baked in 20 minutes. Made more than enough for my girlfriend and I. Although somewhat overbearing with his presentation of his opinion, Steve’s suggestion turned out to be good one of less manipulation of the dough and much longer rising time. Although not relevant to this recipe, however I have a question that I hope someone might be able to answer about thin crust pizza dough. I grew up in Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania and always frequented a local pizza parlor named Apollo Pizza. Best crust I ever tasted. But I’ve never been able to duplicate the taste. If anyone has any FYI or suggestions about Apollo Pizza crust I would love to hear about it. Thank you for a very informative blog.

  127. anon

    This is not even close to the correct recipe–why you keep publishing this is beyond my comprehension. Authentic Chicago deep dish pizza does not have–and never has had–cornmeal as an ingredient (this seems to based on a incorrect recipe that was promulgated on the Internet years ago). The biscuit-like texture of authentic Chicago deep dish pizza depends on two factors: lots of oil and a very short knead time. So: use AP flour and nothing else; use 3 Tablespoons of oil (most pizzerias use corn oil) to 1 cup AP flour; mix for 1 minute and knead for 1-2 minutes. proof the yeast first. let rise for 4 hours. Do not cook sauce.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bubs, you could probably increase the pizza crust recipe by 25% and then just add a bit more sausage and cheese to extend the filling. Barb@KAF

  128. Susan

    This recipe looks like it makes a good pizza, but it is not comprable to Chicago deep dish pizza. People often think that there is cornmeal in the crust, but in fact there is not. However, corn oil is the primary oil used. And of course, cornmeal is sprinkled on the surface of the oven, and then the pizza is baked over it. This helps to ensure that the pizza slides smoothly when it is removed from the oven.

  129. Karen

    This was excellent. We’re a true New England family of RI’ers so we aren’t nit picky about if there is cormeal or not in “real” deep dish, etc. Now, don’t get us started on chowdah or fish n chips, then you’re looking for the nit picking. This made a wonderful deep dish in our cast iron pan. I made a pizza I used to get a lot at Uno’s called Four Cheese with Pesto. It uses feta, muenster, Romano, and mozzarella. Delicious!! Thank you for the great recipe.

  130. John Gatewood

    I’ve made this recipe twice. It turned out great. I have always made the dough with cornmeal even for a standard pizza. It makes the dough crunchy and it tastes great. Both times i had difficulty with getting the dough to line the sides of the skillet. The dough ends up being too thick (in my opinion) but everyone thought they were great.

  131. Fran

    This is great I can’t wait to try it! I’ve been trying to find a recipe to replicate (at least somewhat) the Uno’s multigrain crust. I think with the cornmeal you use and if I throw in some sunflower seeds and maybe millet or chia or something, it might have that nice grainy, gritty texture that I love! Thanks for posting this!


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