My deep-dish pizza skills are all thanks to Cook’s Illustrated…without them, I’d have had no clue how to go about making this at home. The recipe I’m going to share turns out pizzas that are very similar to the deep dish type that you’d get at Pizza Hut.
Cook’s original recipe uses the food processor to mix the dough, but I get very annoyed whenever I try to use that instead of my stand mixer(also, my food processor sounds a little wheezy when I try to make it mix stiff yeast dough). So, I do this in my stand mixer, and I just finish up the kneading on the countertop.
Also, their recipe calls for a large deep dish pan. Fortunately for me(since I don’t own one of those!), they also included directions for using two 9-inch cake pans instead. My cake pans are nothing special, but they’ve been working just fine, and I’m thrilled that I don’t have to buy(and store) an enormous deep dish pan.
It’s best to have a pizza stone for this recipe, but if you don’t, never fear…there is a workaround in the recipe. A more condensed version of this recipe(more suitable for printing) is here.
Deep Dish Pizza
1 medium baking potato (about 9 ounces), peeled and quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4 teaspoons table salt
tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and whatever toppings you desire
Heat 1 quart of water to boiling. Add the potato, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
When potato is cool, grate on the large holes of a box grater. Measure 1 cup of lightly packed potato(save any extra for another purpose).
Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast, and salt in a mixer bowl.
Add warm water and two tablespoons oil(the rest is for oiling the pans), and beat for 1 minute. Add grated potato and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add enough remaining flour to make a manageable dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Place dough in a bowl, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Pour two tablespoons of oil into each of two round 9 inch cake pans. Tilt the pans to ensure even oil coverage.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Press each half into a 9 inch round, and gently place into the oiled pans. Cook’s says to let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then pat the dough up the sides of the pan. I have never been able to do this successfully(the oil makes the dough slide right back down!), but the pizzas have been fine. I always try(see below), but the dough just ends up looking sort of messy.
Cover the dough with a wet tea towel, and let it rise for 30 minutes, or until soft and puffy. Meanwhile, place a pizza stone on the lower rack of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can instead place a rimless baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven.
When the crusts have risen, poke them all over with a fork, and place them in the oven on top of the pizza stone or baking sheet, and bake for 5-10 minutes(I usually do 10 minutes), or until lightly browned. This will help the dough to develop some structure so that the toppings won’t make it fall and go flat.
Take the pizzas out of the oven and add tomato sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Bake on pizza stone or inverted baking sheet for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts. I sometimes move the pizza stone to the middle rack of the oven for this, because I have problems with my crust getting too brown if I leave it near the bottom of the oven(my oven tends to be hotter at the bottom than at the top).
Move the pizzas to the top rack of the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese turns spotty brown. Use a knife to loosen the pizzas from the pans, and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.
Excuse the poor lighting on this picture(can you tell I lost my natural light about halfway through the pizza-making process? Summetime is SO much better for taking pictures of dinner recipes!)…I just wanted to include this so that you can see the nice crispy crust this recipe produces. It really does taste just like the deep dish pizza I’ve had at pizza restaurants.
Happy pizza making!