I made this for dinner tonight! Yumm!!! It has been YEARS - gosh- can I say - a DECADE since I last had this kind of pizza (at Green Mill, here in MN). Now I feel old. I dont like talking in decades, lol. I have been trying to cook from scratch recently, and this is one of the MANY new recipes my family has been subjected to (though no one complained about this one, lol)
For those who don't know, a Chicago-style pizza has the cheese UNDER the sauce. It came out very light and airy, and I LOVE the tomato chunks in it from the diced tomatoes. I even got to use my own basil from my garden!
I remember having to watch The Frugal Gourmet as a kid. It was one of the cooking shows I think my mom watched. I dont know. We only had 4 or 5 channels. Maybe this was the best thing on. I still remember his pinstriped apron and thinking "frugal" was such a weird word, lol. So, this recipe is based on The Frugal Gourmet's recipe from 1987, or so, but I made some adaptations since things have changed a bit in 22 years...
I'll post my variation of the recipe, but the original is all over the internet, including HERE.
- 1 OR 2 packages rapid rise dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 5 1/2 cups flour
SO here is where I made changes. It tells you to beat the yeast with the liquids but my yeast packet told me otherwise. Since the yeast is so important to making the crust, I felt those instructions trumped the original recipe. I had some extra time this afternoon and some fresh packets of dry yeast, so I thought I'd try it with just one packet. The dough was done rising in two hours, so I think thats a change I will keep. The amount of yeast just affects how long it takes to rise, as I understand it.
SO, in my mixer (with the dough hook, but you could use the whisk) I put the flour (spooned into cup, not scooped out with the cup!), cornmeal and yeast packet and mixed at a low speed for a few minutes while I worked on the liquids.
In a microwaveable bowl, I put the two cups of water and the oils and mixed them together and microwaved it and mixed thoughly before measuring with a candy thermomiter to bring the temp up to 125°.
Then with the DOUGH HOOK in the mixer, add the liquid to the dry ingredients on low speed. Once combined, increase speed slightly, if desired. It will look sticky. But when I stopped the mixer and used a spatula to make sure there was no dry ingredients on the sides, the dough was elasticy and sort-of came away from the bowl side pretty easily, so maybe that is a helpful guide to use on the consistancy. I stirred it for a total of about 5 minutes.
Next is the rise. I plopped it on my clean, lightly floured laminate countertop (my recipe said "plastic" countertop, but mine was fine, lol) and covered it with a big plastic bowl (here, my recipe said METAL bowl) but it didn't matter. It doubled in bulk in a matter of 40 minutes or so. I punched it down and folded it up again, putting a little more flour under it and covered it again. About an hour later I checked it again and it was ready. I don't think I needed to even let it do a second rise, just give it more like 60 minutes and that should be good.
Since we are a family of 4, with small kids, I didn't think I needed to use my big 18" deep dish pan. I used a 9x13 instead. I thought the two cake pans that were suggested would be too small. I put half of the dough flattened out in a floured gallon freezer bag and stuck it in my freezer. Hopefully it will come out ok when I use it in a few weeks.
I oiled my 9x13 pan with a little olive oil and learned the hard way that you should NOT oil the sides. I also sprinkled some cornmeal on the bottom to help the dough not just sit in the oil. I pressed out the dough into a rough rectangle before I put it in the pan and tried my best to keep the though about 1/8 inch thick, as suggested.
Now for the toppings! What makes this pizza so yummy is the cheese UNDER the tomato sauce, so be sure to try it made that way at least once. Here is what you need:
Topping (in order):
- 1/3 pound shredded mozzarella cheese (or sliced)
- 2 cups diced canned tomatoes ( I used some "crushed" as well)
- 1 teaspoon basil (I used my FRESH basil from my garden - yum! -about 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- whatever toppings you like
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I just used more shredded)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil drizzled over top
- Salt to taste (sprinkle a little salt on the crust edges - they were a little bland)
Put these toppings on in this order on the list. Just try it once this way. Its very yummy.
Bake in a 450° oven for about 35-40 minutes, depending on toppings, until golden brown.
I am so excited to can some tomato sauce again this year! I like how you can customize the texture when you can your own and I LOVE the diced tomatoes in it. Hopefully my tomatoes will grow. My goal is to eventually supply ALL the tomato sauce for our meals, but with us eating out less and me cooking from scratch more, I doubt my little garden could handle that.