Deep Dish Sausage Pizza
this past July i was lucky enough to marry my best friend. i know. everyone says that. but for me, it’s true. while we were dating i quickly learned that the way to his heart was through food. we both love to eat and cook and he’s not at all a picky eater (one of my biggest pet peeves!). but his true love above all else is…pizza. he eats it cold for breakfast (i just can’t get into that), for a snack, for lunch, and for dinner. if we don’t have dinner planned i know that his suggestion will be, “how about a pizza?”.
i don’t blame him. i mean, pizza is good and all. and since he is from a town in illinois that isn’t too far from chicago i guess he really didn’t stand a fighting chance. kinda like me and tex-mex. it’s in his blood. and i accept that. so much so, that i made him a deep dish pizza the other day. i’ve made pizza lots of times, but never deep dish pizza. never for a deep dish pizza fanatic. i was nervous. i knew i was up against THE maker of deep dish pizza, Gino’s East (if you think another restaurant does it better, i’ll let you take that up with him!).
so after his first bite i was eagerly waiting for the review. we have set-up the 5 star system for grading the recipes i create. i knew that Gino’s was coming in at a strong 5 stars for him so i was really just hoping for 4 or higher. ’cause you see, the crust for deep dish pizza is a little different. it has cornmeal in it, making it lighter and crispier.
and while we are discussing the merits of deep dish pizza, i would like to point out that it was created by a former UT (that’s University of Texas, y’all) player. so once again, Texas proves why it is the greatest state in the history of ever. just sayin’. anyway…back to the pizza. the crust can’t be too thick or too thin. and the cheese goes on the bottom with the sauce on top. looks weird, tastes great.
and i am happy to report Lane’s verdict: tastes amazing…just like Gino’s East! ha! take that Illinois. Texans triumph once again. and we are gracious winners. so…in. your. face.
if you’ve never had deep dish pizza before (or made pizza from scratch) don’t be nervous. you got this! ima walk you through it. the hardest part is getting the temperature of the water just right. you are aiming for a temperature between 110 and 112 degrees farenheit. you can do it. i believe in you.
this makes two pizzas which is perfect because we (mostly Lane) finished off one pizza between the two of us for dinner. i’m not sure what the shelf life of the other pizza is…because we ate the 2nd one for lunch the next day. but i can say it will last for at least 1 day in your fridge. you’re welcome!
- 1 1/4 c. water heated to 110 degrees
- 1 t. honey
- 1 package of yeast
- 3 c. flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 c. cornmeal
- 3 T. EVOO
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 t. EVOO
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cans tomato sauce
- 2 cans tomato paste
- 4 t. oregano
- 1 t. salt
- 2 t. red pepper flakes
- 2 c. cubed mozzarella
- 2 links of turkey sausage (i.e. eckeridge farms), diced
- 1 c. shredded parmesan
- combine water, honey and yeast- let sit for 5 minutes. stir together flour, salt, cornmeal and 3 T. of EVOO. add in water and yeast mixture and stir until combined. put on dough board (or cutting board) and knead 3 to 5 minutes. put in a bowl coated with cooking spray and allow dough to rise 1 1/2 hours.
- while dough is rising, put 2 t. EVOO in a large saucepan over medium heat. add onions and garlic and saute until translucent and tender (5-8 minutes). add diced tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or more (the longer it simmers the better it tastes!).
- once dough has risen, punch down. divide in half. prepare two springform pans or cake pans (9") by spraying with cooking spray and sprinkling with cornmeal. roll out 1 half on a dough board/cutting board sprinkled with flour. arrange crust in pan, wrapping crust over the edges to hold it up. repeat with remaining dough.
- put 1 c. of mozzarella cheese in each pan. top with turkey sausage. pour 1/2 of the sauce over each pizza. bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve to your excited family!