Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza

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Oh, my. I wanted to make a Valentine's dinner for the family. I've had this cute little heart-shaped springform pan for years, so I decided to try to make stuffed pizza in it. If you've never had Chicago-style pizza (like Gino's East or Nancy's), you are missing something great. It's a deep dish pizza with a biscuit-like, yeasty crust layered with cheese, toppings, and sauce, in that order. The cheese is sliced, not shredded, and it's about as thick as the crust. The sauce is thick and rich, too.

I decided to aim for a Gino's East type of pizza, since I figured there would be some copycat recipes online. I ended up combining a few purportedly authentic recipes, though I did leave out the yellow food coloring that gives Gino's pizza its distinctive color. The secret ingredient is cream of tartar, the additive that gives snickerdoodles cookies their unusual texture.

The verdict? Success on the first attempt (she said humbly). The crust was not as greasy as the restaurant version because I just sprayed the pan instead of coating it with oil or butter. If you want the full effect, have at it.

I had leftover dough because my springform pan was smaller than a 10-inch round, so I just discarded it (it wasn't enough to make another pizza).

Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza
1 cup water
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup corn oil mixed with a 1/2 T. olive oil (just pour a little olive oil in the bottom of your 1/3 measuring cup, then top off with corn oil) I used vegetable oil, but use corn if you can
1 T sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups bread flour
Toppings: vegetables, pepperoni, cooked and crumbled sausage

Cheese: 8-10 ounces of mozzarella, preferably sliced

14 oz. crushed tomatoes (usually come in 28 oz. cans - use half, or double recipe and freeze extra sauce for next time)
1/2 t. olive oil
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
Parmesan/Romano cheese, grated

In a bowl, put water (lukewarm), then yeast, oil, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar. Mix by hand until yeast dissolves. Then, pour in bread flour a little at a time. Mix with by hand or with a dough hook on a stand mixer. Knead it until it gets firm. Add more flour if needed. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Then, roll it into a ball, and put it in a bowl with oil brushed in the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. You can let it rise all day if you want, or put it in the refrigerator overnight for a slower rise.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Mist or brush a 10-inch springform pan or a round cake pan with olive oil or butter. Put dough into pan and press it up the sides of the pan. You'll have to press it up a few times because it will want to slide back down.
Mix sauce ingredients together.
Lay slices of cheese on crust. Layer toppings over cheese. Spread sauce over toppings, not quite reaching the edge of the crust. Sprinkle parmesan or romano cheese on sauce, if desired.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Finish at 425 for 5 minutes to thicken sauce and brown crust. Let pizza rest for a few minutes before removing springform pan sides and cutting.


Alison... said...

omg, that's looks unbelievably good.

I've been dying for pizza!

now I really want some and it's 8 AM.

Great job and very creative.

Kristen said...

that looks wonderful - did you see the how i met your mother repeat episode last night about chicago stlye pizza? it made me think of the many wheaton visits - which are mainly food memories (and swf) - LOL - i wonder if that little popcorn ally is still there...

Stephanie Carnes said...

I saw that ep when it was on the first time and totally thought of Gino's. I miss the popcorn shop!

Debbie (NDM #129) said...

Oh my gosh, Stephanie! That looks SO GOOD! I may have to try this!!!!

Stephanie Carnes said...

You should make it, Debbie - I'm sure "tua famiglia" would love it!

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