Pizza is in heavy rotation on our weekly menu. We’re crust people – and I don’t leave a scrap of it behind. Nothing screws up a good pizza like a bad crust. We’ve gone through several pizza doughs looking for the perfect crust and we always come back to The Usual. We’ve been baking pizza with the Gourmet recipe for nearly 4 years now.
Occasionally, I’ll want to try something different and I stumbled across an old bookmark that provided the perfect opportunity: Deep Dish Pizza. Not just any deep dish – one that promised a far less messy outcome than some of my previous attempts.
I swapped out The Usual for Baking Illustrated’s Basic Pizza Dough. The recipe has been on my radar for a while because I frequently see it baked into all kinds of tasty forms on one of my favorite food blogs, Annie’s Eats. The recipe also conveniently yields enough dough in a single batch to get a deep dish pie on the table for dinner.
I was pleasantly surprised. The bread flour for which the Baking Illustrated recipe calls produced a noticeable difference in texture. I’m not sure that I’m ready to completely give up The Usual but this crust is definitely at least the second best pizza crust recipe we’ve tried.
Deep Dish Pizza
For the dough:
1 3/4 cup warm water, divided
1 tsp sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing bowl and springform pan
4 cups (22 oz) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
For the pizza:
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded fresh mozzarella
Fillings of your choice (we used cooked italian sausage, pepperoni, and pineapple chunks)
Put 1/2 cup warm water into the bowl of your stand mixer and stir in sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let stand until frothy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining water and oil.
Add the flour and salt to the stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low until the flour is combined and then turn up the speed and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl (I remove the dough, oil the stand mixer bowl, and put the dough back in… one less dirty dish). Cover with plastic wrap until it doubles in volume, about 1 Â½ to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into two pieces, about 2/3 and 1/3 in size. Gently form into two balls, cover with a damp cloth, and let the dough relax for ~10 minutes. Assemble a 10-in spring form pan and oil the bottom and inside ring.
Shape the larger piece of dough into a round and drape over the springform pan. The dough round needs to be large enough to cover the bottom and slightly hang over the edges of the pan. Use small pieces from the other dough ball to patch any trouble spots.
Sprinkle 1/3 cheese over the bottom of the pan. Top with the fillings of your choice and cover with half of the remaining cheese. Shape the remaining dough into a round and drape over the springform pan. The dough round should also slightly hang over the edge of the pan. Taking a rolling and roll over the top edge of the springform pan to seal the pizza. Tuck the crust edges around the top of the pizza. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut a few steam holes in the top crust. Spoon pizza sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Remove the pizza from oven and immediately remove the ring from the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.
Yields: 8 wedges
Source: Crust adapted from Baking Illustrated; Springform method from Evil Mad Scientist