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Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

The Chicago deep dish pizza is by no means your typical Italian pizza – that’s what makes it so special! An upside-down pizza of sorts, this unique pie first layers cheese, Italian sausage, onions and green peppers directly onto thick, crunchy pastry. It’s then finished with a generous layer of rich tomato sauce. Recreate the Chicago classic with our recipe, cooked in an Ooni pizza oven and our cast iron Skillet.

Ooni Cast Iron Skillet Pan
Electric mixer with dough hook

Makes two 9” pizzas

For the dough
380g (13oz) all-purpose flour
24g (2 tbsp) cornmeal
4.6g (1 tbsp) instant dry yeast
3.4g (½ tbsp) sugar
3.4g (½ tbsp) fine sea salt
222g (7.8oz) water 
74g (2.6oz) vegetable oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping
226g (8oz) Classic Pizza Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
½ small onion, finely sliced
½ medium bell pepper, finely sliced
226g (8oz) Italian sausage, crumbled
128g (4.5oz) shredded mozzarella

For the sauce for this pizza, we recommend preparing our easy Classic Pizza Sauce. The recipe will make more than enough for what’s needed to make these pizzas, so any extra can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Prepare the pizza dough ahead of time, at least 2 hours before you want to start cooking your pizza.

Add the dough hook to the electric mixer. In the mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt. 

Place two-thirds of the water in a large bowl. In a saucepan or microwave, bring the other third of water to boil, then add it to the cold water in the bowl. This creates the correct temperature for activating yeast. 

Add the water and oil to the mixing bowl, and mix all the ingredients together on a low speed until the flour is completely absorbed, then continue kneading for 5 minutes. The dough will be ready when it’s smooth and slightly sticky – it will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom of the bowl.

Grease a medium bowl with the tablespoon of melted butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn the dough over to coat it in the butter. Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until it’s doubled in size.

In a pan over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of the olive oil. Sweat the onion with the bell pepper until softened, then add the sausage and sauté until cooked. Set aside.

Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Once it’s preheated, remove the door, and aim for 500˚F (260˚C) on the stone baking board inside. You can check the temperature inside your oven quickly and easily using the Ooni Infrared Thermometer.

Divide the dough in half. Grease your Ooni Cast Iron Skillet Pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the skillet. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

Layer on the toppings, starting with the mozzarella, then the sausage, onion and bell pepper mixture, and finally an even layer of the pizza sauce. 

Place the skillet in the back of the oven for 5 minutes, until the top is golden and the crust is evenly browned, turning halfway through the bake. Move the skillet to the front of the oven and continue baking for another 20 minutes, rotating every few minutes. If the top of the crust looks like it’s browning too fast, turn off the oven, push the skillet to the middle of the oven and attach the door to continue baking the pizza in the residual heat. The pizza is cooked when you can easily lift up the crust using tongs.

Remove the skillet from the oven and let the pizza rest for 5 minutes. To serve, you can either slice it inside the skillet, or pull it out onto a serving board to slice – and enjoy all that saucy, cheesy goodness!

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