Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1¾ teaspoons salt
2¾ teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or salad oil
1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
¾ lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup pepperoni pieces
28-ounce can plum tomatoes, lightly crushed; or 28-ounce can diced or chopped tomatoes
2 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced, optional
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 to 2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning or mixed dried Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary), to taste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle on top
To make the crust: Mix the dough ingredients, and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth crust. This will take about 7 minutes at medium-low speed in a stand mixer.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or 8-cup measure (which makes it easy to track its rise), cover, and let rise till very puffy, about 60 minutes.
While the dough is rising, ready your 14" deep-dish pizza pan. Grease it with non-stick vegetable oil spray, then pour in 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, tilting it to cover the bottom of the pan, and partway up the sides.
Stretch the dough to make as large a circle as you can. You can do this on a lightly oiled baking mat, if you choose; or simply stretch the dough in your hands.
Lay the dough in the pan, and stretch it towards the edges till it starts to shrink back. Cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Start preheating the oven to 425°F while the dough rests.
Stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan, then gently push it up the sides of the pan. The olive oil may ooze over the edge of the crust; that's OK. Let the crust rest for 15 minutes or so, as your oven comes up to 425°F.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it's set and barely beginning to brown. While it's baking, prepare the filling.
Drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Combine them with the Pizza Seasoning or herbs, and the garlic and sugar (if you're using them). Add salt to taste; you probably won't need any additional salt if you've used the Pizza Seasoning.
Cover the bottom of the crust with the sliced mozzarella, fanning it into the crust. Add the pepperoni, then the tomato mixture.
Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, and drizzle with the olive oil.
Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack. A giant spatula is a help here. Allow the pizza to cool for about 15 minutes (or longer, for less oozing) before cutting and serving.