Tuesday, June 1

Deep dish pizza

I did a lot of baking this holiday weekend.  We made deep dish pizza for the first time, soft pretzels (totally SAD), and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Somethings. The pizza was a great hit. The pretzels were hit and miss. The CCC Somethings were alright. First the pizza. I will tell you about the other two another time.

 My wonderful DH and I LOVE deep dish pizza. Golden nearly fried edges, thick sauce, stringy cheese,  and plenty of toppings. When we make a pizza for the two of us, there should be leftovers because a few pieces are that filling. We've tried a couple different things. I even contemplated stealing a deep dish pan from a local pizzeria because I finally found one in a store an hour and a half from home and it was too pricey for me buy. (I decided that would not be Christ- like behavior.)

We usually bake our pizza on a stone and that is one of the things that does work really well. Getting pizza out of a stone casserole dish was not something that I was willing to try. Our pizza stone is very used and a wet dough will still stick to it occasionally. The casserole dish is not so ... broken in.
Finally, after wracking my brain, I was inspired to try a spring form pan. I had my doubts. Oil seems to have the amazing capacity to work its way out of anything {time to make a prediction- will it contain everything or no?}.  But we'd give it a go.

We (I) did not go into to this attempt willy-nilly. I have been studying and researching deep dish for a while. I also have worked at a pizzeria and have unveiled a few tricks of the trade. (Unfortunately the pan is one.)  Another is an very long cool double rise. We didn't have that much time, nor do I have a walk in cooler (or refrigerator space) to refrigerate a spring-form pan on a level surface on a regular basis. So we have to make due.

I did use my regular pizza dough recipe, with a few changes. I used half and half white whole wheat. I wanted it to turn out and simply put, white flour is more lenient. I also refrained from soaking the dough. Hopefully through trial I can bring back soaking and whole wheat and still have a fantastic deep dish product.

Step 1 I made the dough. Step 2- left in on the counter to rise till double(ish) then I put it in the fridge. If I had started the dough in the morning or even before lunch I could have let the dough rise in the fridge entirely. I will likely make this alternation next time (just one alteration at a time for scientific purposes). We didn't start dough till 3:00 so I didn't want to risk the slow rise.

Step 3- oil pan and roll out dough. I rolled the dough out till it was just bigger than the pan then gently placed the dough in the pan. I continued to press it out until there was a little lip . Step 4- leave the dough on the counter and go to church. (Picture below is when we got back just before pre-baking. You can see that it did leak.)

Step 5- put the stone in the oven and preheat both to 450 degrees. Step 6- prebake the crust for 5 minutes or so. I did this because Baking in my oven is slower than in a pizzaria oven. I didn't want to loose all the beautiful rise by piling on the toppings to and unsupportable weight. (As previously stated we like lots of toppings.) Step 6 take crust out and top quickly before popping it back in.
Step 7- I did take the pizza out when it was almost done. i decided to take off the edge of the pan to let the exterior crust brown. I learned to be careful to make sure that the crust is not stuck to the edge or you will start to rip open the pizza. Step 8- put the pizza back till the cheese begins to become golden (or other cues).

Step 9- take out pizza. If you can wait it is best to let it sit for a couple minutes so that when you cut it the toppings and cheese cut. This allows them to stay on top of the pizza rather than to be caught up with the cutter and be forced into the new cut.

Step 10- Serve with pizza sprinkles and Parmesan cheese and delight in your homemade deep dish.

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