Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Deep Dish Pizza: A How-To Guide

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 25, 2017

Who doesn‘t like pizza?

Why, it’s practically unAmerican to not like pizza! Have you ever made your own pizza at home? Ever wanted to make a Deep Dish Pizza at home? Good news – you can! And I’ll share images and a recipe which will help get you started.

This may come as a complete surprise to some, but pizza is BIG BUSINESS in the United States.

Top 50 Pizza Chains’ Annual Sales by State (Click to enlarge)

And as Marketplace Host and Senior Editor Kai Ryssdal says, “but first, let’s do the numbers…”

According to CHD Expert, a foodservice industry marketing trends & data organization, at the end of September 2016, there were 76,723 pizza restaurants in operation in the United States.

In their 2016 Pizza Consumer Trend Report, foodservice industry researcher Technomic found that 41% of consumers polled say they eat pizza once a week, a 55% increase from the 26% reported only 2 years ago.

And a 2016 Morgan Stanley report found that pizza delivery is a $30 billion industry, but could be be worth over $210 billion — which is the total amount Americans currently spent on off-premise dining. And of that $30 billion figure, over 1/3 – $11 billion – are delivery orders which are placed online, and nearly 2/3 of those online orders are… pizza.

So with impressive data like that, it should come as no surprise that a Harris Poll found that Americans’ No. 1 favorite comfort food is pizza, which also had twice as many votes as any other dish… including chocolate.

Now, for a recipe, and the how-to.

There are many seemingly innumerable styles of pizza, which vary with stuffed crusts, in shape, size, ingredients, and any other number of variations in pizza, and fortunately, this one will be simple enough to make at home.

We’re going to make the entire thing, including the crust.

A highly flavored #homemade #pizza dough crust - hWhat you’ll need is an iron skillet, tomato paste, your choice of meats (or not, if you’re a vegetabletarian, I used ground beef, and sweet Italian sausage), onions, garlic, black & green olives, mushrooms (if you’d like, I didn’t use ’em in this one), cheese (player’s choice, i.e., a type & variety of your choosing), balsamic vinegar, seasoning herbs including oregano, basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, chili powder, fennel seeds, thyme, salt, pepper, bell pepper, olive oil, yeast, flour, sugar, and water.

First, make the crust. You’ll use about 2.5 cups of flour for a 12-inch skilled. Any variety of flour will do; I used a combination of whole wheat bread flour, and white all-purpose flour.

Dissolve about 1 teaspoon of sugar into 1 cup of warm water. In fact, add it in the measuring cup, so that way, you don’t dirty up so many so many dishes. Then add about 1 teaspoon of yeast to that mix. A note on the yeast: I buy yeast by the jar, so I reckon that’s about how much is in a packet, and that’s how much I used.Making #marinara sauce for #pizza - h

Then, after it does it thing, foaming up and all that jazz, add it to flour, and mix it thoroughly. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, now would be the right time to use it. Otherwise, get yourself ready for some manual exercise. After you get it all mixed up, add some olive oil – about a Tablespoon, or so – to the dough, and mix it in well. Set the dough aside. You really don’t have to be worried about proofing it, or letting it rise like you would bread. So just chill.

Now, make the tomato sauce. It’s a marinara sauce, so your Deep Dish Pizza is gonna’ have flavor out the wazoo! Now, don’t fret. This stuff is really quite easy. Seriously, it is.


Pro Tip: I NEVER buy tomato sauce, and ALWAYS ONLY buy tomato paste, because that way, I can make my sauce the consistency that I want. I used about 1/2 large can of tomato paste, which is about the equivalent of about 1 small can.

Chop the veggies. That translates into Chop the Veggies. Start with the onion. I used a whole onion (a sweet onion, you can use whatever type you like), and chopped it to a medium coarseness. Sorry… I can’t be more specific about what “medium coarseness” means. Just make yourself happy and chop ’em how you like ’em.

Add water to the tomato paste to make a sauce – make yourself happy, and add to your desired consistency – then add: balsamic vinegar (about 1 Tablespoon +/-, remember… cooking isn’t Rocket Science), 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil, about 1/2 the chopped onion, and all the seasoning herbs mentioned above. Again, it’s Player’s Choice on how much. I will add this: fennel seed is the quintessential “Italian” flavoring. And you’ve be surprised by how much cumin – typically thought of as a “Mexican” seasoning – adds to Italian food. You can add capers, or even anchovies… whatever your heart desires, to it. Just make yourself happy. By the way… all that should be in a sauce pan on the stove with the stove turned ON. Not high, not low, just about “medium-ish.”

Cooked #meat for #pizza - hBy now, you should’ve had the meat cooked.

You don’t?
Aww… c’mon… you can do two things at once!😂


While the meat’s cooking, you can shape your dough. Here’s another kewl extra taste & flavor trick. Add coarse salt, dried onion flakes, fennel seed, basil, and dried onions (and/or garlic powder) to the dough. You can prolly add it while you’re making the dough, but I added mine right before I shaped & rolled it out. Just ensure that the ingredients are thoroughly dispersed throughout the dough. Again, the exact amounts is a Player’s Choice kind of thing.Flavorings for homemade #pizza crust - h

After pounding the dough into a  rough shape, I found it easier to use a rolling pin to more thoroughly shape and finish the dough into something that I could put in the skillet. Again, how thick or thin you make it is… Player’s Choice. I don’t like cracker-like pizza crusts, and don’t particularly care for really thick crusts (too much bread), so a moderate thickness pizza crust is more to my liking. Something that should support the food (literally, physically support the ingredients) and enhance the “mouth feel” and flavor of the pizza is what I’m after.

What you’ll want to do is remove the meat from the skillet and line the skillet with the dough. I shouldn’t have to say it, but will anyway… remove any extra amount that’s over the edge of the skillet. Save it for some other cooking project.

A 3-cheese mix for Deep Dish #Pizza - hNow, here’s where a Deep Dish Pizza is different from the traditional pizza: Layering.

First ingredient that goes in is the meat… on the BOTTOM. And for extra flavor, I sprinkled a mix of Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses atop the meat.

Then, layer it up with the other ingredients – onion, bell pepper, mushrooms (if you used ’em), etc.

If you’d like, add some extra basil, or whatever you want, atop the ingredients as they’re in the skillet.

Next, go on with the cheese.

THEN add marinara sauce LAST.Black & Green Olives atop a Deep Dish #Pizza - h

Oh… on the olives, I used black and green, and actually put them on last. They were on the very top. It made me happy to do that. Whether you chop the olives, or use them whole, and how much, matters not. Once again… Player’s Choice. See? Cooking is NOT Rocket Science. It’s more like broad suggestive guidelines.

Pop it in the oven at 450ºF for about 20 minutes… wait, pour a glass of wine, enjoy a beer, or mixed drink… wait… wait… wait… and bada-boom, BADA-BING!

It’s ready!


(Click to enlarge)

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Facts & figures from: http://www.pmq.com/December-2016/Pizza-Power-2017-A-State-of-the-Industry-Report/

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