As a displaced Chicago native, one of the things I miss is Chicago-style food. This means hot dogs loaded with toppings, Italian beef sandwiches, and, yes, deep-dish pizza. Transporting a frozen stuffed spinach pizza in my luggage has become a fixture of flying home. But now, with some of the research that resulted in the development of an improved Neapolitan-style pizza, we've begun to develop a proper Chicago-style pie. It's a very different animal indeed.
While my favorite was my hometown hangout, Leonardo's (sadly no longer in business), the other household favorite was a Chicago classic, Lou Malnati's. This pizza was intended to replicate a Lou's pizza.
We started with a heavy, oily, very elastic dough.
Unlike the looser, wetter Neapolitan dough, this could be rolled out with a rolling pin.
We built the pizza directly into a 9" cake pan. Next time I think we should put some foil strips into the pan to help lift it out.
And if you've never had a Chicago pizza this next bit may seem strange. No sauce on the bottom - just lots of mozzarella cheese.
And if you order a sausage pizza, let me tell you, you get a sausage pizza. Forming two Italian sausages into one large patty assures 100% sausage coverage.
Finally the sauce comes last, with a dusting of powdered Parmesan. Lots of rich chunky tomatoes, but ours should have been drained more thoroughly.
After baking for about 25 minutes the pizza looked done, but was actually a bit underdone.
The very last slice, after it all had a chance to solidify.
We had a good, but not excellent result. The crust was not too bready, and the overall taste was very good, but the tomatoes were a bit too soupy. But it was well worth the effort and much, much easier and cheaper than having one flown in! We'll try again soon, next time with a stuffed spinach pizza - the true classic.