Pizza heaven

If you were to ask a first grader what their favorite food is, most definitely they’d say pizza and ice cream. At that age, what else is there, really?

Anyone who knows Devin knows that he lives for pizza. Why do you think he married me, the daughter of a pizza delivery man? Duh.

About a year and a half ago we saw a recipe for deep dish pizza on America’s Test Kitchen. We tried it while we were in Houston staying with my parents for an internship.

Loved. It.

Even I love it. And I’m not that big of a pizza fan. Certainly not like Devin.

So here is the recipe.

First, you gotta get the sauce started. The longer it simmers, the better. Nothing less than 30 minutes if you ask me.

Sauce (this is just a recipe me and my mom made up that I have gradually adapted to my liking):

In small/med sauce pan, add 5 or 6 cloves of garlic (chopped), about 1T of olive oil, and about 1/4t of red pepper flakes. Heat on med-low for about 5 minutes until garlic starts to get soft and aromatic. Add one can of tomato paste. Bring out the tomato yummyness by “toasting” the paste. In other words, mix all that together and let the paste get a little caramelized. Again, you know its working when it becomes aromatic. Just a few minutes of this. Then add one can of diced tomatoes, about 1/2t Italian seasoning and a pinch of S&P. You can add a little sugar if you like but I usually can’t taste the difference. Simmer on low (covered) for…a long time.

Pizza Dough:

In large bowl whisk together 2 1/3 cups flour, 1 pack instant/rapid rise yeast (or 1 heaping T of reg. yeast), and 1/2t salt. In a microwave container, combined 3/4 cup + 2T milk, 2T olive oil, and 2t sugar. Microwave (about one minute-ish) until mixture is about 110 degrees. Add to dry mixture and combined to a sticky dough. Turn out onto floured surface and put your back into it. Kneed it, adding flour as needed, until you have a nice round ball, soft as a baby’s bum.

Put into oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap that has also been oiled. (Pam works great.) Put in your oven that you have warmed. And by warmed I mean warm like a hot summer day, not like the warm setting on your oven. That’s too warm. Let rise until doubled. That usually takes about 30 minutes, give or take.

Gently turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Don’t handle it too much or it will be hard to shape and keep it there. Divide the dough by cutting it with a knife (don’t try to pull it apart…again too much handling). Divide into 3 if using 8″ round cake pans. If you using 9″ round pans you could divide it in half. Gently stretch the dough into rounds slightly bigger than the pans to account for the dough wanting to shrink smaller. (No, this is NOT the time for a rolling pin…leave that for cookie dough). In the pans put about 2T of olive oil (for 8″ or a little more for 9″) and put the dough inside. The goal is to keep the oil under the dough, not seeping over the top, which will inevitably happen a little. Sometimes it takes 4 hands to be successful in this step.

Let the dough rise again in the pans for about 20-30 minutes. You might want to cover with plastic wrap again. This is a good time to get all your toppings ready, including the last step of the sauce.

Back to the sauce–blended is best. I prefer an emersion blender but you can use a food processor or blender to get the job done. Just uses more dishes that way. Oh, and you might want to let it cool a bit first.

Add your toppings! Sauce it up, add what you like then layer it with good mozzarella cheese. We found out Safeway brand is not good. Whatever Costco carries always does the trick.

Bake in 400 degree oven on the bottom rack for 20-30 minutes, until crust is crispy and cheese is a golden goodness. For a little extra crisp, remove pizza from pan and bake directly on rack for another few minutes. We found you can bake up to 3 at a time and get good results, though you may want to rotate them a time or two during baking.

Then, you have this:

3 thoughts to “Pizza heaven”

  1. Oh man, I am so hungry for pizza now. I was thinking I should get the crust recipe from you. This is the best pizza I’ve ever had.

  2. wth? HOW DO YOU DO IT???? how do you have time to make this long complicated, though very wonderfully tempting, recipe? Like really- what did you do w/ baby bug while you made this because macy is always bugging me when i cook and i really hate it- i need to figure out a better system for cooking w/ children bc i’m gonna stop if i keep having to be annoyed everyday and then we would all starve because you KNOW Austin can’t cook a thing. i really want to call and get this pizza delivered to me- delicious homemade pizza delivered to my door where i don’t have to do anything and oh, can it be a good price? Is that too much to ask?

  3. So we just made this and it was great. I will admit I did not do your sauce, but that’s cuz I’m just a little lazy. So the crust was great. And that is admittedly my favorite part. Thanks! By the way, what is google reader?

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