Deep-Dish Pepperoni Pizza
November 26, 2010, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Pizza | Tags: , , , ,

Pizza is a comfort food.  It’s typically enjoyed after a long day or a lazy weekend evening, sometimes accompanied with sports, but always with friends and a cold beer, a delicious glass of red wine, or a mixed drink (perhaps a Laphroaig and ginger ale?).  I recently enjoyed these things with college pals Hunter and Emily Fiers.  Hunter, a fraternity brother of mine, is a practicing physical therapist, while Emily, host of fantastic parties, is in the midst of her residency program in emergency medicine.  I “blame” both of them for many of the awesome times I had at Miami University.  Since we don’t get to see one another very often it was fun to sit around and reminisce of these past times. Since my enjoyment for cooking and food incredibly always compliments my friendships, “I took my talents to South Beach, err, Canton, OH” (I must partly give credit to Ohio enemy #1 LeBron James for this quote, but ironically, Hunter and Emily used to live near South Beach), and made this deep-dish pepperoni pizza for my friends.

Deep-Dish Pepperoni Pizza (Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, No. 102, Feb 2010)

As a whole, pizza in Philadelphia is disappointing.  The majority of the pizza served in the city is very thin and probably could be considered a New York City-style pizza. Although I really don’t care for this style of pizza, some is still quite good.  The best can be found at Mama Palma’s, but one really cannot go wrong at places such as Osteria, Pietro’s and Cichetteria 19.  All four serve more of a gourmet pizza with toppings such as goat cheese, spinach, procciutto, figs, gorgonzola, truffles, and even octopus.  The best non-gourmet pizza that I have had in the city is from a place called Jake’s.  Their pizza serves classic ingredients such as pepperoni, sausage and veggies.  Perhaps most importantly, the pizza is thicker, somewhere between a “normal” crust and a deep-dish crust.

The motivation for this post comes from both the lack of a truly great pizza in Philly, but also the national appeal for Chicago-style pizza.  Chicago-style pizza, as far as I know, is no where to be found in the East.  About two months ago I stopped in Chicago in the midst of a trip to Madison, WI and was able to have some Chicago-style pizza at Giordano’s.  The pizza was good, but not great.  Personally, I think the best Chicago pizza can be found at Lou Malnati’s, but the best pizza I’ve ever had, regardless of geography, is right here, in this post.  You may consider this to be a biased opinion, but I’ve had friends from Philly, New York City and Chicago enjoy this pizza and the majority agrees.  If you want to find out for yourself and make this pizza, be sure to dedicate a weekend afternoon to making the dough and sauce. The entire process, from dough making to pizza slicing, takes about 3.5 hours!

Making this pizza is a somewhat tedious process.  Honestly, I’m exhausted by the time I’m done.  There is a lot of activity.  Making the dough is fairly straight forward, but allowing the dough to rise is no break as that time is spent preparing the sauce.  To make this a more casual process I would suggest making the sauce ahead of time so that the two one-hour breaks can be enjoyed.  I’m not going to share the recipe since it can be found here.

First of all, the recipe states that it will make two smaller pizzas.  Instead, I made one larger pizza using a deep-dish pan that I bought on Amazon.  Secondly, I doubled both the sauce (I used 1.5-2 tablespoons dried basil instead of suggested amount of fresh basil) and the amount of mozzarella that I added to the pizza. Be very careful with your mozzarella selection as most pre-grated cheese does not melt very well.  Ideally, you would want to grate your own mozzarella, but I wanted to no part of that.  I found that the grated mozzarella at Whole foods works very well (it sells as a one pound package from “365 Everyday Value”) although any mozzarella that is in larger, softer looking pieces should work. Lastly, I added three-quarters pound pepperoni.  The ingredients are layered in the following manner: dough, pepperoni, cheese, then sauce.  Please do not fret if your pizza dough takes a few tries to get into the proper place in the pan.  It will work even if you never get it perfect.

The most important thing to remember with this recipe, is that it’s pizza and it will always taste great.  Like I said earlier, pizza is a comfort food to be enjoyed with friends in a relaxing atmosphere.  Enjoy the experience and enjoy the pizza!


2 Comments so far
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Well Monsieur, when you come back to Chicago I will take you to Art of Pizza instead of Dags. They have 4 stars via yelp and 5 through citysearch. And I may or may not steal this recipe.

Comment by Todd Phillips

I can’t believe you would mix Laphroaig and ginger ale 😉

Comment by Cole

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