This Deep Dish Pizza Recipe Is The Perfect Weekend Treat

Is there any food more satisfying for the heart, mind, and tummy than deep dish pizza? Exactly — we agree. And wouldn't it be great to learn how to make this hearty meal at home? Just imagine knowing the doughy, cheesey, oeey, gooey deliciousness you are biting into was created in your very own kitchen. Good thing Keith Kamikawa has formulated a deep dish pizza recipe that is bound to become a favorite in your home. 

The truth is this recipe is a bit involved because you making a deep dish pizza completely from scratch. But we have a strong feeling the result will be 100 percent worth it, whether you whip up this pizza for a party of one, or a crowd, on a weekend at home, or to take to a get-together. No matter the occasion or who you are serving, trust us that food doesn't get more enjoyable than the process of cooking, baking, and indulging in this deep dish treat.

Gather your dough and sauce ingredients for this deep dish pizza recipe

You shopping list for this deep dish pizza recipe is decently extensive, but the truth is, you may have many of the needed ingredients on hand already. Gather or shop for unbleached all-purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, kosher salt, sugar, a packet of instant yeast, unsalted butter, extra virgin olive oil, onion, dried oregano, garlic, a can of whole peeled tomatoes, fresh basil, a lemon, sliced mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese.

We asked Kamikawa why he opted for the unsalted variety of butter for his recipe, and he explained to Mashed, "Unsalted butter is always a good idea in cooking. This allows you to control the saltiness of the food." In other words, you can always add more salt to your sauce if needed. That's right — you have the control! 

Meanwhile, once you have all your ingredients, it's time to turn your attention to your pizza dough.

Create your pizza dough for this deep dish pizza recipe

To kick off your pizza dough for this deep dish pizza recipe, you will combine your all-purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, kosher salt, a tablespoon of sugar, and the instant yeast in a mixer, mixing the ingredients until they are well-combined. We asked Kamikawa why he adds sugar to the dough, and he explained, "Sugar is needed in the dough to feed the yeast. This helps the leavening process, allowing the dough to rise." In fact, for this recipe, your pizza dough will rise not once, but twice. 

Next, go ahead and add four tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter and your lukewarm water to the mixer, mixing the ingredients on a slow speed to begin. Then Kamikawa tells home cooks to turn the speed up to medium for 5 minutes. You are looking for your dough to cling together and pull away from the bowl before moving on to the next step in the process.

Allow your dough to rise for this deep dish pizza recipe

At this stage in this deep dish pizza recipe, you will remove the dough from the mixer and form the dough into a big ball. Coat a bowl with about a teaspoon of olive oil, then roll the dough ball in the oil until it is covered. Next, go ahead and wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. You will leave the dough at room temperature for one hour — we know it's hard to wait. Ultimately, you want your dough to double in size before moving on to the next step. 

Now, we wanted to know from Kamikawa if someone does not have a mixer, can they still make this deep dish delight? As he told Mashed, "You certainly could make this without a mixer, and definitely with just your hands." He added, "A lot of pizza traditionalists will use their hands for mixing. In fact, there are certain mixers that mimic mixing pizza dough by hand."

Create your tomato sauce for this deep dish pizza recipe

While your pizza dough for this deep dish pizza recipe is doubling in size, get started on your pizza sauce. You will melt unsalted butter in a pot, set to medium heat. Once that is bubbling, add the minced onion, dried oregano, salt, and garlic, sautéing the ingredients for about four minutes. You're looking for your onions to get translucent and start to brown. Then, add in your whole peeled tomatoes and sugar. Why sugar? Kamikawa notes, "The sugar brings out the natural sweetness in the tomatoes." But he also added, "If you want to leave it out, it is certainly an option, keeping the sauce a bit tangier."

You will bring your sweet or tangy sauce to a simmer, employing a spoon to break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces — but not too small, with Kamikawa noting the sauce should remain chunky. The sauce will simmer for about ten minutes, at which point you can remove it from heat and add in your basil, a little olive oil, and the lemon. As the recipe's creator told us, "Adding the basil at the end keeps it full-flavored and fragrant. Adding it at the beginning, you will lose a lot of what makes fresh basil so wonderful."

Prep your pizza dough to rise a second time for this deep dish pizza recipe

Okay, so now it's on to prepping your dough for a second rise for this deep dish pizza recipe. You will roll the dough ball you formed out on the counter into a rectangle that is about a quarter-inch in thickness. Spread your softened butter onto the dough. At this point, roll the dough and form it into a log. Now, cut the log in half, using a rolling pin to flatten both pieces of dough until they are a half-inch thick. 

You will roll the two separate pieces again into smaller logs and then form the two logs into balls. Here's where you place the two dough balls — Kamikawa notes they should each be seam side down — into the oiled bowl, rolling the balls in the oil again, and covering the bowl tightly with plastic wrap once again. This time, your dough goes into the fridge for an hour. Each piece should double in size. 

As for why you will go through this process a second time, Kamikawa explained, "Having the dough rise twice is needed for the entire leavening process. Without it, the dough would not rise properly when baking after the butter is added."

Prep this deep dish pizza recipe for the oven

Once your dough balls have doubled in size, you are officially ready to start assembling your deep dish pizza recipe. Hooray! First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. You will roll each of your dough balls into a circle that is about a quarter-inch thick and about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. 

Grab two nine-inch pans, which you will coat with olive oil so your dough, which you worked so hard on, doesn't stick. Kamikawa says at this stage, you will lay dough into each pan and ever-so-gently form the dough around the sides of the pan. He recommends looking for the dough to be even all the way around, pressing lightly around the edges and bottom of the dough to achieve this desired effect.

Next up is a seriously cool secret trick that sets this deep dish pizza apart from the rest, courtesy of the chef. 

Layer on your cheese first for this deep dish pizza recipe

Now, Kamikawa instructs home cooks to evenly layer sliced mozzarella cheese atop each pizza dough. Yes, this is the very first step, before you add the sauce, with the recipe's creator telling Mashed, "This is key to the pizza." He notes, "Placing the cheese directly on the dough shields the crust from the pizza sauce, ensuring the crust will rise properly and bake up nice and crisp." If you forgo this step, you may end up with soggy dough, which obviously no one wants. 

Once the cheese step is complete, this is when you add half of your pizza sauce on top of each pie. Next, dust each pie with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese. We know — this meal is looking ridiculously delicious. Good thing the only step left in the pizza making process is the baking, which doesn't take too long. Okay, it may feel long, but we got this!

Bake this deep dish pizza recipe

You will bake your pizzas in the oven for about 30 minutes. Kamikawa reminds home cooks to rotate their pies halfway through the bake, aiming for a golden brown crust. He also recommended to Mashed, "Always be sure to set a timer — nobody is too good for a timer." He also suggests, "You can check on your pizzas at 20 minutes and see the progress, since each oven is a little different, so cook times can vary." And rest assured, as he told us, "Checking on the pizza while it is baking won't hurt the pie." 

After your pies are golden and bubbly, do your very best to not dig in, and allow the pizzas rest for ten minutes. This will make slicing easier. The final step is to carefully remove your pies from the pans with a spatula. Relocate them onto a cutting board, slice, and yes, eat!

This Deep Dish Pizza Recipe Is The Perfect Weekend Treat
5 from 29 ratings
Is there any food more satisfying for the heart, mind, and tummy than deep dish pizza recipe? Make it for yourself, for family, or for friends.
Prep Time
2.75
hours
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
2
9-inch pizzas
slice of deep dish pizza
Total time: 3.25 hours
Ingredients
  • 3 ¼ cups (16.75 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2.75 ounces) yellow cornmeal
  • 3 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons regular)
  • 1 teaspoon + 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ minced onion (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons coarse chopped fresh basil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juice of
  • 1 ½ pounds sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. The dough: Add 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup cornmeal, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast in a mixer, and mix until combined. Add 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water.
  2. Mix on slow to begin the process and then medium for 5 minutes until the dough clings together and pulls away from the bowl. Remove form bowl and form the dough into a ball.
  3. Use 1 teaspoon of olive oil to coat a bowl, roll the dough ball in the oil until it is covered, and wrap the bowl tight in plastic wrap. Leave the dough at room temperature for one hour to rise until it has doubled in size.
  4. The sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a pot on medium heat. Add half minced onion (about ½ cup), ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, 3 pressed garlic cloves, and sauté for about 4 minutes until the onions are translucent and just starting to brown.
  5. Add 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes and ½ teaspoon sugar. Bring the sauce to a simmer and use your spoon to slight break up the tomatoes. The sauce should remain chunky. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of coarse chopped fresh basil, 1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, and the juice from half of a lemon, and mix thoroughly.
  6. The dough continued: Roll dough on the counter into a rectangle ¼-inch in thickness. Spread 4 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter. Roll the dough into a log, cut the log in half, use a rolling pin to flatten both pieces of dough until they are half an inch thick. Keeping them separated, roll them again into smaller logs, then form the two logs into balls. Place the two dough balls seam side down into the oiled bowl, roll the balls in the oil, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for one hour until the dough has doubled again.
  7. Making the pizzas: Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough balls from the fridge and roll each into a circle that's about a quarter-inch thick and about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Take two 9-inch pans and coat each with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Lay dough into each pan, lightly forming the dough around the sides evenly and pressed lightly around the edges and bottom. Evenly layer ¾-pound of sliced mozzarella cheese on each dough, ladle in half of the pizza sauce on top of the cheese for each pizza, and dust each pizza with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake pizzas in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown, rotating the pizzas halfway through bake time. Let the pizzas rest for 10 minutes after baking, remove from the pizzas from the pans with a spatula onto a cutting board, and slice.
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