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Deep Dish Pizza  recipe
Prep Time
15min
Cook Time
2hr 30min
Total Time
2hr 45min
ItalianLunchDinnerVegetarianVegan

Let’s face it: We all have a favorite kind of pizza. Mine has and forever will be deep dish pizza, and if you try this recipe, you’ll understand why! For me, it’s all about the crust.

My journey towards finding a solid deep dish pizza recipe was long, arduous, and oftentimes heartbreaking. Few recipes produced the crust exactly how I wanted it, and not much could be said for the sauce either. After years (yes, years!) I finally encountered America's Test Kitchen's terrific recipe, and haven't looked back since. I have altered a few things from the original recipe, and as always, you'll find ways to make this your own below.

Ingredients

4 Servings
(1 serving = 2 slices )

For the Pizza Dough

  • 3 1/4cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1/2cups
    of cornmeal (or whole-wheat flour)
  • 3tsp
    active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast)
  • 1 1/2tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1 1/4cups
    lukewarm water
  • 3tbsp
    plant-based butter, melted
  • 4tbsp
    plant-based butter, softened
  • 2tsp
    sugar
  • olive oil

For the sauce

  • olive oil
  • 1
    onion, minced
  • kosher salt
  • 2
    garlic cloves, minced
  • 1oz
    28-. can crushed tomatoes
  • pinch
    of sugar
  • 1tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1/2tsp
    red hot pepper flakes (more if you like your sauce spicy!)
  • 1/4cup
    fresh basil (or 1 tsp of dried basil)

Toppings

  • 1lb
    whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 4cups
    shredded (enough to make about worth). Use vegan mozzarella to make this plant-based.
  • 1/4cup
    grated Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan.
  • Mushrooms, assorted fresh herbs, or any other toppings your heart desires! (optional)

Method

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a regular bowl, if you aren't using one), add your flour, cornmeal or whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt.

    Step 1.1: In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a regular bowl, if you aren't using one), add your flour, cornmeal or whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Meanwhile, measure your water in a measuring cup, and add the melted butter and sugar. Mix until the sugar is fully dissolved.

  3. With the standmixer running on low, slowly add your water mixture and let it run until a dough forms. Turn it up to medium low, and keep it going until the dough is pliable, about 5-8 minutes. If you're doing this by hand, the dough will be stiff and might take longer to come together. On a floured board, knead until you have a malleable dough that's smooth.

    Step 1.1: With the standmixer running on low, slowly add your water mixture and let it run until a dough forms
  4. Coat a bowl in a generous amount of olive oil, and stick the dough in it. Use either a damp dish towel or plastic wrap to cover the bowl and let rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can stop here and put the dough in the refrigerator for 8 to 16 hours, then proceed with the rest of the steps).

    Step 1.1: Coat a bowl in a generous amount of olive oil, and stick the dough in it
    Step 1.2: Coat a bowl in a generous amount of olive oil, and stick the dough in it
  5. Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half. Using a rolling pin, roll out one half of the dough until it's roughly the size of an 18" by 6” inch rectangle. (Don't worry if you don't quite get a rectangle shape, or one quite this large. We're only using this method to spread the butter on the dough, not for shaping purposes.)

    Step 1.1: Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured board
  6. Taking a spatula, butter knife, or an icing tool, take half of the softened butter and spread all over the dough. Try to spread this as evenly as you can without cutting into the dough or making holes.

    Step 1.1: Taking a spatula, butter knife, or an icing tool, take half of the softened butter and spread all over the dough
    Step 1.2: Taking a spatula, butter knife, or an icing tool, take half of the softened butter and spread all over the dough
    Step 1.3: Taking a spatula, butter knife, or an icing tool, take half of the softened butter and spread all over the dough
  7. Once you've spread the butter, fold each piece of dough over itself twice, like you would a business letter. Take the dough in your hands, and roll the dough so you form a nice, smooth ball. Put back in the greased bowl. Complete this step with the other half. Once both are done, cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel, and leave in the fridge to rise until roughly doubled (about 30 to 45 minutes).

    Step 1.1: Once you've spread the butter, fold each piece of dough over itself twice, like you would a business letter
    Step 1.2: Once you've spread the butter, fold each piece of dough over itself twice, like you would a business letter
    Step 1.3: Once you've spread the butter, fold each piece of dough over itself twice, like you would a business letter
    Step 1.4: Once you've spread the butter, fold each piece of dough over itself twice, like you would a business letter
  8. Now that your dough is rising again in the fridge, it's time to prepare your oven and work on everything that will go on your pizza. But first, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

  9. Start preparing your pizza sauce. (If you already have a favorite pizza sauce, then ignore this step, and move on to your toppings). Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add your onion, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let cook until the onion starts to wilt (maybe 5 minutes or so). Don't let the onions brown. Make a well in the middle of your pan, add more olive oil, and put in your garlic. Let it sit until it becomes aromatic, and then mix around with the onions for 30 seconds.

    Step 1.1: Start preparing your pizza sauce
    Step 1.2: Start preparing your pizza sauce
  10. Add your crushed tomatoes, sugar, and oregano, if using. Turn the heat down to low, and let everything cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or so, or just long enough for the canned tomatoes to lose their 'canned' taste and for the sauce to thicken slightly. Taste and adjust as necessary. When you're happy with the flavor, add in your basil and turn off the heat. Let it cool.

    Step 1.1: Add your crushed tomatoes, sugar, and oregano, if using
  11. Take out two 9 inch cake pans, put a drop of olive oil in each of them, and with your fingers, spread the oil all over the inside of the pan. Take the dough out of the fridge. Take one ball, put it in an oiled cake-pan, and with your oiled fingers, spread and push the dough so that it molds to the form of the cake pan. You might notice some resistance here. That's okay. If it's not spreading at all, let the dough rest another 10 minutes, then try again.

    Step 1.1: Take out two 9 inch cake pans, put a drop of olive oil in each of them, and with your fingers, spread the oil all over the inside of the pan
    Step 1.2: Take out two 9 inch cake pans, put a drop of olive oil in each of them, and with your fingers, spread the oil all over the inside of the pan
  12. Unlike other pizzas, deep dish starts with the cheese on the bottom. Put about a cup's worth of mozzarella on the bottom. If you're adding other toppings here, go for it! They should go on now, before the sauce.

    Step 1.1: Unlike other pizzas, deep dish starts with the cheese on the bottom
  13. Once you're satisfied with your topping selection, spread about a cup's worth of sauce on top of everything. If you need more sauce, then by all means add it. The only thing you want to watch out for is overfilling your pizza. Sprinkle some Parmesan over the sauce and bake in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until you notice the dough beginning to become a golden brown.

    Step 1.1: Once you're satisfied with your topping selection, spread about a cup's worth of sauce on top of everything
  14. Take out of the oven, let cool slightly, and serve!

    Step 1.1: Take out of the oven, let cool slightly, and serve!

Tips & Tricks

  1. I’ve purposely given you the basic recipe here, but it is made for you to add your own twist to it. You can (and should) add your preferred toppings. Likewise, you can play around with a different pizza sauce if you’re not a fan of the one provided here.

  2. The dough calls for cornmeal, but if you don’t have that on hand, you can substitute with whole wheat flour.

  3. Though the recipe asks you to use cake pans, you can also use a cast iron pan or any other oven-proof pan that works for you.

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Recipe by

Rachel Zorn Kindermann

(@rkindermann)

I'm a plant-based eater and food writer dedicated to making cooking and plant-based eating approachable and fun! I'm the creator of Samosas and Mimosa... Read More

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