I was completely out of diastatic malt and ordered a new scale, diastatic malt, Maldon Salt, and Fleur de Sel Salt from King Authur for this pizza and many others to come. The order got mixed up in the mail and was over a week late, but that all worked out for the better, because my brother and nephew were able to enjoy this pizza with me this weekend. I also upgraded to California Olive Ranch because it was on sale at the store and I heard great things about it in a cooking magazine, Cooks Country.
The fully stuffed Chicago is more work than the normal pizza and it is worth every minute of the additional time. You have to cook meatballs in advance. Definitely make the meatballs recipe from The Pizza Bible and put two 4 oz meatballs back in the freezer for this pizza, they are amazing. You have to sauté mushrooms, red peppers, and onions in advance. I got a chance to break in my new Lodge Carbon Steel pan, it is perfect sautéing! The sautéed veggies can be stored up to one day, but I did mine right before while the pizza was proofing up to 60-65 degree Fahrenheit. One problem that I ran into was the smaller dough ball for bottom reached temperature much faster than the larger ball. I had to put the smaller ball of dough for the top piece back in the fridge to cool down because it proofed to 65 before the larger ball of dough for the base. I was shocked at how quickly the temperature of the dough ball went down in the fridge from, around 66 to 55 in a matter of minutes. For me, one of the biggest challenges was trying to style the crust of the dough. I think the problem stemmed from having to much overhanging dough and not removing the excess. It seemed like a lot of dough to try and finger wrap, or maybe I am just not skilled enough yet. When I got the pizza out of the oven, I feared maybe there was a leak and the dough was soggy on the bottom. Nope, it all slide out of the skillet in one golden, brown piece that reminded me of a gigantic pot pie.
In this man vs. food episode I lost! I can honestly say this is the first pizza that I have made that I seriously ran out of steam on the second slice and could not finish. My brother, who is sizable, was able to eat two slices and my nephew got one down. Don't make any big plans after eating this pizza, your body will want to slow down to facilitate the digestion process. The fully stuffed is my favorite of the trilogy of Chicago Style Deep Dish styles from The Pizza Bible. It has it all, the perfect combination of meats, vegetables, cheeses, sauce and crust. Here are some pictures through the process and the end result.