Chicago Style Deep Dish Debriefing


Ok, last night I made Chicago Style Deep Dish pies for the first time. I made two, the Spinach and Ricotta, and the Spicy Calibrese Sausage pies that are both in The Pizza Bible. The flavor was great, but I definitely need tips on what I did wrong. Here's what I did:
First, I made two dough balls using the Chicago Style Dough recipe in the book, placed them in a proofing tray, covered them with plastic, put the lid on the tray, and put them in the refrigerator for about 48 hours.
I brought the dough out and let it rest on the counter (still covered) until an infrared thermometer pointed at them registered 55 degrees.
Rolled the dough out and placed in my buttered pans, let it set for 30 minutes, then assembled the pies according to the book. As a matter of fact, everything was "by the book" except for these items:
First, my deep dish pans were 14" and not the prescribed 12"-13". Second, I cooked these in my Woodstone at 475 with a low flame, for 25 minutes, rotating the pie about 1/4 turn every 5 minutes. The flavor was great, and the bottom was browned nicely, but the bottom layer of mozzarella didn't melt completely. Instead it was kind of rubbery. I suspect that next time I should cook these at 500 degrees instead of 475, but I'm not sure. Should I cook them longer instead? When I took the pies out after 25 minutes the cheese on top was very nicely browned, so I don't know if cooking longer is the answer because I'm afraid the cheese on top would burn. Here are a couple of pics:

Medium img 1946

Medium img 1947

Dean T.
posted almost 3 years ago

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Looking good! For future iterations, I'd recommend a smaller pan, just because the 14" pies require so much cheese, dough, sauce and toppings. I also bought a 14" pan. I'm going to order a few smaller pans for experiments.

Often, recommended bake times can vary quite a bit. To me, it looks like you just need to bake your pie a little more. I wouldn't bump it up to 500 just yet. Try leaving it in for another 5-10 minutes. This time, bake the pie until you're almost uncomfortable and feel like the crust getting a little bit too brown.

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 3 years ago


What cheese did you use? Doesn't look like your pizza cooked long enough. Should have had better browning around the base. Thanks for the pics. We're you able to get Ceresota? We have it available now on the site.

Tony Gemignani admin
posted almost 3 years ago


Tony I wasn't able to get Ceresota, so I used King Arthur unbleached AP. The cheese was simply Sargento low moisture, part skim mozz and Sargento provolone. Everything about the pizza was great except for the fact that the bottom layer of mozz wasn't completely melted. For next time, I've ordered 12" carbon steel deep dish pans (I used 14" anodized aluminum). I also plan next time to cook the pizzas longer. I'm going to lower the radiant flame in the Woodstone even more, which should enable me to cook them longer without burning on top.

Dean T.
posted almost 3 years ago


Sounds like a good plan. I would look for a better cheese if possible. Longer bake will help a lot. Thanks for posting

Tony Gemignani admin
posted almost 3 years ago


Try to avoid the pre-shredded cheeses. Those often have additives that will affect the melt and texture. Check out this thread:

http://www.thepizzabible.com/posts/does-fresh-cheese-make-a-difference

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 3 years ago


Thanks Raj. I never use pre-shredded. My arm gets a workout but I grate it on a box grater by hand.

Dean T.
posted almost 3 years ago

I didn't realize that Sargento was available in a block as well. I've only seen it in the pre-shredded bags.

- Raj   almost 3 years ago


Raj, now I see what you are saying. No the deep dish recipe calls for SLICED mozz on the bottom, so that's where I used the Sargento. The grated stuff that goes on top I purchase from the deli in blocks, then grate it as needed. I believe it is from Wilmot Farms.

Dean T.
posted almost 3 years ago


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