What's the best flour for making Chicago style deep dish pizza?

What's the best flour to use for Chicago style deep dish pizza? I know 00 is good for Neapolitan, and high gluten for New York style, but for Chicago style, is there a better flour than all-purpose?

David Burke
posted about 5 years ago

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Great question! I've been making pizzas in Chicago all my life. Through the years, we have seen many changes in our industry when it comes to ingredients and the equipment that we use in our pizzerias. I consider myself an old school pizza maker and no matter what the latest and greatest thing might be, it's amazing how we always find ourselves going back to the basics...Why? Because they work the best! So lets talk flour... While each different style of pizza uses different styles of flour, in my opinion if you're going to make an old school Chicago style deep dish or stuffed pizza, you need to use all-purpose flour. As a kid, I can remember using Ceresota flour. As a matter of fact, growing up in the pizza business in Chicago, every pizzeria that I worked at used Ceresota flour. There's a reason, it works the best for this style of pizza! Here's why... when making Chicago style pizza, the characteristics are a crispy, flaky crust with a tight cell structure interior. It doesn't matter if you're making a deep dish pizza or cracker-like thin crust which are both classic Chicago style pizzas. This is due to the lower amounts of yeast that you would use and the lower protein of the flour. Ceresota has a protein level of 11.5% - 11.9%. There is no need to go any higher if you're still looking at keeping your pizza traditional. Here's the link to Ceresota to read more about them: http://www.heckersceresota.com. I also know that in keeping true to the Chicago tradition, Tony Gemignani has also chosen Ceresota flour to teach his students about Chicago style pizza at his International School of Pizza. So to answer your question, are there other types of flour that could be used to make a deep dish pizza? As long as you keep the protein level of the flour around 11.5%-12%, you will have successful results but if you're looking to do it the way they did it back in the day...use Ceresota!

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Leo Spizzirri
posted about 5 years ago

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