Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Banana Pepper Deep Dish Pizza

Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Banana Pepper Deep Dish Pizza

I didn’t grow up in Chicago, but I’ve lived in the suburbs for over 40 years. Two things that I discovered when I moved up from Texas were blues music and deep dish pizza, both of which I love to this day.  This riff on Chicago Deep Dish is far from authentic, but uses the ingredients I had on hand.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza DOUGH

Start dough at 4p for dinner between 7p and 8p
1-1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp instant-rise yeast (1 package)
3-1/4 cup bread flour
1/2 cup medium-grind cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin not necessary)
Begin by making a sponge. Mix together yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, sugar, and 1/4 cup flour.  Cover the bowl and let rise for 20 minutes.  Add the remaining 1 cup water, 3 cups flour, cornmeal, salt, and olive oil.  Combine ingredients and knead by hand for 10 minutes or machine for four to seven minutes. Coat dough ball in a thin film of olive oil or cooking spray, cover in plastic wrap, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about two hours.


This dough recipe is courtesy of Pizza by Diane Morgan and Tony Gemignani.


4 – 6 oz. pepperoni (I would have gone with the full 6 oz., but My Lovely Wife said, “That’s a lot of pepperoni!”
4 – 8 oz. mushrooms, depending on how much you like fungi
6 oz. banana peppers (I canned these myself, but store-bought is fine.  Any medium-hot jarred pepper should work as well.)
3 cups of your favorite pizza sauce (I used my home-made basil-garlic sauce)
1 tbs. dried oregano
12 oz. Fontina cheese, grated (I prefer this over the more-usual Mozzarella)
3 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated (don’t even think of the cheese powder in the green can) (Grana Padano, Pecorino Romano, or Asiago would work too)
2 tbs. olive oil, divided

About an hour and a half before dinner time, turn the oven up as high as it will go, preferably 500 degrees.

Slice the mushrooms and saute in 1 tbs. of the olive oil until lightly browned.  Add the banana peppers, sauce, and oregano and simmer on low for 30 to 60 minutes.

Thirty minutes before baking, roll dough out.  I used a 12″ deep dish pan, so I rolled out to an 18” circle. [This actually made a bit too much dough.  Fit the dough into the pan and trim the excess.  You can roll the excess dough into a ball and bake as a small boule at the same time as the pizza.  Or divide dough if you want to make two smaller pizzas in 8″ cake pans.] Gently brush or rub the dough with the olive oil.  Cover with plastic wrap for a second rise

Add the fontina to the dough in the pan. Spread the tomato sauce over fontina.  Arrange the pepperoni evenly over the sauce. Sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano on top.

Bake the  pizza on the bottom rack of the preheated oven for25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and speckled.

Mangia! Mangia!

Serves 8.

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