Chicago Style Pizza Recipe
Chicago-style pizza is different than any other region in the US: the crust is thick and bready, slices of cheese are put on the pizza even before the sauce, and it takes 40+ minutes to cook.
I was lucky enough to live in downtown Chicago while in culinary school and it was there that I met my husband. Just last week was our 6-year anniversary of meeting. It is easily my favorite thing to celebrate: if I hadn’t met him that faithful day, I would never have had my 2 little boys, I probably would not live in Cincinnati, and I am pretty confident that cookingwithcaitlin.com would not be in existence. I have never been so happy.
We met on a Friday and I still remember the first time I saw him – I was instantly smitten. He was a friend of a friend, in a punk band (he’s a drummer), and I was going to the concert. (Note: I had to shop for a week for an outfit that would be perfect for a punk band.) After the concert, I flirted — and he wasn’t interested. He ordered three cheeseburgers from McDonald’s – and I wasn’t interested. It wasn’t until we got back to the city streets and ate dinner at Giordano’s pizza that we started talking. And the rest is history.
Because of this, Chicago-style pizza will always hold a special place in my heart. This year, I wanted to celebrate him by having Chicago-style pizza for dinner. Living in Cincinnati I decided to make it myself. It is key to get the crust just right. If you are not familiar, Chicago-style pizza is different than any other region in the US: the crust is thick and bready, slices of cheese are put on the pizza even before the sauce, and it takes 40+ minutes to cook. It is delicious!
Chicago Style Pizza Recipe
Chicago Style Pizza Crust
- 16 ounces of water (2 cups)
- 1/8 ounce dry-active yeast
- 1/2 ounce of Kosher Salt
- 2 lb Bread Flour
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- Combine the yeast with warm water, NOT hot water.
- When the yeast is dissolved, add the rest of the ingredients.
- Using your stand mixer (love my KitchenAid) and dough hook, mix together on low until the ingredients come together.
- Once the dough has formed into a ball, turn to medium speed and mix together until the sides are all cleaned.
- Place in a greased bowl, loosely covered with plastic wrap, and let proof 4-6 hours.
Chicago Style Pizza Crust Tips and Tricks:
- I doubled this recipe to make 3 pizzas, I could have easily made 4 pizzas with the amount of dough, though.
- The yeast that is sold in packets are pre-portioned to 1/4 ounce, perfect amount for a doubled recipe. Remember, if you are not doubling the recipe you only need half of the amount in the packets.
- I bought a 5 lb bag of bread flour and then subtracted 1 lb to know the correct amount of flour. This certainly made it easy.
Chicago Style Pizza Ingredients
- 1 Green Pepper
- 1 Onion
- Sliced Mozzarella
- Sliced Provolone
- Grated Parmesan
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 2 teaspoons Fennel Seeds
- 2 teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
- Thinly slice the pepper and onion. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl combine the ground pork, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the pizzas.
- 1 – 28 ounce can of Whole, Peeled Tomatoes (Ideally good quality, from San Marzano)
- Open the can and remove any leaves.
- Crush with your hand. Set aside.
How to Make Chicago Style Pizza
- You will need springform pans (for as many pizzas as you are making).
- Non-stick Spray
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease up the pans with the non-stick spray. If you did the normal recipe (meaning you didn’t double it), slice the dough in half and place in the pan.
- Using your fingers, push the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Using your thumbs, create a crust that goes 2 inches up the side of the springform pan.
- Next, layer the dough with the sliced provolone, then sliced mozzarella.
- Then take your homemade Italian sausage (you might not use all of it), and create a layer of sausage going from edge to edge.
- Finally layer with green peppers, onions, and top with the hand-crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle some grated parmesan over the top.
- Bake for 40 Minutes at 425.
- After 40 minutes, take a fork to the center of the pizza to see if the sausage is cooked through. If it is not, cover in foil, reduce the temp to 400 degrees and let cook another 20 minutes. Check the sausage again and keep adding another 10 minutes until the sausage is firm.
- Once the pizza is finished cooking, let rest 15 minutes. Remove the outer shell of your springform pan and slice with a chef’s knife. Serve on a sturdy plate with knife and fork and enjoy!