The Chicago-style”deep-dish” pizza that many people love was devised at Pizzeria Uno, in Chicago, in 1943, allegedly by Uno’s founder Ike Sewell, a former University of Texas football star. But a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News asserts that Uno’s authentic pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the famous recipe.
The pizza’s base is simple. It uses a thick layer of dough (made with olive oil and cornmeal) that is shaped to a deep round pan and pulled up the sides. The pizza crust is then parbaked until the toppings are added to give it greater spring.
Parbaking is a cooking technique in which a dough or bread product is partly baked and then immediately frozen or chilled. The raw dough is baked as if ordinary, but stopped at about 80 percent of the normal cooking time, when it’s rapidly cooled and frozen. The partial cooking kills the yeast in the bread mix, and sets the internal structure of the proteins and starches (the spongy texture of the bread), so that it is now essentially cooked indoors, but not so far as to have generated”crust” or other vaguely desirable qualities that are difficult to preserve once fully cooked.
The crust is then coated with cheese (generally sliced mozzarella) and covered with meats and/or vegetables like Italian sausage, onions, and bell peppers. A sauce consisting of crushed or pureed tomatoes is then added. Usually this is topped with a grated cheese mix to add extra flavor. On the usual pizza, about a pound of cheese is added. Because of the number of ingredients in this kind of pizza, it is generally eaten with a fork and knife. It’s very messy to eat with your fingers.
In addition to Uno, additional famous deep-dish restaurants include Uno’s companion restaurant Due, which was opened just down the block by Sewell in 1955. Other heavy dish restaurants include Edwardo’s, Connie’s, Giordano’s, Carmen’s, Pizano’s (which is owned by Rudy Malnati’s son, Rudy Jr.), and Lou Malnati’s (that was started by another of Rudy Malnati’s sons and is now run by his grandsons and contains 26 Chicago area locations).
Chicago deep-dish pizza is known throughout the world. Accordingly, many Chicago deep-dish pizza restaurants will send their pizzas, partly baked, within the continental U.S.
Palese based his creation on his mother’s recipe for scarciedda, an Italian Easter pie from his hometown of Potenza. A Chicago Magazine article featuring Giordano’s stuffed pizza popularized the dish. Other pizzerias which make stuffed pizzas include Bacino’s, Edwardo’s and Carmen’s. Most make thin crust pizzas.
Stuffed pizzas are often even taller than deep-dish pizzas, but otherwise, it can be hard to see the difference until you cut into it. A stuffed pizza generally has much higher topping density than any other type of pizza. Much like deep-dish pizza, a thin layer of dough forms a bowl in a high-sided pan and the toppings and cheese are added. Then, an additional layer of dough goes on top and is pressed to the sides of the bottom crust.
At this stage of the procedure, the thin dough top has a rounded, domed appearance. This allows the pizza sauce to permeate throughout the dish. Pizza sauce is added to the top crust layer and the pizza is then baked.
Chicago pan pizza in Chicago is comparable to the conventional deep-dish style pizza served in other regions of the country, and baked in a similar deep-sided pan, but its crust is rather thick — a cross between the buttery crisp crust and focaccia. Toppings and cheese frequently go on the top of a pan pizza, as opposed to beneath the sauce as is traditionally the case with deep-dish and stuffed pizza. The placement of the lettuce and cheese on top make the pan pizza variety like a thin-crust pizza using a thicker and bigger crust.
In addition to Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, there is also a thin-crust pizza unique to Chicago, sometimes referred to as”flat pizza”. The crust is thin and firm, usually with a crispy texture, unlike a New York-style pizza, yet thick enough to be soft and doughy on the top.
This sort of sauce is usually seasoned with herbs or and highly spiced. Typically there are no visible chunks of tomato in the crust. A layer of toppings is added, and finally a layer of mozzarella cheese.
Chicago style pizza has a rich and famous heritage and admirers from all over the world. If you’re a pizza lover and you have never tried this sort of pizza, be certain to give it a go, I am absolutely convinced you will love it!