The inspiration for this recipe is the classic Detroit style deep dish pizza. Classic to this pizza is Wisconsin brick cheese on the bottom and uncooked tomato sauce on the top. The dough is usually mixed in a stand mixer with the dough hook and then rises for 2-3 hours in the pan.
This DEEP DISH pizza is more like an Italian Sicilian pizza but thicker! The layers start with cooked marinara sauce on the bottom, a layer of 5 -cheese shredded blend, a layer of fresh basil and fresh baby spinach, and then a layer of coarsely chopped fresh mozzarella with Italian dried spices. Then I sprinkle EVOO on top and along the sides.
I like to make pizza dough in the food processor and then knead for a few minutes on the counter. This dough is very buttery tasting and has a tender crumb. My dough rises nicely in about an hour and bakes in a very hot 500 degree oven cooked directly on a baking stone on the bottom of the oven. The bottom browns and crisps perfectly while the inside of the dough is much like cake. You can add cooked sausage and meatballs to the topping if you like. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski
1 hour 30 minutes
For the pan and your hands:
extra virgin olive oil
For the dough:
rapid rise or instant yeast
fine sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
1-3/4- 2 cups
water, 100-110 degrees
marinara sauce, jarred or homemade
shredded 5-cheese Italian blend, in the bag
fresh basil, coarsely chopped
baby spinach, coarsely chopped (optional)
fresh mozzarella ball, coarsely chopped
dried Italian spices, whatever you like
Spray a deep sided 12X18 dark cake pan with canola cooking spray and then brush the bottom and sides of the pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
To the bowl of a large food processor, add the flour, yeast, sea salt and sugar. Pulse a few times to blend.
Start the processor and add the olive oil and 1- 3/4 cups of water down the feed tube. Process about 1 minute and then feel the dough, it should be soft and pliable. If too dry, add the remaining 1/4 cup of water. Process just until the dough forms a ball. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth and soft. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 15 minutes on the counter to relax the dough so you can press it into the pan easily.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. With oiled hands, press the dough evenly so it reaches all the corners. If the dough resists, let it rest for 10 minutes and then continue. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until nearly tripled in volume, about 1-2 hours in a warm, draft free part of the kitchen. I like to use the microwave oven with the door slightly open so the heat of the light warms the dough and helps it rise.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Arrange a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
TOP THE PIZZA WITH LAYERS: Spread a layer of marinara sauce over the dough. Easy does it! You should be able to see the dough through it. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese blend, then the basil (and spinach), then the chopped fresh mozzarella, then a sprinkle of dried Italian spices and finally a drizzle of olive oil on top and along the sides.
Bake on the pizza stone (on the bottom rack) for about 15-20 minutes or until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is nicely browned. Make sure the bottom of the pizza is nice and brown. Let the pizza rest for 10 minutes to firm up the cheese. Cut into squares using a pizza cutter and kitchen shears.