Deep dish pizza is a favorite meal around my house, but I often forget to add it to our weekday meal plan. This week, however, I was ahead of the game, and planned for deep dish pizza night. No-knead cornmeal olive oil dough makes this almost too simple, and the thick pizza slices filled with sausage and cheese meant one piece each was enough for all of us. Of course, it’s been requested again, and next week I think I’ll stuff it full of onions, green pepper, and mushrooms, for a vegetarian take.
Cornmeal Olive Oil Dough for Deep Dish Pizza
2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum yeast
1 -1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
3/4 cup olive oil
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
Mix the yeast, salt, and sugar with the water and olive oil in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded food container.
Mix the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a dough whisk or stand mixer (fitted with a paddle).
Cover, and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses, about 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately, although it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded container and use over the next 10 days.
For the pizza
3/4 pound Cornmeal Olive Oil Dough
4 large Italian sausages (about 3/4 pound), cooked and broken into small pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup thick tomato sauce
Butter for the pan
Cornmeal for the pan
Preheat the oven to 500. Generously butter an 8 x 2-inch springform pan (or regular cake pan, as pictured above) and coat with cornmeal.
Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 3/4 pound piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on a work surface to produce a 1/8 inch thick round. Dust with flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface. Use a dough scraper to un-stick the dough as needed. Transfer to the cake pan. The dough should hand over the edge of the pan, which will prevent it from “slouching” while you fill it.
Mix the sausage and two-thirds of the cheese together in a bowl. Spread the meat mixture onto the dough.
Top with the sauce.
Top with the remaining cheese. Trim the overhang with a kitchen shears so there is about 1/2 inch of dough that will flop down over the filling.
Slide the pizza into the preheated oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 400. Bake for about 45 minutes. The pizza should be bubbling and the cheese evenly melted. If your crust is browning too quickly, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, to allow the filling to set slightly before removing from the pan. (If you aren’t using a springform, you can run a knife around the edge of the pizza, and then use a spatula to help ease the pizza out of the pan.)
Cut into wedges and serve.
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