Friday, November 9, 2012

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

Please don't be scared off by homemade pizza it really isn't hard to make and this Chicago style was so easy.  You will love the taste of the crust, it is good enough to eat without the filling.  Any oil will work but after reading a number of different, often heated arguments on discussion boards I bought a small bottle of corn oil.  I have only used olive oil or canola oil for as long as I can remember.  Reading all the input it seemed to get the flavor of true Chicago pizza the corn oil would do the trick.  I will try it again with olive oil especially if I am using it other than a pizza.
I also think a cast iron pan is important to get that crusty bottom.  This crust recipe came from "stevel6" on  I doubled his measurements for one pizza, and measured out the Tablespoons of oil to be about 3/4 cup for the doubled recipe.  Having never made it or eaten it before I just went with the measurement, I think the Tablespoon measurement is so you add it as needed.  I didn't know what the dough should look like so just went with the measurement and it worked great.  Below is the doubled recipe I used and I love how it came out. From here you could use a bought sauce or your favorite sauce, but wanting to try the traditional style I found this recipe for sauce from Emeril Lagasse off of Food Network.......Love Emeril !!

That looks like a huge piece but that is an 8" plate...this is
so hearty you will be full on one piece, not saying
you won't have a second piece but you'll be full on one.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza


12 T warm water 
2c flour
6 T oil olive, canola, corn your choice
1 1/2 tsp yeast  (I had packets so used 2)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt


I put all ingredients into food processor pulse just a couple times (don't over do it) till mixed somewhat of a ball forms quickly.  Dump it out onto lightly floured surface and knead no more than 2 minutes this is important.  The kneading of the dough longer lets the gluten get elastic like a traditional pizza, with less kneading you are getting more of a biscuit/bread type dough.  Put dough in bowl cover and let rise for 4-6 hours.  If you don't have a warm place for it turn the oven to about 200° when warm turn off oven place bowl in oven to rise. Punch dough down let rest about 15 minutes sprinkle some corn meal into bottom of pan then press into 12 inch cast iron skillet.

Assembling pizza:  Top dough with sliced or shredded mozzarella, then whatever "toppings" you would like we did peppers, onions, mushrooms, sausage.  I put toppings in quotes because they will actually be on the bottom of the pizza.  Then top with sauce then a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.  Bake 475° for 30 minutes.  Crust edge should be golden.

****This made enough for 1 12inch pizza when I realized I needed more I made this same recipe using rapid rise yeast since I was out of time and it came out just as good, you couldn't tell a difference between them.  


For one pizza:
2 T olive oil
1 T chopped garlic
2 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper
1 28oz can San Marzano or Plum tomato (I found Cento Brand bottom of shelf)
1 T red wine
1 tsp sugar


Saute garlic and spices about 30 seconds then add rest of ingredients and allow to simmer at least 30 minutes.  It will thicken I simmered it at least an  hour.  Using a potato masher mash tomato if they were whole.  For very little effort this produces an amazing sauce.  Allow to cool before assembling pizza.

You can tell here how wet the dough was, but
easy to work with.

Assembling--mozzarella on bottom, toppings in middle
then sauce, the topping of fresh Parmesan.

Dough wants to recede from edge I kept pushing it back up
as I put ingredients into crust.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Crockpot Molten Lava Cake

Rich gooey chocolate who can resist?  Lava cake an all time favorite at any restaurant made here in a crock pot.......soooo easy.  Throwing something in a crock pot gives you so much time to spend on the rest of the meal or other things.  This is so simple plus the ingredients are easy to keep on hand. Brew a pot of coffee or tea you are good to go.  There are a number of variations of this on Pinterest this was rich enough for me but some recipes added peanut butter or used brown sugar, it definitely needs that scoop of vanilla ice cream though.  I have 2 crockpots the size is no longer on them but I think the larger one is about 5-6 qts. and the smaller about 3 qts for this I used the smaller one.  If you use a larger one just watch the cooking time it may cook faster.
Crockpot Molten Lava Cake
1 c sugar
1 c flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa
2t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c milk
2 T melted butter
1/2 t vanilla
1 c chocolate chips
1 3/4 c hot water
3 T unsweetened cocoa
3/4 c sugar

Butter or spray inside of crockpot.
Mix first 5 ingredients through salt.
Mix milk, butter & vanilla.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
Pour into prepared crockpot.
Top with chocolate chips.
Mix hot, water cocoa & 3/4 c sugar until sugar is dissolved.
Pour into crock pot on top of choc chips.
Cover cook on high for 2 hours, then turn
to low and cook 2 more hours.
To serve scoop out warm & with vanilla ice cream.

I thought this was best the same day, leftovers could be refrigerated 
and warmed in the microwave you but most of the liquid chocolate gets
absorbed but still moist and tasty.  

Scoop warm from crockpot.

It needs that scoop of ice cream!