Adapted from Cooking Light May 2010
I remember the first time I went to Chicago. One of my dad’s friends took us to Gino’s East Pizzeria. We ordered what seemed like a normal amount of pizza for the amount of people we were. We all gaped at the waiter as they brought out these monstrous pizzas. I could barely even finish one slice. Nonetheless, it was delicious. For a while I wanted to make a Chicago-style pizza. Finally, I was given this magazine and I immediately decided to make this pizza. Great stuff!
Yields 6 servings
- 1 cup warm water, divided
- 12 ounces bread flour
- 1 package dry yeast (about 2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups (5 ounces) mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1½ cups Basic Pizza Sauce (recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Pour ¾ cup of the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with it dough hook attached. Weigh the flour and add it to the ¾ cup of water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
- Combine the remaining ¼ cup of water and the yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.
- Add the yeast mixture, oil and salt to the flour mixture; mix for 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover the surface of the dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand, covered for 1 hour or until the dough comes to room temperature. Punch the dough down and turn it out into a 13×9-inch metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press the dough into the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap.
- Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
- Arrange ¾ cup of the mozzarella evenly over the dough. Top with the Basic Pizza Sauce, Parmesan and remaining ½ cup of mozzarella.
- Place the pan on the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cut the pizza into 12 rectangles and serve hot!
Basic Pizza Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Remove the tomatoes from the can using a slotted spoon and reserve the juices. Crush the tomatoes.
- Add the tomatoes, juices, salt and oregano to the saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Comments: I made the great mistake of not reading the recipe fully before actually doing it. It came as a surprise when I saw that I had to refrigerate the dough for 24 hours! This amount of time really shocked me but I just went with the time that I had (6 hours). The crust came out perfectly. Next time I make this pizza I’ll test the 24-hour refrigeration to see if it really makes that big of a difference. We all really liked the sauce. Even though it was really simple, it had a lot of flavor. San Marzano tomatoes are traditionally used in Neapolitan pizza sauce and they have a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. (I later spread leftovers on sliced bread and made AMAZING grilled cheese sandwiches!) The bread flour contributes to the bready, chewy consistency of the crust. If you want to add toppings like pepperoni or vegetables, place them on the first layer of mozzarella and then add the tomato sauce. Though this definitely may take longer than other pizza recipes, it is definitely worth it!
Revision March 6, 2016: I made this pizza again yesterday, but this time I refrigerated the dough for 24 hours (and added some olives!). The increased refrigeration time really made a difference. The crust came out bubbly, slightly chewy but crisp. If you have the time, I recommend you refrigerate the dough 24 hours; it can be helpful with a mid-week meal. If you can’t, you can always wait less like I did the first time; it will still be good!