For the last 30 years or more every Saturday night at the house we’ve had pizza. Some traditions are worth keeping. 🙂 We’ve always made thin crust. We’ve admired deep dish pizza from afar, but just never got around to experimenting with it…until today.
I’ve been browsing the recipe web sites lately, experimenting with new cookies and bread doughs. I recently found a fellow online by the name of J. Kenji López-Alt who blogged about how to make a simple Detroit style pizza.
It was so simple, could it be that easy to pull off? Yes. Yes it is.
As Kenji says himself, the real shocker was the simplicity of using a food processor to make dough. Quick… real quick. And true enough, it made a great dough.
I used all purpose flour. No fancy flour, just a no name all purpose flour, same one we use for all our bread making like tortilla bread. Kenji said it would come together in 30 seconds and mixed in 30 more seconds. Sure enough. Then it was time to give it a coating of oil and set in a bowl to rise and sit for an hour to proof. Olive oil is recommended but it’s not an ingredient I have in the house so vegetable oil will do.
The floor in front of the wood stove is about the best possible place to proof a ball of dough.
An hour later the dough is about double in size. The recipe called for a large rectangle deep dish pan but if none available, two 8 inch round pans would do. Well, I had planned to do the pizza in a 9 inch cast iron skillet. First a liberal amount of vegetable oil. I didn’t measure but safe to say 3 table spoons. It was more than I’ve ever put in a pan for pizza dough but Ken’s writing and other videos I watched said not to skimp on the oil. So a little more than half the dough went in the 9 inch skillet and the remaineder went in the 8 inch cake pan. I only dressed the skillet for a pizza, the other pan I covered and put in the fridge for overnight. Mostly to see what it will do when I bake it off tomorrow.
When we normally make pizza, there’s the dough (a pre-baked shell we make at home), sauce, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, onion, mozza cheese and then bacon and/or diced up fried bologna. Mmmmm delicious. With the Detroit style we turn the application of ingredients upside down. First pressing the dough (not pre-baked) into the skillet, next is the pepperoni, onion, both cheeses and then the sauce on top! What?? Yes, in that order.
Well, doesn’t that look deep dish-licious?!
The instructions called for 550ºF for 12 minutes. I mis-read that and had the oven set for 500ºF. Half way into the baking I realized the mistake and turned up the oven to 550ºF. By the time 12 minutes was up, the oven was only reaching 550ºF. Knowing full well the dough was not yet cooked, I set the timer for another 4 minutes. I hauled out the skillet to check the bottom. It was just a slight brown so I put it back in the oven on the lowest shelf and moved the skillet to one side so that it could get maximum heat from the bottom element.
4 more minutes and the results were wonderful. No need for the broiler to brown the top.