Chicago Style Pizza

Total Time:
5 hr
20 min
4 hr
40 min

6 serving

  • Pizza Dough:
  • 16 ounces water
  • 1/8 -ounce yeast
  • 1/2 -ounce salt
  • 2 pounds bread flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • Toppings:
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, jar or homemade
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup spinach, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In a mixer combine the water and the yeast and allow the yeast to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cornmeal and begin to mix the dough using a dough hook on low speed. Once a ball is formed mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and smooth. Remove from the mixer and place in a bowl coated with olive oil. Allow the dough to rest for approximately 4 hours. Once the dough is rested, place on flat surface and dust with some flour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a deep baking dish or deep dish pizza pan, spread the dough using your fingers at the bottom of the pan and make sure to have enough dough to come up the sides of the pan approximately 1/2-inch high.

Begin by placing a layer of the mozzarella cheese on the bottom of the crust. Add the tomato sauce and all of the toppings. Place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden and crispy.

Serve pizza straight from the oven to the table.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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    CORNMEAL: Put in the mixture before the flour. Use stone-ground cornmeal NOT yellow or white cornmeal.  
    DOUGH: Add a little bit of water to the dough if needed to get all of the flour in there. Use onion salt, & add a TSP of garlic powder. Cover with olive oil and plastic wrap & let the dough sit for 2 to 3 days. I know this is probably a shocker, but this is what the Chicago pizza places do. It ferments the dough & adds a strong wonderful flavor to it. Don't store in the fridge until fermented.  
    PREP: Put the dough over the side of the pan, cheese slices up the side, then fold over the crust back on it. Coat pan with olive oil, & sprinkle cornmeal, parmesan, & Italian seasoning. Adds flavor & keeps the dough from sliding when spreading it out. Cheese first, then toppings, more cheese, then sauce.  
    Recipe with conversions: 
    16 ounces warm water 
    1 1/4 Teaspoons Active Dry yeast 
    2 1/2 Teaspoons salt 
    5-7 cups bread flour 
    1/4 cup olive oil 
    1/4 cup Stone-ground cornmeal (NOT yellow)
    Typical inaccurate, non-authentic recipe. Calls for cornmeal, no instruction on what you are to do with it. I know why it's included, but why post recipes that are not correct? All you get is garbage food.
    "Add the remaining ingredients except for the cornmeal".. So, we just buy cornmeal and put in cupboard? I didn't see where it's used, did I miss that? 
    Aside from that the pizza was awesome!!
    I'm from Chicago and grew up on Lou's sausage deep dish. I cut the recipe in half and still had enough Extra dough for a focaccia. First I used one cup of unfed sourdough starter to replace equivalent flour, water, and yeast. After the dough had relaxed I turned it out onto board covered with semolina flour and tossed extra on top. I rubbed a 12 inch cast iron skillet with butter and some corn meal. Then I spread the dough out in the skillet extremely thin. I had trouble keeping the dough from slipping back down the sides, so I let it relax rubbed extra butter and cornmeal into the edges and used a fork to flatten it against the sides. Then I topped with fresh and regular mozzarella, a layer of turkey sausage, mushrooms, spinach, peeled tomatoes with garlic and basil, and finally more chopped garlic and grated parmesan. I baked it at 450 for 30 minutesthen turned it down to 400 for another 20 minutes. Let set and then cut into 1/8ths. Good stuff.
    Turned out great. The only thing I will do differently next time is cook my fresh spinach & mushrooms BEFORE putting them on the pizza because as they cooked on the pizza, it created quite a bit of liquid. I had to tilt the pan over the sink when the pizza was done & drain off all the extra juice. Even then, when I sliced it, quite a bit of liquid came out. Other than that, the pizza was great.
    This recipe is horrible. Many details are missing, causing the less experienced (such as myself) to try and fillin the the gaps. My pizza crust puffed up like a friggin' soufflé. I'll be looking elsewhere for a better recipe.
    VERY good! I used a little more butter in the dough and some wheat flour. I wont use the wheat flour next time, maybe just the bread flour and a little semolina. I cut the dough recipe in half and it was perfect for one 12" pie. I buttered the pan and coated with the corn meal, that worked very nice. Definitely DONT put cornmeal in the dough! Im not a purist, I'll use all pourpose or bread flour. If you can, put the pan on a pre-heated stone when you bake. The san marzano tomatoes ARE AWESOME !, Adjust the consistancy with paste. I used 14OZ puree and 16OZ paste. Nice and thick, spread on top with a little parmesian reggianno shaved on top after it came out of the oven. Then let it set for almost 10 min to rest and cool.
    A lot of you are complaining about the measurements. 1/2 oz yeast is 1 tablespoon, 1/2 oz of salt is 1 tablespoon. The flour should be low gluten (all purpose. Mix cornmeal in the dough, on Throwdown, Malnati didn't add cornmeal at any time. You'll need to mix for 8-12 minutes on low. I also suspect that butter is used rather than oil, but you can't expect a successful chain restaurant to share the exact recipe. By weight this should make 2-10 or 12 inch pies. Bakers formula calculation= flour 100%, water 48%, salt 1.9%, oil=5.2%, yeast 0.9%, cornmeal 4.1%
    I haven't tried this yet but I had to reply to some of the comments. I will however be trying this out and will then reply with the results. 
    15 years ago, I helped build the Lawndale unit. During that time I met Marc Malnati personally and know him well enough to say, if he provided the recipe at all, it is authentic. Do a little research about how and why the Lawndale store came to be and you will understand what I mean. 
    I would like to see the bulk recipe before it was scaled down. sometimes these scaling down processes are to blame for an unsuccessful final product.  
    The cornmeal is generally used on the stone or pan so the crust doesn't stick. doing so and adding some to the dough provides a unique crust and crumb. 
    Also, in any of my bread/pastry work, I never use all purpose flour. always, always bread flour!! 
    This is just pizza dough. No mention on what to do with the cornmeal.
    This is not the recipe for authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza (except for the mixing/kneading time). Authentic deep dish uses all-purpose flour, not bread flour. There is no cornmeal in the dough. There is significantly more oil in the dough (a good ratio is 1 Tablespoon oil to 1 cup flour).
    this is the chicago style pizza a won national awards and the one that chicagoans PREFER. Sorry Uno, Due Giodanos Nancy's, Albertos and the host of pizza chains in Chicago who werent chosen as the best, so you gotta complain. People still buy your product its just not the best. Its ok, we still prefer thsi crust over yours
    Best Pizza Ever! We love homemade pizza, and this just became our new favorite. Truly the best I've ever made.
    On a a trip from Florida to Minnesota we stopped in Chicago. We sought out the best Chicago style pizza in town. We were directed to Lou Malnati's where we had the most fabulous spinach pizza.
     We have tried in vain to find anything that comes close here in Minnesota and so today I started scouting around for a crust recipe that would compare to what we had at Malnati's.
     Imagine my delight at finding this recipe. We'll see how it turns out.
     Apparently I have to rate this recipe before I can post, so I'm giving it 5 stars for the pizza we had at the Schaumberg-Roselle location. Yum!
    Several comments are that this makes too much dough.
     Dough freezes beautifully. After rising, punch dough down,
     cut off the amount you will use and shape the rest of the
     dough in a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in plastic
     freezer bag. When ready to use. Remove the plastic wrap
     and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and allow
     to defrost and rise for least 3 hours. Gently punch down and
     follow recipe from there.
     If not using cornmeal on the bottom, be sure to spread oil
     on bottom of pan. It makes for easy removal of pizza and
     makes the bottom extra crispy.
     Use San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes crushed by hand.
     The mozzarella is thin overlapping slices placed on top of the
     dough. If using sausage, make a thin disk the size of the pan
     and place on top of the cheese. Then tomatoes and you're
     good to go. (Note: Lou's also uses this dough for their thin
     crust pizza)
    You people that say you're from Chicago can eat, but obviously not cook. I lived in Chicago all my life. Don't blame the recipe, blame yourselves. It's not going to be exact...type of flour, type of olive oil (pure, virgin, extra virgin, etc), how evenly your oven cooks, how long you let it rise, sloppy all makes a huge difference. The recipe is good. Besides, Chicago crust is all about the same...flour, cornmeal, olive oil,'s practicing with it time and time again to get it right. The pizzeria's we all love have been doing it for 50, 60, 70 years!
    The straight sided pizza pan shown in the photo for this recipe is a tin plated steel pan made by American Metalcraft. Restaurants in Chicago make their deep dish pizzas in this type of pan, when the pan is new they will look silver but with use they will turn black as they become seasoned.
     Here are the part numbers for the deep dish pizza pans.
     American Metalcraft (T80082) - 8" Pizza Pan
     American Metalcraft (T80102) - 10" Pizza Pan
     American Metalcraft (T80122) - 12" Pizza Pan
     American Metalcraft (T80142) - 14" Pizza Pan
     I've ordered a set of these pans, I will try this recipe and compare it to a Lou Malnati's pizza from their pizzaria near my home and report back here with the results.
    This recipe works well even with my gluten free pizza dough. I made two 12 inch pizzas in glass pie plates and one 16 inch in a deep dish metal pizza pan. I liked the crust on the glass plates the best. My gluten free dough recipe is from one of Betty Hageman's books-this dough rises for 10 minutes after placing in the pan - bakes untopped for 10 minutes- out of the oven and topped according to Chef Malnati's recipe. It's the best gluten free pizza I've ever had. I can't wait to try the one I froze to see how it turns out.
     from Bonnie
    Hey people let the dough sit overnight, it will taste, my husband is from Chicago and liked the crust, just tweek with it and quite complaining
    The cornmeal is sprinkled on the pan before you put down the dough. About half of the pizzerias in Chicagoland use cornmeal under the crust to keep it from sticking to the pan. I presume the others use oil.
    when do you add the cornmeal???
    This recipe is good but it is not the crust used in the restaurant. I ordered several pies from Lou's and they list the ingredients on the label. After much trial and error I have found the right ratio of ingredients to re-create that real Chicago taste and texture. So check out my web site for the recipe.
    So add 1 tsp of sugar to the dough recipe to give it that missing hint of home.
     I add it to the yeast/water mixture. I don't use dried herbs often but toss in some dried basil and or oregano to the party to jazz up the dough flavor. I have made the dough with and without the cornmeal inside. Either way works fine. I like the texture cornmeal adds to the crust.
     A pan grabber helps pull the pan out and makes you feel like an authentic pizza chef!
    Like Edward mentioned in his email, this is not even close to the real thing. If Marc Malnatti served this in the restaurant they would be out of business in a week. It's been 5 years since I lived in Chicago, but I've eaten enough of their pizzas to know the difference. The texture is poor and tastes bland. I used the cornmeal both in the dough and on the bottom and even that didn't add enough flavor to balance out the bland crust. A note to the chef's and restaurant owners out there providing recipes. People use these recipes as a salute to you. Don't shortchange us by providing 2nd class recipes or ingredients. I was really disapointed by this particular recipe as I've always had great memories of Lou Malnati's pizza.
    For the guy looking for a grocery store deep dish, I believe Gino's East will be the closest you'll get to authentic deep dish in the freezer aisle. Also, you might look for Reggio's. The so-called Uno's Chicago Grill frozen pizzas (and the restaurants other than the original Pizzeria Uno and Due in Chicago) are not authentic. Cheese goes on the bottom, guys!
     You can order Lou Malnati's online for overnight shipping, but it's pretty expensive.
     Speaking of cheese, Marc Malnati is not gonna give away the farm, so he's given you a few false ingredients and instructions.
     Cheese should be SLICED, not shredded, and it goes on the bottom of the pizza, right on top of the crust.
     Increase the amount of oil (and use corn oil instead of/in combination with olive oil).
     Forget the cornmeal.
    I saw the episode with Marc Malnati and I've read everyone's comments. Looks like the FN had a problem with the cornmeal thing! Given all the opinions, I've got a question; other than ordering through the website, does Malnati's distribute their pizzas through any grocery chains? I'm in Florida so I'm obviously looking for local chains.
    Taste of Chicago ships all over the world.
    The pizza turned out great, though the directions weren't so clear regarding the cornmeal. We used fresh basil leaves in place of the spinach, and used sliced buffalo mozarella. Be sure to pat the dough out thin, as it rises and becomes bread like if too thick.
    I liked this recipe a lot. I grew up on Malnati's pizza so I am very familiar with it. I added the cornmeal to the flower and it had that classic Chicago pizza taste. You must add more water when you do this (enough to make the dough tacky). Also for the weight of the flower I remembered a Rhyme my mother use to say? A pints a pound the world around?. I don?t know if this is completely accurate but it worked fine. Lastly it yielded 2 14? pizzas I made the first one thin crust (with a perforated pan) and it came out awesome. One small note 1/8 of an oz of yeast is a half a packet, 1 and 1/8th teaspoons.
    My husband and I loved this pizza, it was delicious. But be aware that the dough makes enough for two 10-12 inch deep dish pizzas, and the recipe doesn't say what to do with the cornmeal, which I sprinkled in the bottom of the baking pan before adding the dough. Also, I didn't have a food scale to measure the flour, so I had to eyeball the recipe, but fortunately, it turned out well--very crispy and almost cracker-like.
    Very delicious. We ordered a pizza from them and it was out of this world. Recommend them very highly~
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