Tailgate Thursday (better late than never edition)

Remember the first post, the one where I said that I didn't start doing this post myself for a lot of reasons, one of them being that sometimes I'm actually required to practice law?  Well yeah, sometimes things happen.  Settling in for the Illinois edition of Thursday, I was pleasntly suprised by this weeks edition.  Deep Dish Pizza.  But what do you do for Northwestern, which is closer to Chicago?  Only time will tell.

As always, there is time for questions and answers here, and at Kitchen Encounters...

For the crust:

3  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2  cup yellow cornmeal

2  packets granulated, dry yeast, not rapid-rise

1  teaspoon garlic powder

1  teaspoon sugar

1  teaspoon salt

1-1 1/4  cups hot water

1/4  cup olive oil, plus 1-2 additional tablespoons for preparing pan

no-stick cooking spray

For the sausage filling: (please read my Cook's Note at end of this post)

2  tablespoons olive oil

1  pound sausage, mild or sweet is my preference, casings removed

4  ounces diced yellow or sweet onion

4  ounces diced green bell pepper

4  ounces sliced white button mushroom caps

salt and pepper

For the sauce:

2  cups of pizza sauce, I use my recipe for ~ My Fresh & Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce ~, found in Categories 8 & 12

For the cheeses & dry spice toppings:

 9-10  slices provolone cheese, not too thick, not too thin, about 8 ounces

9-10  slices mozzarella cheese, not too thick, not too thin, about 8 ounces

1/2  cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Italian seasoning blend

red pepper flakes

Step 1.  In work-bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade quickly blend/combine the flour, cornmeal, yeast, garlic powder, sugar and salt.  About 10 rapid on-off pulses.

In 1-quart measuring container, combine the hot water and olive oil.

With processor motor running, through feed tube, slowly add the water/oil mixture.  Continue to add water/oil until a large ball forms then stop.  Continue to knead the ball of dough in processor, about 30-40 revolutions.

Step 2.  Spray the inside of a large, 2-gallon food storage bag with some no-stick cooking spray.  Carefully remove the dough from processor (don't cut yourself on the sharp blade), form into a ball and place in bag. 

Zip bag closed and set aside until dough has doubled in bulk, 45-60 minutes.  How easy was that!  I make all of my pizza dough using this method!  You can thank me later!  While dough is rising:

Step 3.  Place olive oil in a large skillet.  Remove casings from sausage and add to skillet, breaking it into pieces as you add it.  Prep the onion, green pepper and mushrooms as directed, adding them to the pan as you work.  Lightly salt and pepper all.  Over medium-high heat, saute, stirring constantly, until sausage and vegetables are completely cooked, about 15 minutes.  Drain thoroughly and set aside to cool.

Step 4.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in pizza pan.  Using a paper towel, grease the bottom and sides of pan.  Using your oiled fingertips, begin flattening, pressing and working the dough across the bottom and up the sides of pan.  You want the dough to be even in thickness in all places with no tears.  This takes a little time, but you will "get into it".

Set pizza aside for 20-30 minutes to allow dough to rise a little more in the pan before adding any of the cheese or sausage filling!!!  When filling pizza, do not press/compress fillings into the pan, lightly layer them!!!

Step 5.  Arrange the provolone slices in the pan, side by side, slightly overlapping, on the bottom and up sides of pan, to 1/4" of rim.

Arrange the mozzarella slices on top of the provolone slices, side by side, slightly overlapping, on the bottom and up the sides of pan.

Using a large slotted spoon, evenly distribute all of the sausage filling on top of the cheeses.

Step 6.  Spoon, drizzle, and evenly spread the tomato sauce over the sausage. 

Sprinkle the 1 cup of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese evenly over all.

Sprinkle the Italian seasoning blend and red pepper flakes evenly over all.

Guess what?  Your pizza is ready for the oven!

Step 7.  Bake on lower third of preheated 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue bake for 25-30 more minutes.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 5-10 minutes.  At this point: 

Step 8.  I position the entire pizza pan on a small glass cake pedestal.  The pizza and the bottom of the pan remain on the pedestal while the sides of the pizza pan drop to the countertop.

Remove the pizza  from the pedestal, slice and serve immediately.  Slice and serve pizza directly from the bottom of the pizza pan.

This pizza is great leftover the next day.  Reheat slices on a pan in a toaster oven... "not so much" in the microwave.  I place place 2-3 slices of room temperature pizza (which has been extremely loosely covered with a piece of aluminum foil to keep the top from burning), on a pan that fits in my Cuisinart toaster oven, which has been preheated to 375 degrees.  In 15-20 minutes, the pizza is perfect.... crispy bottom, ooey, gooey, stringy cheese! 




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