It’s amazing how a few simple changes (as explained below) can completely reinvent a family-favorite recipe! I don’t think we’re alone in loving homemade pizza, but as with anything it can get a little same ol’ same ol’ after a while. So, I have to thank my daughter for suggesting we have Chicago-style deep dish pizza for dinner one night instead. I don’t know if it’s our Chicago roots (my parents grew up there) or what, but this simple switch up made this classic recipe exciting and new again and not to mention, SO tasty. It was a big hit with the whole family, and it may be a while before we go back to regular pizza again, LOL. :)
What Makes It a Deep Dish Pizza?
Here are the main differences that make this pizza crust “deep dish” instead of regular…
- Slightly different recipe with cornmeal and butter added.
- No rolling pin needed, simply use your hands.
- Form and bake in a cake pan (pictured).
I hope you enjoy this deep dish pizza recipe as much as we did!
Whole-Wheat Deep Dish Pizza
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for greasing the pans
- 1/2 small onion cut into thin slices
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage mild or hot or a mix
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 8-oz ball mozzarella cheese fresh, cut into slices
- 1 15 ounce can pizza sauce
- 1 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water along with a pinch of sugar. Give it a few minutes to foam up while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In either a stand mixer or food processor combine the rest of the crust ingredients including the flour, cornmeal, salt, olive oil, and butter. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix for several minutes until the dough comes together in one ball. (This recipe was a little tight in the size food processor I have, but with a little nudging it worked.)
- Place the pizza dough in a large bowl or bag greased with olive oil (cover with plastic wrap if using a bowl) and set aside for about an hour to let it rise while you prepare the filling. Alternatively, you could make this dough up to 24 hours in advance and let it rise in the fridge.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion until it begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook while stirring until it begins to soften as well, 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Add the sausage and break it up with a spoon while cooking. Cook until almost brown all the way through (no longer pink in the middle). Stir in the sliced mushrooms until they soften and darken in color, another 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
To assemble and bake
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush a little olive oil on the inside of two 9" cake pans.
- Divide the dough into two equal balls. Using your hands, continuously turn one of the dough balls in a circle while slowly stretching until it's slightly wider than the cake pan. Place in the pan and stretch the dough up on the sides as pictured, being sure to push in along the crease at the bottom. Repeat for the other dough ball.
- Set aside to rest for 10 or 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes (without any filling) just until it's barely beginning to brown and puffs up some.
- Divide the cheese slices between the two pies and lay them right on top of the crust. Evenly divide the sausage mixture on top of the cheese and then pour the sauce (half a can for each) over top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (1/2 cup for each) and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 22 to 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly so the filling sets before slicing. Serve warm and enjoy!