Tag Archives: sourdough

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

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My daughter just turned 14, and she requested I make Chicago Style deep dish pizza for her birthday.  I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting pizza recipes. Our family favorite is this one I developed after our first trip to Naples. I’ve also done a breakfast pizza.  More recently I posted a Grilled Pizza recipe in a guest post for Traditional Cooking School. But those were hand-tossed crusts that needed to be crisp/chewy. The deep dish crust is a different texture – a little biscuity, and definitely thicker. I also wanted wanted to incorporate a little sourdough to up the nutritional content as well as the flavor of the crust. Usually deep dish pizzas are all about the fillings and the crust always seems a bit lacking.

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What I came up with was a pizza with a slightly tangy, toothy crust piled high with plenty of toppings smothered in a chunky tomato sauce. I’ve given you a recipe for sausage with peppers and onions or mushrooms, but you can use your own favorites. Just remember to saute any vegetables first or they may release too much liquid while baking and make things soggy.

Crust:

2/3 cup sprouted cornmeal or organic cornmeal

3 cups spelt flour or organic whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons sourdough starter

2 teaspoons honey or sucanat

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 to 1 1/3 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil

Toppings:

1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese

8 oz shredded provolone cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 lb. Italian sausage

4 oz fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

1/2 cup thinly sliced green pepper

2 8oz cans organic tomato sauce

1 cup organic diced tomatoes

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp raw honey

1/2 tsp garlic powder

a pinch of sea salt

olive oil

For the Crust:

Combine the cornmeal, flour, sourdough starter, 2 tsp honey and about a cup of the water in a large mixing bowl. Allow this to rest (also called the autolyze stage) for about 30 minutes. Then add in the oil, salt and any more water needed to make a smooth but still stiff dough. Using the dough hook or your hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Cover and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 8 hours or as long as 24 hours. The longer you let it sit the more nutritious your crust will be, however it will also develop a more sour flavor – so it is a balance between the two.

For the Toppings:

Combine the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, 1 tsp honey, garlic powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Saute the sausage, mushrooms, onions and peppers in a large skillet until the sausage is done and the vegetables are tender. Combine the shredded mozzarella, and shredded provolone in a bowl.

To Assemble the Pizzas:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously coat the bottom and sides of two deep dish pizza pans with olive oil. I use a stoneware pan like this, but you could also use a 10″ or 11″ cast iron skillet like this if you don’t have a deep dish pan. Divide the dough in half and gently press the dough across the bottom and at least halfway up the sides of the pans. You don’t want it too thick on the bottom or it will be soggy and not cooked all the way through, but you do want it high enough on the sides that it will contain the deep layers of toppings.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella mixture across the bottom of each crust. Divide the sausage mixture evenly between the two pizzas and spread over the cheese. Divide the remaining mozzarella mixture between the two pizzas, and then divide the tomato sauce mixture spreading it evenly over the toppings. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan over the top of each pizza.

Bake the pizzas for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove the pizzas from the oven and let them rest, in the pan, on a cooling rack for ten minutes. These pizzas are superhot and if you eat them right out of the oven you will do some damage to your mouth! The resting time also lets the filling firm up enough that when you slice it everything doesn’t just run all over the pan.

Chicago Stye Deep Dish Pizza
 
Author:
Recipe type: deep dish pizza
Cuisine: Italian-American
 
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • ⅔ cup sprouted cornmeal or organic cornmeal
  • 3 cups spelt flour or organic whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sourdough starter
  • 2 teaspoons honey or sucanat
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 to 1⅓ cups water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Toppings:
  • 1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz shredded provolone cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onion
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green pepper
  • 2 8oz cans organic tomato sauce
  • 1 cup organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • olive oil for the pan
Instructions
  1. For the Crust:
  2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sourdough starter, 2 teaspoons honey and the water in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Allow this to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Add in the oil, salt and any more water necessary to make a smooth but still stiff dough.
  5. Using the dough hook or your hands, knead the dough for 5 minutes.
  6. Cover and allow the dough to sit out at room temperature for 8 hours or as long as 24 hours.
  7. The longer it sits the more nutritious it will be, but also the more sour the flavor - find a balance that works for your family.
  8. For the toppings:
  9. Combine the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon honey, garlic powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  10. Saute the sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onions in a large skillet until the sausage it done and the vegetables are tender.
  11. Combine the shredded mozzarella and shredded provolone in a bowl.
  12. To Assemble the Pizzas:
  13. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  14. Generously coat the bottom and sides of two deep dish pizza pans with olive oil.
  15. Divide the dough in half and gently press the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pans.
  16. Keep the bottom crust evenly thin so it will cook completely.
  17. Sprinkle 1 cup of the mozzarella mixture across the bottom of each crust.
  18. Divide the sausage mixture evenly between the two pizzas.
  19. Divide the remaining mozzarella mixture evenly on top of the sausage layer.
  20. Divide the tomato sauce mixture spreading evenly across the top of each pizza.
  21. Sprinkle the tops with shredded parmesan.
  22. Bake the pizzas for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  23. Remove the pizzas from the oven and let them rest in the pan for 10 minutes - do not skip this step!
  24. Slice the pizzas and enjoy.

IMG_4273 web large watermarkWhen you’ve had enough turkey leftovers and feel like calling out for pizza, try this deep dish pizza instead. Have you ever made deep dish pizza before? Leave a reply and tell us your favorite toppings. Use the media buttons at the top to Pin this for later or Tweet to friends.

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Waffles! Make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings

School day mornings are often hectic and many children head out the door with nothing more than a pop-tart and a juice box to fuel their bodies and brains. Whole grain sourdough waffles, on the other hand, can be a convenient toast-and-go breakfast or enjoyed at a leisurely pace when you have time for a family breakfast.

For a long time I was intimidated by sourdough. I had heard it was difficult to maintain, time consuming to use and a lot of work all around, but from a healthy eating standpoint it was tops. Sourdough is a very ancient method of breadmaking. It requires minimal ingredients. It does a wonderful job of neutralizing the phytates in grains so that the end products are very digestible and very nutritious. The bottom line for me, though, was that my daughter loved the taste of sourdough and kept asking me if I could learn how to make it.

My guide and resource on my sourdough journey was the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook edited by P.J. Hamel.  It was the summer of 2009 when I decided to take the plunge.  I read through the book’s sourdough section several times, gathered together the ingredients and equipment and gave it a try. Making the starter wasn’t hard at all, it took about a week to really get going and nearly all of that was just wait time, very little hands on effort was needed. By the end of the second week I had tried my first loaf of bread – a sourdough rye – and everyone in our house thought it was terrific. The whole loaf was eaten up within the first day!  After that I slowly worked my way through most of the sourdough recipes in thw book and then started looking around for more. My goal was to gain experience using sourdough; I tried not to let perfectionism into the picture. With many of my bread baking experiments in the past I would get discouraged if the finished product was ugly to look at, and I would get downright irritated if it wasn’t absolutely delicious. Sourdough was a journey rather than a means to an end. The journey has been going on now for four years! Many of my attempts have been delicious, some have been bakery beautiful, some have been total disasters. All have been learning experiences.

Making a sourdough starter is a great learning experience and when you’re done with your lesson you can make delicious bread! Being a homeschool mom I’m always on the lookout for ways to incorporate learning into daily activities. I love fellow food blogger and homeschool mom Wardeh Harmon’s video “What, How & Why of a Sourdough Starter”.

So what does all of this have to do with waffles?  While on my journey I discovered, like manysourdoughwaffleswebsmall sourdough bakers, I felt a little guilty just dumping out the leftover starter every time I fed it. What if you don’t have time to bake bread? You make waffles!!  This waffle recipe came from an old King Arthur catalog that came in the mail  years ago. I cut out the recipe and gave it a try one weekend when I had some time to experiment.  The whole family loved them! I made a few adjustments to the basic recipe to reflect my desire to use all whole grains, and now these waffles have become a family favorite. Following the Weston A Price Foundation‘s suggestions we use plenty of butter on these waffles plus 100% maple syrup or raw honey drizzled on top. I like mine with crispy walnuts or pecans, and my daughter loves blueberries!

Make a double batch of these waffles and enjoy them fresh on a lazy summer vacation morning,sourdoughwaffles2websmall then freeze the rest between sheets of wax paper to use on busier mornings to come. Pop one in the toaster and then spread with natural peanut butter and bananas and fold for a to-go breakfast.

Here is my version of the recipe for sourdough waffles:
(by the way, if you don’t have a waffle iron this recipe also makes great pancakes)

Sourdough Waffles:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tblsp sucanat or honey
2 cups kefir (you could also use buttermilk or thinned yogurt too)
1 cup sourdough starter (not yet fed, just as it comes from the refrigerator or discarded from a feeding)
2 large eggs, preferably free range
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

At least 12 hours before or overnight: Combine the flour, sugar, kefir and sourdough starter in a large bowl. Cover with a clean towel or loose lid and let it sit at room temperature.
12 hours later or the next day:  Combine the eggs, butter, salt and soda and stir into the big bowl of batter. Stir well to blend it all together.  Pour a heaping 1/3 cup of batter into your preheated, greased waffle iron.  Cook as directed by your waffle iron instructions. Serve hot with plenty of butter and maple syrup, raw honey, fresh berries or homemade applesauce.
If you have waffles leftover you can let them cool on a wire rack then freeze them separated by squares of wax paper in a freezer bag. Reheat one in the low setting of your toaster for a quick weekday breakfast.