To do it right, you’re going to need a deep dish pizza pan, preferably a stoneware one. It’s also easiest to have a sturdy mixer with a dough hook, but I’m sure you can do it by hand too. The dough recipe follows:
· 2 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast or a tablespoon of instant yeast
· 1 teaspoon white sugar or honey (I use honey)
· 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
· 2 1/2 cups bread flour or AP flour
· 1 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 teaspoon salt
Dissolve the sugar or honey in the warm water and add yeast. Mix in yeast and allow to develop, between five and ten minutes.
Add flour, salt and olive oil to mixing bowl. Add yeast mixture and mix with dough hook until dough pulls away from sides and forms ball. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Remove the hook and allow dough to rest for 30 minutes until double in size.
Add a good tablespoon of olive oil (and if you like a buttery taste, some melted butter) to the bottom of the deep dish pan. Smear around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Press dough into the pan. Here’s where the magic of Lou Malnati’s comes into play. Their pizzas are really pizza pies. As you press the dough into the pan, allow the sides of the dough to push up the sides of the deep dish pan. Press the dough against the sides making a thin high wall of pizza dough all the way around the edge with a nice deep flat bottom.
Now it’s time to build your pie—again, different than the pizzas you’re probably used to. I start by putting a small amount of olive oil all over the crust and smearing crushed garlic on the base of the dough. Now add your cheese—that’s right, on the bottom! Add your various vegetables and meats (except pepperoni if you like it crispy). Once you have your toppings added, pour on your favorite sauce—I like a fairly sweet sauce on this type of pizza. Don’t get too heavy handed with the sauce as this is a thick pie and the middle will have a tough time baking all the way through. Now, if you like crispy pepperoni, add this to the top with a VERY light sprinkling of cheese.
Set the pie in a 400 degree oven and bake for at least 30 minutes. This is kind of an art and it depends on how thick you packed your pie and how much sauce you poured on. Keep an eye on the edge of the crust and if it gets golden brown, take the pie out and give it a try. If you find it’s still a little doughy in the middle, you can always throw it back in the oven.
VARIATIONS: I like to use the butter and oil mix because I like the buttery taste in the crust. I also sprinkle a garlic parmesan mix on the edge of the crust once it’s brushed with the oil/butter mixture for a garlicy crust. This last time, I just added the garlic parmesan right into the dough and it turned out great.
Give it a try and let me know what you think. Just remember to only eat this about once or twice a year!