Stuffed double-crust deep dish cast iron skillet pizza

Deep dish pizzaAfter Christmas Mike and I did a little upper Midwest tour of Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis (see photos). On New Year’s Eve we had pizza at a famous Chicago eatery and it was fun, and it was good, but I thought I could do better. So for Valentine’s Day I made this Chicago-style arugula and Italian sausage (homemade) deep dish pizza.

Crust: prepare as for a loaf of bread. I only knead for about 3 minutes, then coat with the olive oil, and let rise once.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat chapati flour
  • 1/2  cup barley flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Sauce: combine all and simmer for about 20 minutes

  • 1   15 oz can of stewed tomatoes, blended or crushed tomatoes
  • 1    6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp oregano

Filling:

  • 3 medium size Italian sausage links (cooked in the sauce above)
  • 1 cup of chopped sauteed (in olive oil) arugula
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella (I was out and used Muenster – still really good)
  • 3/4 cup of asiago or other hard Italian cheese

I really recommend using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for this. Cast iron, whether a skill or a griddle, works great in the oven for pizza (450 F). Use 2/3 of the dough for the bottom crust, and 1/3 for the top (i.e., thinner). Save 1/2 cup of sauce  and 1/2 cup of cheese to put on top of the upper crust. Cook for about 30 minutes in a hot oven. I have a gas convection oven, and set the temperature for 435 F. Let the pizza sit for about 10 minutes before you cut it.

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