Stuffed / Deep Dish Pizza {Recipe}

I know you all have been eagerly awaiting my deep dish / stuffed pizza tutorial… I mean look at this baby and tell me that your mouth isn’t watering just at the sight of it!

I’ll admit that when I moved to Illinois way back when (can it really be 20+ years ago?? Really?), I had no clue what a deep dish pizza was. They didn’t serve those where I grew up (in the most northeastern tip of Ohio)… in fact, it wasn’t until I met Ray that I had my first taste of the pizza that Chicago is so famous for. All it took was that one taste though and I was hooked!

Now there are many ways to make a deep dish pizza, and while Ray and I are not very picky, we do have our favorites. One of them is actually considered a stuffed pizza – meaning it has the bottom crust, then all of the cheese and toppings, followed by another layer of dough, and then topped off with sauce (and in Ray’s case – black olives)… sooo tasty (and fattening, but we’ll forget about that part!). Since I’ve been making our own thin crust, Ray and I thought it would be great to try and make deep dish too. I looked online, found this recipe, and then modified it a bit. Without further ado…

The Dough

I found a recipe that I like on – it is the one that I use for my thin crust pizza too, and we just love it. The only thing that I do differently when making deep dish is that I double the recipe… it gives me more than enough dough and I use the extra for either cheesy garlic bread or for dessert rolls (think cinnamon rolls).  Here it is already modified –

  • 2 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast – or 4 1/2 tsp (if you’re like me and buy the large yeast containers)
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups flour (I use all purpose)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar

~~ Dissolve the yeast in warm water – I use my KitchenAid mixer to make my dough, so I do this right in the bowl that I’ll be using. Let the yeast stand until it looks creamy… about 10 minutes.

~~Stir in the sugar, oil, salt and flour. Knead until the dough is stiff and smooth… I let the mixer run at least 5 minutes. If your dough looks runny, add more flour – that’s okay! Cover the bowl and let stand for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in volume. (You want to cover it with something that has room to move – no lids! – I like to cover the bowl with either a towel or plastic wrap and set the bowl on the dryer while it’s running. You just want to make sure that the bowl is in a warm, draft free spot in order for the dough to rise)

Dough before rising

Dough after doubling

The Pizza

~~ While your dough is rising you want to do some  prep work. First grab your (mine is enamel – love it!), grease and flour it. Don’t skip this step unless  you want to scrape your crust off of the bottom… still tasty, just not very practical. Preheat oven to 450F.

~~ On a floured surface, remove your dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Divide it. Place one half back in the bowl, cover and set aside.

~~ Roll out dough so that it is big enough to fit into the pan. Flatten it on the bottom and smooth it up the sides.

~~ Let the fun begin! Start putting your toppings on the crust. Here’s ours lined with pepperoni:

and with topped with cheese… lots of it!

Confession: I buy in bulk at Sam’s and freeze my pepperoni and cheese – I do not thaw them prior to baking… both are still frozen when I place them on the pizza.

~~ Next step – grab the dough you set aside. Roll out a portion large enough to cover the inside of the pan (covering the cheese)

~~ Press dough covering cheese firmly into bottom layer of dough. Cut off excess dough hanging over side of pan and roll to form the crust.

~~ Take your knife and make a small slice in the center of the top layer – this will let out any steam that may build up during baking. Pour your favorite sauce on the top layer of dough. Top with Parmesan cheese and in Ray’s case – sliced black olives.

~~ Bake at 450F on the middle rack for 20-30 minutes (times vary depending on oven and ingredients) or until the crust is golden brown. Let set a few minutes then slice it up and enjoy!! Guten Appetit!

Note: If you like veggies with a high water content (like green/red peppers or spinach), make sure that you drain them or pre-cook them before putting them on the pizza. You may also want to follow the original recipe’s tip of baking the pizza on the bottom rack in the oven for 10 minutes before moving it to the middle to finish baking (20-30 min). Not doing so may result in a soggy crust.

If you decide to follow my recipe, I would love to hear (or see) how it turned out!

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4 thoughts on “Stuffed / Deep Dish Pizza {Recipe}”

  1. I think you and I like our pizza from the same joint. I’m trying to figure out how we’ll fit it in when we head to IL this week for Thanksgiving. Your pizza looks REALLY reminiscent of that one particular pizza place.

  2. That looks delicious! I think I will give this a go soon. Thanks for sharing, loved the pictures!

    p.s. Your children are adorable!!

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