Being a part of a great group like The Secret Recipe Club has been so fun! I'm exposed to more blogs, new recipes (many have been made several times since then) and I just love a good change from the norm. Sometimes, I'm able to find a recipe immediately. Other times it takes me awhile. I like to make the recipes exactly as the blog author does (isn't that the point?) so finding ones that work with how we like to eat or how much money I'm willing to spend has been tricky a few times, but hey, we can splurge now and then.
This month I was assigned Pumpkins and Peonies. Jess is a beautiful young lady who I think would be one of the most encouraging and inspiring people to have as a friend, just by reading her about me page and some of her tweets I read in her side bar, not to mention her food looks yummy and that's always a plus in a friendship... I loved this quote that she shares on her About Me Page:
"There's no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this"
I found several recipes I wanted to make, and still might make them, especially her Snickerdoodle Waffle Cookies....SAY WHAT?!. About 3 or 4 years ago my youngest daughter traveled to chicago with my hubby and her soccer team to play in a national tournament. While there they experienced Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and came home claiming there was nothing like it and nothing that compared to it. So when I saw her recipe for Deep Dish Pizza, Chicago style, we knew we had to try it and boy, this would be the ultimate test. We live in the Northwest and have been to one restaurant that claimed "Chicago Style" and while it was close, it still didn't compete with the real thing...I've heard that something in our altitude is not favorable with that type of pizza....who knows.
Anyways...we had planned to make it last Thursday (in our home ya just gotta find the right day when at least the majority of us will be home..everyone is always going in a different direction). We went about our day doing this and that. We were on our way home from the grocery store when I saw our neighbor on the side of the road with her girls, we stopped to chat and they mentioned there was a hawk in the bushes. We figured something was wrong with it since it wasn't flying away. Long story short, I just had to be compassionate, find a way to catch it, ended up taking it to an emergency animal hospital about 30 minutes away so they could take it to the Audubon society the next day, wait for them to give us our crate back, drive home and make pizza....we didn't get home till after 8:00...thankfully I got the crust made ahead of time and we delivered the bird while it rose...still, we did not end up eating till almost 9:30. Sadly the bird did not make it...so sad. I think my daughter will ban me from any acts of kindness until she is at least fed.
I have never had Chicago Pizza so I really don't know what it's supposed to be like. In the end my daughter said it was close, but needed some adjustments..lol. I think next time I won't do the tomatoes, but just sauce (it got a little watery), she said theirs was saucy, but not so many or any tomatoes. I think my crust needed to be a bit thicker on the bottom (she couldn't remember but thought theirs was thicker), it did get swallowed by all the toppings. BUT it was very, very good (even re-heated the next day), and I was so excited and impressed that it looked so pretty when I took the springform ring off. Would I make it again? Totally! Thanks Jess for a fun recipe to try. Oh, and the crust was really good. I have never put corn meal in the crust but I like how it turned out. We made one deep dish and then one regular pizza with BBQ chicken toppings.
Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
from Pumpkins and Peonies
4 c. all purpose flour
3 Tbs. Cornmeal
1 3/4 tsp. salt
2 3/4 tsp. yeast
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 Tbs. Butter, melted
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 c. plus 2 Tbs. Warm Water (about 110 degrees)
1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes, drained (I used petite)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Italian herbs
1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese (I kind of forgot this part...oops)
1 lb. Mozzarella Cheese Sliced
1 lb. of choice meat (we used pepperoni)
We also added olives
1. For the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, yeast, olive oil, butter and water. Knead on medium low speed until dough becomes soft and smooth. Place dough in a slightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for about 1 hour (or if you have to deliver an injured hawk to a hospital, let it rise till you get home).
2. Lightly grease on 14" deep dish pizza pan or two 9" pans...a springform pan is best. I used a 10" one and then we used the remaining dough and made just a regular pizza. Pour 2-3 Tbs olive oil in pans and spread around, bottom and sides.
3. Once dough is risen, divide depending on how many pans you are using. Roll or stretch in to a circle, slightly larger than pan. Lay dough into the pan and stretch towards the edges (up sides), until the dough begins to pull back. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.
4. Stretch the dough again so it reaches up the sides and let rest another 10 minutes (the waiting was the hardest part, especially at 9:00 at night). Bake crust for 10 minutes or until it is set and barely beginning to brown.
5. Meanwhile for filling, combine tomatoes, garlic, seasonings and sugar. Lay 1/2 the mozzarella cheese on bottom of crust, followed by meat, then sauce. Repeat process. If using 2 pans, use 1/4 of mixtures. Sprinkle tops with parmesan cheese to cover.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Allow the pizza to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
I actually bought pre-seasoned petite diced tomatoes so I didn't use the seasonings. I also didn't buy a big enough can so I used a can of tomato sauce that I had in the house.
Thank you Jess for a fun and really yummy recipe to try and for such a great blog!
With Joy UNquenchable,