Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough Recipe

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Dough Recipe

There is nothing quite like an authentic Chicago deep dish pizza: a bold pizza flavor with rich, flavorful crust topped with hearty meats, vegetables and premium whole milk cheese and finished off with a thick, fresh tomato sauce. One of the biggest challenges is perfecting the thickness of a deep dish pizza. Below I have listed the exact proportions of dough to use depending on the size of your pan and I have also included photos for every step of the process making deep dish pizza perfection a reality.

The Home Pizzeria takes a lighter approach to deep dish pizza compared to the traditional deep dish pizza. The result is a healthier, more flavorful pizza compared to the famous deep dish pizzerias of Chicago. The difference can be attributed to using semolina flour, olive oil and sunflower oil in the dough. Semolina flour, made from the durum wheat plant, is yellow in color and has a buttery, nutty flavor that compliments the sweetness of the cornmeal. Olive oil and sunflower oil yield a crust which feels less greasy, while being a healthier alternative than the traditionally used vegetable oil. The suggested portion of cheese is slightly less to compliment the lighter crust. These subtle changes elevate the complexity and flavor of the pizza while allowing you to enjoy an extra slice or two.

While a New Yorker may say Chicago deep dish pizza is more similar to a casserole than to a pizza, there is nothing quite like a hearty deep dish pizza with Italian sausage, sautéed green peppers and onions to keep you warm through those cold Chicago winters. The places outside of Chicago that can make a great deep dish style pizza are few and far between. If you are outside of the Windy City, your best option may be to make your own deep dish pizza at home with my recipe to satisfy that deep dish craving. For all you New Yorkers, remember this is a fork and knife pizza; a pizza made to enjoy around the table with family and friends. You won’t be able to fold this pizza in half and eat while you’re walking… unless you’re feeling adventurous.


Yield: 14″, 12″ or 10″ pizza dough
Serves: 4, 3 or 2 people.


14″ Pizza

12″ Pizza

10″ Pizza

Water, lukewarm ** 78 207 grams 165g 132g
Active Dry Yeast 1.5 1/2 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar 1.25 3/4 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon
King Arthur Bread Flour *** 100 265g 212g 170g
Semolina Flour *** 9 24g 19g 15g
Yellow Cornmeal *** 9 24g 19g 15g
Salt 1.25 3/4 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon
Sunflower Oil **** 9 24g 19g 15g
Olive Oil **** 9 24g 19g 15g
* Use volume measurement for anything under 10 grams for digital scales measuring in 1 gram increments as measuring 5 grams on a 1 gram accuracy scale leaves you with a 20% possible variance at best.
** 1 cup of water = 236 grams (1/8 cup of water = 29.5 grams, 1/4 cup water = 59 grams, 1/2 cup water = 118 grams)
*** 1 cup of flour or cornmeal = 125 grams (1/8 cup of flour = 15 grams, 1/4 cup flour = 31 grams, 1/2 cup flour = 62 grams)
**** 1 tablespoon of oil = 13.5 grams (1 teaspoon of oil = 4.5 grams)


Tools Used



  1. Mix water, sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Let stand for a few minutes until dissolved.
  2. Mix all of the King Arthur bread flour into the water/yeast/sugar mixture and let sit for 15 minutes. This allows some of the flour to fully hydrate quickly giving you better flavor and a stronger dough.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine yellow cornmeal, semolina flour and salt.
  4. Add dry cornmeal and flour mixture to the flour/water/yeast mixture along with the olive oil and sunflower oil and mix until combined. Let stand for another 15 minutes. (This may seem like a lot of oil but don’t skimp.)
  5. Remove the dough and on a lightly floured surface knead for 5 minutes. To reduce stickiness of the dough, lightly sprinkle with flour if needed. You can also use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment at the slowest speed.
  6. Place dough in bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 3-4 hours. Room temperature of about 75°F is ideal; warmer temperatures will have a shorter rise time and cooler temperatures will take longer to rise. The dough should be about triple in size.
  7. Punch down dough to remove all the air. If you doubled the recipe, divide the dough now.
  8. Shape back into a ball and place back in bowl and let rise again, covered,  for about an hour or until double in size. (Can pre-heat the oven halfway through the rise, 475°F)
  9. Lightly oil the appropriate sized deep dish baking pan or cast iron skillet for the recipe you used.
  10. Place proofed dough in pan and press out until you have the dough over the vertical edge of the pan. Fix any tears that result, keep the thickness even and be careful to not get the dough too thick in the corners of the pan.
  11. Using a metal scraper or server, scrap the pan on the outside rim to cut off the excess dough. The thickness of the dough should be around 1/4 of an inch thick or slightly less.
  12. With a fork or dough docker, make a series of very small holes around the bottom of the dough.
  13. Bake dough with no toppings in oven for 5 minutes and remove. This gives the crust time to form a moisture barrier and ensure fully cooked.
  14. Top with 12 oz (14″), 9 oz (12″), or 5 oz (10″) of deli mozzarella or provolone cheese on the bottom, any toppings (lightly saute any vegetables first) in the middle and a solid coating of tomato sauce on top.
  15. Bake on middle rack for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown.
  16. Remove from oven and let rest for 3 minutes so the cheese solidifies back slightly. Remove from pan. Garnish with fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese. Cut with a large chef knife or rocker knife. If you have a flat edge metal server utensil you can cut the pizza in the pan without taking it out, as is commonly done at Chicago deep dish pizzerias.


Directions in Photos


Add yeast, sugar and warm water to bowl.


Add, flour and salt mixture. Oil should go on top of this.


Dough mixed and kneaded. Notice how it is not as smooth as other doughs due to the high amount of fats but when handling it forms a similar type of dough ball.


The dough is proofed and ready to be added to the deep dish pan. Notice how the dough is smooth on top and doesn’t look like it is starting to fall apart. This is good. If the dough looks like it is tearing or ripping apart either it was over proofed or not kneaded properly in the beginning.


Lightly oil the pan. The dough is very oily to begin with, so add just enough to make a thin coat as a precautionary measure. Make sure you spread it all around the pan and up the edges. The pan pictured has been well used. This pan used to be a light grey and is now almost black. This is natural and desired. The black comes from baked on oils, just like a cast iron skillet.


The best way to get the dough shaped is to just work it in the pan. Work slowly to minimize tearing and to keep the dough thickness consistent around the entire pan.


Continue spreading the dough up the edges and also pressing into the corners to prevent the dough from becoming to thick in the corners of the pan. When spreading the dough up the edges, be patient as the dough needs time to relax and it will eventually stay, bring it over the edge just a bit as pictured below.


Let the dough rest for a minute or two then using a straight edge cut the excess dough off by using a slicing motion on the outside of the rim of the pan (not the top).


Dock the dough to prevent large bubbles on the initial bake. You can use a fork or dough docker.


After baking the crust for 5 minutes at 475°F. The crust isn’t fully cooked but has a slightly drier surface ensuring a delicious, fully cooked crust.


Add the cheese on the bottom.


Add any meats and vegetables.


Add a generous layer of sauce. Careful to not disturb the toppings below when spreading it evenly.


Baking at 475°F for about 20 minutes. This pizza was removed three minutes after this photo was taken.


Let the pizza rest and cool for a few minutes before attempting to remove. A server seems to be the best tool for getting under the pizza and adding some support. Try keeping the pizza as horizontal as possible and letting one end of the pan fall down. You will need to do this in a very quick, smooth motion. The 10″ pizza is easier to remove than a 14″ or 16″ size. You can also cut the pizza with a flat edge server and serve right out of the pan… Chicago style!


Add freshly grated parmigiano reggiano on top and enjoy!

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We would love to see photos of your pizza creations, feel free to share your pizza creations on our Facebook page or tag it with #TheHomePizzeria.

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  • Harijyot Bange

    is there a way to make same pizza dough, but using baking powder.

    • Mr Mike

      I am guessing you are allergic to yeast or have dietary restrictions.You can, however, yeast is easier and better. It has better flavor, more nutritional value, and make the dough rise more. The yeast is used to produce carbon dioxide gas bubbles in the dough. That being said, most recipes would step up the amount of Baking POWDER as a replacement. This would be about 1 – 1 1/8 tsp per cup of flour. Most baking powders are double acting where it only releases a little gas in the mixing, and more during baking and this is the type I refer to. There are also slow and fast acting baking powders.

      Do not confuse baking POWDER with baking SODA. Baking Powder is typically 1/4 baking SODA and 3 parts acid (cream of tartar) and cornstarch. Baking SODA needs acid to replace the yeast. Mix equal parts of the baking soda with lemon juice (or cream of tartar, buttermilk, yogurt, or vinegar) to equal the amount of yeast called for in the recipe. Since yeast in a small batch is a very small amount you probably will want to use vinegar or lemon juice.

  • Mr Mike

    When I was younger, I worked for several DD Pizza places in Chicago. Contrary to popular belief, cornmeal is usually not used. I am curious to try this however, just to see what it tastes like. Also, typically when you cut the flour with semolina or in your case, cornmeal too, it is weighed as part of the 100% flour make up. So when using baker’s percentages the 24g would be 24/313g or 7.67% of the 100% flour. You are replacing that percentage of the flour typically used ,with cornmeal or semolina. The oil combination is interesting, but I probably would not use EVOO, although tempting, because of the relatively low burning point.Use regular olive oil if you are going to use it. With 18% oil, I would not go over 50-52% water, definitely not more than 60%. The 78% seems way too high, but again it is actually 66% based on the 313g flour/cornmeal/semolina total.Then again, it’s really not 18% oil, but 15.3, so maybe 55% water. Try 20% semolina and no cornmeal too and compare.

    • Mullschlucker .

      Lou Malnatti’s in Chicago uses the cornmeal in their thin crust pizza.

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