Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pizza Obama Style



The Windy City, home town of Barack Obama and Charlie Trotter's is also the home of Chicago Pizza. This deep dish, double layered pizza is the specialty of Giordano's, foremost among several of the city's great pizzerias. Chicago pizza resembles pizza pie or a sort of flat Calzone but the unique nature of the dish in which it is cooked is at the heart of the amazing experience.


My journalist mate Pete Wels put me on to Chicago pizzas but before we could get baking I had to search the web to locate and import the deep dishes. They can be found and in fact I was able to buy 4 online fairly quickly. They are 30cm in diameter and 5cm deep and have a perforated bottom to ensure a crisp crust and a well cooked bottom layer.

You will need more than the usual batch of dough. I use 3 1/4 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon dried yeast, 1 1/4 cups of tepid water and 2- 3 tablespoons of olive oil.


For the bottom layer I use fresh grated buffalo mozzarella, sliced onion, spinach, mushrooms and piquillo peppers. Then when the second layer of dough goes on I top it with tomato sauce, tomatoes, olives and basil, or spicy paprika sausage for the non - vegetarian version.



The tomato sauce is interesting because it has grated parmigiano reggiano (or grana) mixed in with it. I use crushed tomatoes, passata, olive oil, oregano, basil, salt garlic and the parmesan.

So the top deck should look like the picture below when you have roughly tucked the overhanging bottom layer of dough in all around. I say "roughly" advisedly because you can't go wrong with this pizza. No matter how ugly it looks when you put it in the oven it comes out looking crisp and golden and perfectly shaped.



As to baking, again you don't have to worry too much. Pre - heat your oven to 230 C and place the pizza on the lowest shelf for 10 minutes and then transfer it to the middle shelf for 25 -30 minutes or less if it is golden brown and the crust is hard.



The results, as can be seen above and below, are fabulous. The contrast of the texture of the crispy crust with its tomato, olives and smoky salumi and the bread like interior with its runny mozzarella and spinach and piquillo peppers is a sensation.





It really does repay the effort of making the first one. After that they are no more difficult than making ordinary pizza. And a single Chicago pizza goes a long way believe me.



8 comments:

  1. Wow, I love this Stephen. Looks so good - multi-layered pizza! Go, Stephen!

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  2. Omigosh now that's what I call a pizza! Have always thought that Chicago pizzas would be heavy and greasy but this looks amazing. Love the fresh basil leaves on top too.

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  3. Best pizza I've seen in a while

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  4. I wish I was there - that looks bloody delicious!

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  5. Well thanks Victor, Helen, Colleen, Hazel and Michelle. Anytime you would like to visit chez nous give me a couple of hours notice and I will knock one up.

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  6. What an incredibly original, creative, and unique "spin" on pizza! I can totally see incorporating this into one of my girl's

    birthday parties! Fabulous! So glad we were both featured in One Pretty Thing's crafty food roundup! Pizza Accessories

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  7. Nice kitchen, I wanna taste those pizza.

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