Vegan Deep Dish Pizza

Guys. I’ve improved my deep dish pizza making skills. After much research and trial and error I have learned how to create the perfect restaurant-style deep dish. The secret is in the crust.

Since perfecting this deep dish pizza dough recipe, I’ve probably made it once a week. Excessive, I know, but, fair warning–it’s that good. And super duper easy to make! And the cleanup in a breeze! You’re left with plenty of time to clean or prepare side dishes while it bakes!

For those of you who don’t hail from Chicago, a deep dish pizza crust is this buttery biscuit-like  crust. The key to this  dough is that there is almost no kneading, little yeast, and a long rise–way easier than your typical thin or pan crust pizza dough.

Notes:

-Start the dough ~7 hours before you’re ready to eat, then a couple hours before you’re ready to eat drain the tomato sauce.

-Pick your favorite toppings for the stuffing. My current favorite is to stuff it with homemade giardiniera, Upton’s italian seitan, and Daiya mozzarellaOther filling ideas include your standard pizza fare: sauteed spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, olives, garlic etc.

-I recommend using a 12″ cast iron skillet, if you don’t have a 12″ skillet, you can increase the flour by a half cup, add another 2 tbsp of canola oil and a little extra water, and make the pizza in two 8 or 9″ round springform pans or smaller sized cast irons.

Deep Dish Pizza

Dough ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/8 – 1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
32 oz can whole San Marzano Tomatoes, blended and drained
2-4 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp fennel
salt and pepper, to taste

Pizza Stuffing:
8 oz shredded vegan mozzarella (Daiya works well, I imagine Teese would too, just make sure it melts well)
~4 oz seitan, such as pepperoni or italian sausage flavors, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
1/2 – 1 cup of other filling ingredients such as giardiniera (see recipe notes)

-Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, for no longer than 1 minute.
-Knead for 1-2 minutes (no longer!). Dough should be smooth and all ingredients should be incorporated. Cover, set aside, and let sit for ~6 hours.
-Meanwhile, drain blended tomatoes in a fine mesh strainer, or using a cheese cloth. Allow to drain for at least one hour, until the blended tomatoes are thickened. Then mix in the garlic, spices, and salt. Adjust to taste
-After six hours: preheat your oven to 450F. Punch dough down and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
-On a floured surface, roll out dough into a large circle, about 14″ in diameter. Place dough into 12″ cast iron skillet and even it out by pressing with your fingers, making sure the edges in particular aren’t too thick.

You’re ready to assemble your pizza!
-Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of cheese on the dough, no need to be accurate here, just get a small amount down. Then evenly sprinkle in your seitan and other stuffing ingredients in. Cover with the rest of the cheese. Spread the thickened sauce over the cheese.
-Bake for 35-40 minutes at 450° Edges of the crust will be golden. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. This last step is difficult to follow but very important! It allows your ingredients to set, so they don’t all spill out when you cut it open.

Now the fun part begins! Slice and serve! Easy as [pizza] pie! hah

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