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Chicago Style Pizza (thin crust)
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Recipe Information
William Bohannon

Serves/Makes:4 7 inch crusts

  • Crust:
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) warm water
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) dry yeast
  • or
  • 1-1/2 oz (42 grm). fresh yeast
  • 3 cups (700 ml) sifted cake flour, plus more for kneading
  • 3/4 tsp (4 ml) fine table salt
  • cornmeal, for sprinkling
  • Sauce:
  • 1 6 oz (168 grm). can tomato paste Italian style
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml). sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml). onion powder
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • small pinch of anise seeds
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • In a small bowl or cup combine milk with 3/4 cup (175 ml) water that is warm to the touch (about 125 degrees).
  • Sprinkle dry yeast or crumble fresh yeast over.
  • Stir once and let sit in a warm spot until it foams, 10 to 20 minutes.
  • In a large bowl combine 3 cups (700 ml) flour with salt.
  • Pour yeast mixture over flour, stirring with a wooden spoon to mix well.
  • Dough will be very wet.
  • Generously flour a work surface and turn out dough.
  • Begin kneading, adding extra cake flour a handful at a time or less, scraping up and turning dough with a dough scraper. You will need about 10 minutes to knead and add flour. Dough is ready when it is smooth, silky and just past stickiness. Do not add too much flour or dough will be very dry.
  • Gather up dough in a ball.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl, add dough and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise at room temperature about 2 hours or until doubled.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 even pieces.
  • Shape into rough rounds, about 7 inches in diameter, 1/4-inch thick with a 3/8-inch-thick rim.
  • Transfer to pizza peels or baking sheets sprinkled lightly with cornmeal.
  • Cover loosely with towels and let rise 10 to 60 minutes.
  • Sauce:
  • Heat oil in fring pan and add garlic, fennel, anise; saute briefly.
  • Add wine, paste, sugar, onion powder and cayenne; stir to combine.
  • Reduce sauce slowly over low heat till the tomatoes start to caramelize. IMPORTANT.
  • Add the cheese.
  • Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.
  • When sauce is thick and cheese is incorporated it is ready.
  • Make the Pizza:
  • Using the sauce - The trick to Chicago style.
  • This sauce is very thick and pungent so use sparingly.
  • A thin layer is smeared over the crust dough.
  • The toppings are piled on; some meat toppings should be precooked slightly.
  • As the pizza cooks moisture is released from the toppings.
  • Top quality cheese must be used.
  • The moisture from the toppings and the oils from the good cheese melt down into the sauce and dilute it back to standard consistency.
  • This all happens in the exact same time it takes to bake the crust.
  • Choose your toppings carefully for moisture content.
  • Wet toppings piled high will result in a soggy crust.
  • Try to find a pizza pan that has holes drilled in the bottom for crispy crust through out.
  • Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees (200 C.) till crust is crispy on edge.
Cooking time and temperature varies according to amount of toppings. Stella brand mozzarella string type cheese is commonly used in Chicago The crust recipe in this recipe is borrowed for convienence from David Rosengarten show "Taste". Sauce technique and method I invented trying to duplicate my favorite Chicago Pizza.

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