Deep Dish Pizza History
This gorgeous 2-3 inch-thick pie, as often reported, was invented at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago, in 1943, by Uno’s founder Ike Sewell. However, a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News asserts that Uno’s original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the recipe and Michele Mohr from the Chicago Tribune reports that Saverio Rosati opened Rosati’s Authentic Chicago Pizza already in 1926.
Nevertheless, Chicago’s official cultural historian, Tim Samuelson, claims there’s not enough documentation to determine with certainty who invented Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
But the one thing is certain, that it’s one of the most famed food in the Windy City nowadays!
Deep Dish Pizza Dough
Is made from wheat and semolina flour, giving the crust a noticeably yellowish hue with the buttery, biscuit-like taste. Its crispy high-edge buttery flaky crust, lining the side of the steel or cast-iron pan, provides ample space for large amount of toppings. The dough is pressed up onto the sides of the pan. The pan is oiled to allow for easy removal and it also creates a fried effect on the edges of the rich crust.
The main difference between deep-dish pizza and other forms of pizza is that, the crust is deeper, it creats a thick-layered pizza that resembles more a pie than a flatbread. In traditional Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas, the crust itself should be thin to medium in thickness.
Deep Dish Pizza Cooking
Ingredients include mountains of cheese, such as mozzarella, or provolone, with a solid layer of sausage, sweet peppers, mushrooms, onions, or other vegetables, then topped with chunky and uncooked tomato sauce.
The toppings are layered opposite to the way of other traditional pizzas. Because deep dish is larger than most pizza, it requires more time in the oven. If the cheese and other toppings weren’t placed under the sauce, they would burn, so it’s a protective measure.
It is typical that when ordered for carry-out or delivery, the pizza is uncut, as this prevents moisture from the sauce and toppings from soaking into the crust, causing the pie to become soggy. Once it is cut, this delicious pie can be also eaten with a knife and fork, if you wish.
Was developed by 2 Chicago chains – Nancy’s Pizza (founded by Rocco Palese) and Giordano’s Pizzeria (operated by brothers Efren and Joseph Boglio) in the mid-1970s. Further they began experimenting with deep-dish pizza and created the stuffed pizza. Palese based his creation on his mother’s recipe for scarciedda – an Italian Easter Pie from Potenza, his hometown. Chicago Magazine articles featuring Nancy’s Pizza and Giordano’s stuffed pizza popularized the dish.
Stuffed pizzas are often even deeper than deep-dish pizzas, but otherwise, it can be hard to see the difference until it is cut into. A stuffed pizza generally has much deeper topping density than any other type of pizza. As with deep-dish pizza, a deep layer of dough forms a bowl in a high-sided pan and the toppings and cheese are added. Then, an additional layer of dough goes on top and is pressed to the sides of the crust.At this stage, the thin dough top has a rounded, domed appearance. A small hole is poked in the top of the “lid” to allow air and steam to escape while cooking, so that the pizza does not explode. Sometimes, tomato sauce is ladled over the top crust before the pizza is baked.