I think every kid, on their way in a car, bus, train, plane, whatever, has asked, are we there yet? I think that is something that kids just are born knowing. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? NNNOOO!!!! Come on, we've all experienced it as a kid and may now be having the pleasure of being the adult and yelling no after wanting to either pull your own hair out or kill someone, but my dad had a different answer. What could it be other than no you ask? Just over that next hill. Yep. That was it. Just over that next hill.
My dad would say that and we would look ahead searching for any slight rise in the road. That must be the hill! We would make it past and no exit off of the highway. Are we there yet? You see that hill way up there? Yeah. Well, just over that next hill. This would go on for hours. My dad would do this over and over and has finally told us that his dad used to do that to them when they were on their way to vacation.
|Lou? Is that you?|
I have been toying with the idea of making pizza. I have never made my own pizza, dough and all, from scratch. I remember my mom doing it every once and a while and I clearly remember her bitching up a storm about what a pain in the ass it was, but she would do it as a treat every so often. I must say, that remembering this has probably delayed me in giving this whole deep dish thing a whirl. For real, one store trip I bought the cornmeal, the next time, the yeast, never everything in one trip. It was kinda like being in pizza denial. If I didn't buy all of the stuff, I couldn't make it. I did this even up until the last step. I made the dough without even buying the pan. See? Procrastination, how could I make the pizza without a pan?
Anyway, I shouldn't have to tell you that I started this little deep dish endeavor much like I start all of my new endeavors, on the internet. Yes, I was doing my research. I wanted this pizza to be like Lou's. Now, if you have ever had a Lou's you know that lovely delicious butter, crunchy, just like heaven crust. I'm not gonna lie, that crust intimidates me. So, here I am on the internet, researching Lou's crust. I found some recipes and took what I thought would be the best and molded them into my own. Right now you have to be thinking, are we there yet? Right over that next hill.
I made the dough, which is a brand spankin new thing for me, and let it rest on the counter the 4-6 hours. In this time, I knew I still didn't have a pan to make this pizza pie in. I had Jasen stop at Target, no pan, Kohls, no pan. WTF, does no one in this town make their own pizza?! Maybe this is a sign from God above, you know he had to have created that Lou's heavenly crust and didn't want me trying to infringe on his success. Bed Bath and Beyond. Finally, a pan and I had a coupon for $5 off. God must be smiling up there saying, go ahead, give it a try. Good Luck.
Are we there yet? Right over that next hill. I arrive home to my well rested dough and get to work.
Here is what I did:
Dough-You need to let it rest 4-6 hours or some say overnight in the fridge is even better.
1 1/2 cups 110degree water, mine out of the tap was hot enough to do this after letting it run a little.
1 package of active dry yeast, if you let it rest overnight, otherwise do 2 packs for the 4-6 hour rest.
1 tsp sugar
4 cups of flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup Crisco, I used the butter flavored kind
You will need a 14 inch round pan
In a bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar, mix to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. It will get foamy looking on top and watery underneath and actually smell like dough.
Then add the olive oil, salt, cornmeal, Crisco and only 3 cups of the flour. Mix with a dough hook on low to medium until it is smooth. It will start being into a dough ball shape by now. Start adding the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time. Each time mix it until the flour is completely incorporated. Then let it mix for 2-3 more minutes.
Pre heat your oven to 500. Yes, 500.
|This is what it should look like.|
Ready for the dough.
Now you are ready for the dough. Take the dough and spread out evenly in the pan, pushing it about an inch up the sides of the pan. Are we there yet? Right over that next hill.
There you have it. The dough. This pizza better be damn good. This is a pain in the ass. I was channeling my mother there.
So now, you are ready for your toppings. We did half sausage and garlic, of course, and the other half sausage, garlic, tomatoes and onions.
I browned the ground Italian sausage in a pan and removed it from the grease. Chopped the onions and tomatoes and was ready. Here is where it is different. I used Mozzarella slices, NOT shredded. It took TWO packages of the sliced cheese, a can of diced tomatoes, well drained and a can of tomato sauce, don't forget Italian seasoning.
|Adding the final layer of cheese. |
Cover the whole thing.
Logen is starving and can barely wait.
Are we there yet?
Take your sliced cheese and line the bottom of the pan. You got it, right on the dough. Cheese first. Then take some tomato sauce and spread it over the cheese, kind of like you are frosting a cake.
Now add the browned sausage on top of the sauce. Then add the veggie toppings of your choice and I ALWAYS add garlic. It's a big hit around here and gives wonderful flavor. Ok, don't forget to give a generous shaking of your Italian seasoning.
Now, you want to do your second layer of mozzarella cheese slices. Cover the whole thing. Frost your pizza again with more of the tomato sauce and now add the drained diced tomatoes. Sprinkle with a little parsley and with Parmesan cheese.
|Ready for the oven.|
|Look at that hottie!|
|Taste testers reporting for duty.|
Are we almost there yet? Right over the next hill. So now you have your lovely pizza ready to cut. Do your traditional deep dish triangles and serve it.
|Lou's Part 2: Coming soon!|
Are we there yet? Right over the next hill.