Chicago Style Stuffed Pizza

1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound cooked meat (sausage, ham, pepperoni, etc.)
fruit or vegetables of choice (pineapple, olives, green peppers, etc.)
2-3 cups (about 12 oz.) mozzarella cheese, grated
1 jar/can (14 oz) pizza sauce (or see below)**

Combine sugar, water, yeast and 1/2 cup flour in mixing bowl, beat well. Let stand until foamy, approximately 10-20 minutes. Combine cornmeal and salt, stir into flour mixture. Gradually stir in enough more flour to make dough stiff enough to work with hands (dough should be sticky unless hands are floured). Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic – about 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in volume.

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. Punch dough down. Pinch off approximately 1/3 of the dough and set aside. Pat dough into a 12-inch circle. Allow to rest 2-5 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled deep-dish pizza pan (or use a large dark cookie sheet). Gently stretch and pat dough into bottom and up sides of pan.

Arrange meat and vegetables in bottom of pan. Pat top crust into a 12-inch circle, allow to rest 2-5 minutes. Place top pizza crust over filling. Fold side edges over top crust, pinch and fold to seal crusts. Cut 2-3 slits in top to vent pie.

Sprinkle top crust with cheese, spread with pizza sauce. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 and continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and pulls away from sides of pan (using a spatula, carefully lift pizza and check doness of bottom). Allow pizza to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

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