Knock off Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Pizza (Lou’s Special)

I used a Lodge Cast Iron pan to make the deep dish pizza

Pizza dough ingredients:

  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (or bread flour)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 5 tbs vegetable oil

Other ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Colby jack cheese
  • 2 1/2 fresh spinach (chopped up)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (crushed/ minced)
  • 1 cup pizza or pasta sauce (you can also make your own like I did)
  • Butter

1. Prepare the Dough

Mix together 1 1/2 cups of warm water, 2 tbs active dry yeast and 4 tsp sugar and and let it sit for 3-5 minutes until it foams up/bubbles (this means that the yeast has activated- if you don’t get foam/ bubble you will have to repeat this step or your dough will not rise). Once the yeast is activated, add 5 tbs of vegetable oil into the mixture- this is your wet mixture.

Mix the dry ingredients together- 4 cups of flour and 3 tsp salt. Slowly incorporate your wet mixture into your dry mixture until all the ingredients come together. Kneed the dough for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.

Let the dough rise until the dough doubles in size- you want to place the dough in a warm dry area to rise or in a warmed oven (turn the oven on for a few minutes and turn it off).

2. Assemble the Pizza

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Once the oven is preheated, heat the empty cast iron pan (12″) in the oven for 3 minutes. Once the pan in heated, butter the pan. Take 1/2 of the prepared dough, form a ball and place it in the center of the pan. Slowly press the dough into the pan and up the edges until the dough is uniformly spread. Lightly butter and salt the open face of the dough, and put it back in the over for 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven, put down a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese, top with fresh mozzarella cheese, layer of spinach mixture (sautéed garlic, spinach, salt until the spinach shrinks and squeeze out excess moisture once it cools), add a layer of sauce, top with a mixture of mozzarella and colby jack cheese, at the end add thinly sliced tomatoes (lightly salt the tomato slices).

3. Cook the Pizza

Cook the pizza at 425°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Take the pizza out of the oven and let it cool before using a spatula to remove it from the cast iron pan- this should be very easy since he pan was buttered. Optional step: put the pizza back into the oven for 3-5 minutes to become crispy.

Homemade Deep Dish Pizza

🖤

Healthy PIZZA?

Everyone is always looking for ways to incorporate healthier foods into their lives. What if I told you that you were eating a slice of pizza that was ACTUALLY HEALTHY because the crust wasn’t made of processed white flour, but instead it was made with quinoa! Skeptical at first, I was happy with the results of this recipe.

Quinoa Crust Precipice

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup of dry organic quinoa (I use a the Kirkland Signature organic quinoa– definitely more cost effective then getting it from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s)
  2. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1 tbs olive oil
  5. italian seasoning to taste
  6. dry rosemary to taste
  7. unsalted garlic powder to taste

The dry quinoa has to be soaked in water for about 6-8 hours. Soak it overnight if you are going to be making the crust in the morning or all day if you are going to be making it for dinner. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash the soaked quinoa thoroughly and blend with the baking powder, salt, olive oil and seasoning. The consistency is going to be similar to pancake batter (not pizza dough). Take a 9″ cake pan and line it with parchment paper and coat it with olive oil. Pour the mixture in; the thinner you pour it the more crispy the crust will turn out. Bake it for 12 minutes, then flip the crust and cook for another 15 minutes. You can now either add the toppings or save the crust for later in the day.

IMG_1752.jpg

Making my pizza crusts in the morning, I was able to use them later that evening for pizza night. I chopped up mushrooms, green peppers and onions and prepared a garlic oil to brush onto the crust before adding the toppings.

garlic oil: freshly minced garlic, olive oil, Italian seasoning and rosemary

I also made a homemade pizza sauce: 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tbs minced garlic, 2 tbs oil, 1 cup chopped fresh tomato, 8 ounces tomato sauce, 6 ounces tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp basil,  and 1 tsp pepper. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil, once brown add all the remaining ingredients and let the sauce simmer over low heat.

When it was time to assemble the pizza, I brushed the crust with the garlic oil, then added the pizza sauce, vegetables, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and lastly the Italian blend. Then I baked the pizza for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese was melted.

It tasted as good as it looked. Can’t wait to make it again!

🖤