RICH AND CHEESY DEEP DISH PIZZA
As much as I love crispy crust regular pizza, sometimes there is nothing as satisfying as the deep dish kind. It’s almost like a pizza casserole if there was such a thing! This deep dish pizza has three components: the crust, the filling and the cheese topping.
Feel free to vary the ingredients. Use your favorite sausage as well as the veggies in season or what you have on hand. I like to use some aged cheddar in the cheese topping for a little zing, but you can just stick to mozzarella and Parmesan if you prefer.
DEEP DISH SAUSAGE PIZZA
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (or 1 package)
2 tsp honey
1 cup warm water
2 ¼ cups plus ¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp olive oil
1 cup broccoli florets
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup zucchini – chopped
¼ cup onion – finely chopped
¼ cup white wine
1 tsp prepared mustard
¼ tsp pepper
2 cups garlic white pasta sauce
or your favorite
8 oz soft Italian sausage or your favorite – casing removed
2 ¼ cups of cheeses such as a mixture of mozzarella, Parmesan and cheddar
or your favorite combination
1. Add the yeast and honey to the warm water. Stir until dissolved and set aside.
2. Add 2 ¼ cups of the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Blend to create a soft dough.
3. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and stretchy. Keep adding flour from the remaining ¼ cup to your hands, the dough and the surface to prevent the dough from getting too sticky.
4. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for about 50 minutes in a warm place. The dough should be doubled in size.
5. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Place the risen dough in the pan and press it down and up the sides to make a crust. Set aside and prepare the filling:
6. For the filling, saute the vegetables in a heated pan with cooking oil at medium heat. Add the wine, mustard and pepper and cook for about a minute until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Mix in the sauce and remove from the heat.
7. Cook the sausage removed from its casing in a separate pan so it’s crumbly and browned. Drain and add the sausage to the filling mixture.
8. Place the filling on top of the dough in the baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes at 375 – 400F. Sprinkle the cheese blend on top of the deep dish pizza and bake another 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Cool a few minutes before serving.