Chicago-Style Pan Pizza with Sausage, Mushrooms, Herbs and Tomatoes

TOTAL TIME: 41 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 26 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram leaves
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, grated
  • Parmesan
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
  • Cornmeal, as necessary for dusting pizza peel
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sprinkle the flour on a clean work surface and roll out the dough to an 8-inch circle. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-inch round cake pan. Place the dough in the cake pan and press into the cake pan until the edge of the dough reaches the corners of the cake pan. Press the dough so that the edges rise up slightly. Set aside to rest as you prepare the filling. Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sausage and cook until lightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, add the basil and oregano, and allow to cool before using.

Sprinkle the sausage mixture over the dough in the pan and then add the marjoram, salt, and crushed red pepper. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and then top with the mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the dough has risen, the cheese has melted, and the surface of the pizza and dough are a golden brown, about 18 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges, and serve hot.
In a large bowl combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour, as necessary, to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.

Divide dough into 2 portions for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel (sprinkle with cornmeal to help facilate moving dough) and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually 12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.

Yield: 2 (12 or 14-inch) pizzas or 4 calzones, serving 4 to 6

Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out into 4 (8-inch) circles. Place filling of choice in the center of 1 side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers, then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated 475 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned. Remove from the oven with a peel or spatula and serve immediately.
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