Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tommy's Pizza (Columbus, Ohio) clone

Like this blog on Facebook!
The most useful pizzamaking lesson you'll ever learn.

[This is a good post, but I made a lot of breakthroughs during the summer of 2013. There is a very important update at the end of this post. The update contains a major formula change, which is light years better than the formula I used prior to 8/3/13. But I've shared even more recent breakthroughs in a very thorough, step-by-step list of instructions at Reply #332 of the Tommy's thread on (This link is supposed to take you straight to Reply #332, but it doesn't, so you'll probably need to scroll down quite a bit.)]

This style of pizza has kind of become my specialty because a couple years ago someone on started a thread asking if anyone knew how to make a Tommy's clone. At the time, I had no clue how to clone Tommy's, but I gave it a try anyway. My first attempts were not even close, but I kept trying, using my failures as a learning tool. Two years later, I probably know more about how to make a vintage Tommy's-style pizza than anyone, possibly including the owners of Tommy's.

This post will teach you everything you need to know about how to make a near-perfect clone of the pizza Tommy's produced 20 years ago. (Nowadays Tommy's just isn't the same as it was back then. If you go to Tommy's today, it won't look like the pizzas in my pictures, nor will it be nearly as good as the pizzas in my pictures.)

Whole Tommy's-style pepperoni pizza made at home. (This one didn't actually turn out
quite like a Tommy's pizza, but it was my most photogenic whole pie, so I used it here.)

Side view of a slice, showing separation between the laminates.

After about a hundred attempts at cloning this pizza (if not more), I've finally settled pretty confidently on this dough formula:

100% KAAP flour
56% Water
1% ADY
2% Salt

To make two 11" pizzas (or one 15" pizza), here's an appropriate dough recipe:

18.78 oz KAAP flour
10.52 oz Water
2.35 tsp ADY
2.73 tsp Salt

Special equipment you'll need for this pizza:

All right. So let's make one of these pizzas. The following directions are specifically to make one 11" pizza (although the recipe makes enough dough for two 11" pizzas or one 15" pizza).

Here's how to make the dough:
  1. Measure the appropriate quantity of yeast (2.35 tsp) and put it in your mixer bowl.
  2. Measure the appropriate quantity of 110-degree water (10.52 oz) and pour about 2 oz of it into the mixer bowl.
  3. Stir the yeast water to make sure there are not clusters (or clumps) of yeast.
  4. Measure the appropriate quantity of flour (18.78 oz) and set aside.
  5. Measure the appropriate quantity of salt (2.73 tsp) and add it to the flour.
  6. Use a wire whip or spoon to incorporate salt into the flour.
  7. Check the yeast water. If it is foamy, it means the yeast is alive and hydrated, so move on to the next step. If the yeast water is not foamy, wait 5 minutes and check again. After 5 minutes, go ahead and move on to the next step, even if the yeast water is not foamy. (The yeast is probably fine, but be aware that this may mean your yeast is dead. So if your pizza ends up showing no sign of fermentation, buy some new yeast and try again.)
  8. Add the rest of the water to the mixer bowl.
  9. Add the flour/salt mixture to the mixer bowl.
  10. Place the mixer bowl in its place on the mixer and attach the dough hook.
  11. Mix the dough for about 3 minutes, or until it looks about like the dough in the picture below.

  12. This is how the dough should look when it's finished mixing.

  13. If you've used the amount of ingredients called for in my recipe above, divide the dough into four 7.5-ounce pieces of dough.
  14. If you only intend to make one pizza, put two of the dough pieces in a ziploc bag and refrigerate. If you intend to make two pizzas, skip this step. (IMPORTANT: Each pizza you make will use two pieces of dough.)
  15. Place the pieces of dough that you'll be using on a pan that's comfortably bigger than the space occupied by the pieces of dough, with a couple inches between each dough piece, then cover the dough with a large plastic bowl (inverted).
  16. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Once the dough is ready to use, follow these instructions.
  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, with a baking stone on the bottom rack.
  2. After the oven has preheated for about half an hour, place the pieces of dough on your work surface.

  3. Two pieces of dough waiting to become a dough skin.

  4. Use your fists to flatten the two pieces of dough as much as you can.

  5. After smashing the pieces of dough (with my fists) until the dough is flat.

  6. Coat each piece of dough with bench flour and set one of the dough pieces aside.
  7. Roll one piece of dough into roughly a square shape. If the dough sticks to the counter while you roll it, add just enough bench flour to keep it from sticking.
  8. As the dough reaches dimensions of about 10" x 10" (if you are making an 11" pizza), stop adding bench flour and allow the dough to stick to the counter a little as you roll it. (If you keep flouring the dough after this point, you'll never be able to roll it as thin as you need to.)
  9. Once the dough has reached dimensions of at least 14" x 14", dust the top of the dough with bench flour (as pictured below). It's OK to use a little more flour than I used in the pic.

  10. Roll the dough until it's almost as thin as possible, then add bench flour.

  11. Fold the dough in half and dust the top with bench flour.

  12. Fold the dough in half, then add bench flour.

  13. Fold in half the other way, making the dough relatively square, with four layers of dough.

  14. Fold the dough in half the other way. There should now be four layers of dough.

  15. Set this piece of dough aside and grab the other piece of dough.
  16. Repeat Steps 5-9 with the second piece of dough.
  17. When you're finished with all these steps, you should have two flat pieces of dough, each with four laminates.

  18. Both pieces of dough after rolling and folding.

Now catch your breath for a minute and resume the rest of the dough-rolling process.
  1. Stack one piece of dough on top of the other.

  2. One piece of dough on top of the other, before rolling into a dough skin.

  3. Use your fists to press the two pieces of dough together.
  4. Using bench flour when necessary, roll the dough until it is just a hair bigger than your pan.
  5. When the dough is slightly larger than the pan, set the pan atop the dough and use a pizza wheel to cut off the excess dough.

  6. Using a pan as a template to cut the dough to the right skin size.

    Showing how I use a pan as a template to cut the dough skin.

  7. Weigh the dough. (At this point the dough will still be a couple ounces heavier than you ultimately want it. That is, it will probably weigh about 13 oz.)
  8. Roll the dough some more, until it is about an inch bigger than the pan.
  9. Trim and weigh the dough again. Continue this process until the dough is the weight you want. (Put the dough scraps in a bag and immediately into the fridge. If you intend to make another batch of this dough within the next few days, you can add small pieces of this dough to the next batch as it mixes. If you don't plan to make any more Tommy's dough, you can make a pizza out of the scraps at any time over the next few days.)

  10. Dough skin on scale, showing that the skin weighs about 11 oz.

  11. Once you have trimmed your dough to the target weight of 11-11.5 oz, roll the dough just a little bigger than the pan you'll be using (because dough always snaps back to a smaller diameter after you roll it).
  12. If you are satisfied that your dough skin is as big as it needs to be, go ahead and spray the pan with nonstick spray, then place your dough skin on the pan. Note: This dough should not be docked.
  13. Adjust the dough skin with your hands to make it fit the pan.
  14. [Optional] If you don't want to bake the pizza until later in the day, it is OK to refrigerate the skin for up to at least 10 hours. When I do this, I put the skin on the sprayed pan and apply the sauce, to keep the dough from drying out while it sits in the fridge for hours. (Also, when I'm almost ready to bake, I remove the skin from the fridge 15 or 30 minutes before I intend to begin baking.) If you leave the dough skin at room temperature for very long (without refrigerating), the skin will continue to ferment (rise), and the pizza will end up bready, without any layers. If you refrigerate the skin for a couple hours (or longer), the bottom of the crust will likely blister while the pizza bakes.

Now let's top the pizza and bake.
  1. Top the skin with about 5 oz of sauce. Distribute the sauce all the way to the edge of the skin. (I normally would not use anywhere near this much sauce, but I can't taste this particular tomato product unless I use that much. I'll give you a sauce recipe below, and I'll also explain why I use this tomato product.)

  2. Skin with sauce, showing that I use a lot of sauce on this one.

  3. Add about 6.5 oz of provolone or mozzarella cheese. (I'm pretty sure Tommy's uses provolone, but mozzarella works just fine.) Make sure to apply the cheese all the way to the edge of the skin.
  4. Add whatever toppings you want above the cheese.

  5. Dough skin topped with sauce, cheese, chicken, bacon, and jalapenos.

  6. Sprinkle parmesan or romano cheese over the top of the pizza.
  7. Open your oven door and set the pan on the baking stone (on the bottom rack).
  8. Bake.
  9. After about 7 or 8 minutes, start watching the pizza carefully through the oven window because the crust will probably begin to bubble at about this point. Once you start seeing bubbles, quickly use a grill fork to pop the bubbles. Close the oven door as soon as possible.
  10. Once the pizza has been baking for about 10 minutes, use a pot holder or pan grabber to pull the pan out from under the pizza. (If you did not thoroughly preheat your stone, the pizza may not be ready to leave the pan for another few minutes. If the pizza does not easily come off the pan, don't force it. Instead, give it a couple more minutes on the pan before pulling the pan and moving on to the next step.)
  11. Let the pizza finish directly on the stone for another minute or two.
  12. After this time is up, use a metal peel (or cookie sheet) to retrieve the pizza from the oven.

  13. Overhead view of a chicken, bacon, and jalapeno pizza.

  14. Set the pizza on a screen or cooling rack for a minute before cutting.
  15. Cut the pizza. (For an 11" pizza, cut it into rectangles, using four cuts one way and two perpendicular cuts, as pictured.)

  16. Overhead view of a cut pizza. 4 cuts by 2 cuts.

  17. Eat.

And here are some more good pictures of Tommy's style pizzas I've made. Scroll below these pictures to find out how to make sauce for this pizza.

Profile of a pizza just after baking.

Side view of a Tommy's Pizza clone slice with a couple bites out of it,
showing separation between the laminates.

Side view of a slice, showing separation.

This is how I remember the bottom of Tommy's Pizza crust when I was a kid.
If you go to Tommy's today, it won't look like this.

Bottom of a Tommy's Pizza clone slice.

This is my favorite Tommy's Pizza clone pic because I think it shows how crispy
and flaky the bottom of the crust is when you do it right.

This is the one picture that shows I made a pretty damn good clone of Tommy's
Pizza: Lotsa little flakes from the bottom of the crust.

Now for the sauce recipe (which I haven't quite perfected yet):

1 28 oz can of Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes.

I want to make it clear that I don't particularly like Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes. The only reason I use them is because I think they may be essentially the same product as the crushed tomatoes Tommy's uses for their sauce. Last time I ate at Tommy's, I did a little investigating in their dumpster. In their dumpster I found a box for Star Cross crushed tomatoes (see below). After I mentioned the details of the box on the Tommy's thread at, someone responded by saying Dei Fratelli may be the same product, since both products are packed by the Hirzel Canning Company of Toledo, Ohio.

Having gone through a few cans of Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes, I feel pretty confident that they are very similar to the Star Cross crushed tomatoes (if they're not the same thing). Like I said, I don't think this tomato product is very good. But it's probably the right thing to use if you really want to clone Tommy's.

Star Cross crushed tomato box 1.

And here's something else I found in the dumpster, which I think is a very important part of cloning Tommy's. Usually it's very difficult to get pepperoni like this without buying an entire case (25 lbs), but PennMac breaks up cases of Ezzo pepperoni and repackages it in 1 lb bags. I'm not sure if the Ezzo pepperoni available from PennMac is GiAntonio or if it's some other Ezzo variety.

I did some dumpster diving at Tommy's and found that they use
Ezzo GiAntonio 38 mm pepperoni.

Tommy's menu indicates that their pizzas are available in sizes of 11", 13", and 15". However, if you order a 15" pizza at Tommy's, the pizza they bring you is only 14". And if you get a small box for your leftovers, the box is 10", not 11". This incorrect menu information is not an accident. It's not because Tommy's recently changed the sizes of their pizzas but haven't had a chance to update the menu. It's not because the pizzas shrink an inch while baking (because the pizzas don't shrink). Although I think their pizzas used to be 11", 13", and 15" once upon a time, their current menu's misrepresentation of sizes is clearly a deliberate attempt by Tommy's ownership to mislead their customers, and I have a big problem with that. You should too.

So next time you think about buying pizza from Tommy's, I invite you to instead try to make it yourself by following my instructions. (Joseppi's and Cappy's also lie about the size of their pizzas, so maybe I'll make an effort to figure out how to clone their pizzas soon, too.)

Update (10/1/12): Just after I finished writing this post, I saw that there was a relatively new post on the Tommy's thread at The new contributor, fatzo, speculated that there may be red wine in Tommy's sauce, and I feel like he(?) just may be right about that, even though I had never thought about anything like that before. Something to think about. (If you read that post, go ahead and read the post right before it, too, also from fatzo.)

Update (10/2/12): This just occurred to me. I think I need to use a bleached all-purpose flour, rather than KAAP, which is unbleached.

I was just looking at some pics of an actual Tommy's pizza, and I realized how much whiter their pizza is than my clone. I was already aware of this, I guess, but apparently I needed to see the pictures again for it to register. So whenever I make another Tommy's clone, I will use a bleached all-purpose flour.

Update (8/5/13): I made some Tommy's style pizzas Saturday for the first time in a long time, for a pizza party. My dough formula was supposed to be kind of a Tommy's/Shakey's hybrid, but I ended up making three nearly-perfect Tommy's clones. Here's the formula I used:

100% Pillsbury AP flour
41.56% Water
1.96% ADY
1.5% Salt
2% Shortening
1.06% Sugar

To make 30 oz of dough, use:

20.26 oz Pillsbury AP flour
8.42 oz Water
3.97 tsp ADY
1.77 tsp Salt
0.41 oz Shortening
1.76 tsp Sugar

I made the dough about 24 hours in advance. Mix time was about 7 minutes (with spiral dough hook). Bulk fermented at room temperature for about 2-1/2 hours. Punched down and refrigerated for about 16 hours. Punched down again after I removed the dough from the fridge, then scaled dough, and allowed to warm at room temperature for an hour or two, then rolled, trimmed, DOCKED, and immediately put the covered dough skins in the refrigerator. Removed each skin 15-30 minutes before baking. Baked each pizza directly on stone at 500 for about 8 minutes. (That is, I didn't use a pan.)

The only thing I can think of that I did differently from the steps in the main part of this post is that I added no bench flour to the dough before folding. Oh yeah, and I docked the dough after the final trim, then baked directly on stone (instead of a pan). I also used Ezzo GiAntonio pepperoni on these pizzas, atop Grande whole milk mozzarella. Changes I plan to make with the next batch: ADY probably needs to drop a little, to about 1.5%; shortening should be increased from 2% to 3%; very small hydration increase.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Red flags for pizza consumers

I've been thinking about some of the pizza marketing terms and strategies that really bother me, so I decided to write a post about it to help you keep from buying bad pizza and tricking yourself into thinking it's good. Here's a list of terms, expressions, and marketing strategies I consider big-time chump bait.

AUTHENTIC - People use words like 'authentic' when they can't come up with good reasons for you to buy their stuff. And if they can't come up with good reasons for you to buy their stuff, you shouldn't buy it. Nothing is authentic. Most of the places that use words like 'authentic' are not even close to authentic, nor would they know authentic if the real deal gave them some.

BEST PIZZA IN TOWN - Really? You make the best pizza in town?!? You mean all those other places that say they make the best pizza in town don't actually make the best pizza in town? And all this time I've been in the dark? Thanks for informing me. (I know no one actually responds to this horrible marketing strategy. I guess it just bugs me that so many pizzeria owners apparently believe people respond to it.)

BRICK OVEN PIZZA - A marketing term, not an actual type of oven or pizza. Although some ovens are made of brick, when I hear or read someone using the term 'brick oven,' I don't know what they're talking about because I assume they don't know what they are talking about. Either that or they're trying to pull one over on me, because ovens that are actually made of brick are not called 'brick ovens.' Rather, they are called wood-fired ovens, which is a better marketing term than 'brick oven' anyway.

Since no one calls a wood-fired oven a 'brick oven,' my only logical assumption when I see a pizzeria calling their product 'brick oven pizza' is that they're using a regular deck oven, possibly with a brick facade, that they want me to think is some kind of magical mystery oven. And there is nothing wrong with deck ovens... until someone starts trying to make you believe their deck oven is some kind of magical mystery oven. Conclusion: If a pizzeria tries to lure you by advertising their "brick oven," I'd say it's a safe bet that they make crap pizza and they try to rely on the gullibility of chump consumers to keep them in business.

CALIFORNIA STYLE PIZZA - No such thing. Same as "gourmet" pizza, as far as I'm concerned. (See "Gourmet" below.)

Actually there may be a type of pizza that could legitimately be called "California style," even though no one calls it 'California style.' That would be pizza from Shakey's and Round Table and maybe a few smaller chains. This style of pizza is generally considered a cracker crust. And since I believe this style is also common in Oregon and Washington, "West Coast style" would probably be a better description.

DOUGH MADE FRESH DAILY - If a pizzeria advertises "Dough made fresh daily," like so many of them do, it should tell you a whole bunch of things:
  1. Their dough almost certainly sucks (because it's almost impossible to make good pizza out of dough that's only 3-16 hours old).
  2. They're probably lying, which is stupid because they're telling everyone their dough is not as good as it might actually be.
  3. They think you're an idiot, and they're using that to lure you into their pizzeria, because only an idiot would eat there.
  4. They have no creativity.
  5. They can't give you any good reasons why you should eat there instead of the pizzeria across the street.
I'll probably think of some more.

GOURMET - A marketing word used to trick you into thinking something is good even though it's probably not. In pizza, 'gourmet' also usually indicates that a place sells pizza with unusual, uncommon toppings. Not necessarily good quality ingredients or good quality crust or good quality sauce or good quality cheese or good quality toppings or a good quality oven or knowledgeable pizzamakers; just unusual toppings, and at a ridiculous price. If you buy 'gourmet' pizza, you're a chump who deserves to be ripped off.

"NEW YORK STYLE" - Go to New York and tell me how many pizzerias you see that market their pizza as "New York style." Or even Boston or anywhere in New England. There are surely pizzerias outside New York and New England that market their pizza as "New York style" and actually make a good NY style pizza, but I generally avoid any place that feels the need to announce that they sell NY style pizza, because those places usually sell crap pizza.

I don't really consider my "NY style" pizza to be true NY style pizza (even though it probably is, or would be if I had the right oven). I just use the term 'NY style' here to give readers an idea of what I'm trying to make. If I owned a pizzeria that sold the pizza I consider basically NY style, I would call it "NY style" on the menu, but probably not in marketing materials. Instead of tooting my own horn by calling something "authentic NY style," I'll let my customers do it for me.

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT - All you have to do is ask yourself why it's under new management, and why the new management would feel compelled to announce that the place is under new management. This sign should tell you that someone bought a pizzeria with a horrible reputation. Anyone who would do that is an idiot and doesn't know a thing about the pizza industry. It says they bought a pizzeria that couldn't have been given away to anyone who knows how the pizza business works. But somehow the original owner managed to find a chump who actually gave them money for something that's worth less than nothing; someone who is now losing a couple grand a week and doesn't understand what motivates people to buy pizza from one place instead of another, which explains the "Under New Management" sign. If you buy pizza from this place, you're a chump, too.

"WE USE A 70-YEAR-OLD SECRET RECIPE THAT GRANDMA TAUGHT US" or "WE HAVEN'T CHANGED OUR RECIPE SINCE WE OPENED ?? YEARS AGO" - So you're telling me you couldn't figure out how to make it better even though you've had all these decades to do it? Wow! Even with all the technological advances in equipment? Wow! Oh wait, I see that you're using a conveyor oven, just like Grandma did 30 years before conveyor ovens were invented.

I change my formulas and procedures almost every time I make pizza (which is sometimes every day for months at a time). You can see that very clearly at the bottom of my Pizza Hut thin post, even though I came close to nailing it the first time. Y'see, trying different things is how you learn. That's how you get better at doing what you do, and that's precisely how I got to the point where I can make the pizzas I share with you in this blog. And if I ever open a pizzeria, you can bet my pizza will change over the years because I will strive every day to make it better. It wouldn't change a lot, but it would change because that's how life works.

If any restaurant goes out of their way to let me know they have some kind of aversion to improving their product, then I don't want to eat there. In reality, though, I know they're lying when they say they've never changed, and that's an even better reason not to eat there.

Don't eat at this place. You're being bullshitted.

Surely more to come...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ryan's Chicago deep dish (Malnati's style)

(Like this blog on Facebook!)

Here's how to make a Malnati's style deep dish pizza. This post is a little incomplete right now because I have never taken pictures of some of the important steps. I took most of these pictures to document how a certain brand of tomatoes works for this kind of pizza. I will add more pictures as soon as I get a chance to make some more deep dish pizzas.

Specialized equipment you'll need to make this pizza: One deep dish pan or cake pan, 1-1/2" or 2" deep and seasoned. Ideally you'll want a tin-plated steel pan (with straight sides), but you can get by with an aluminum pan if that's all you can get. I've been using a seasoned aluminum pan (not a cake pan), but I just ordered some commercial-quality steel pans and a pan gripper last night: 6" steel deep dish pan, 9" steel deep dish pan, 12" steel deep dish pan, 14" steel deep dish pan, and a N9494 pan gripper.

Looks like Malnati's to me, except my pan is half an inch too deep.

Here's a formula for a good deep dish dough. This probably needs a little work, but it's still very good. (It's the formula I used for the dough in these pics.)

100% KAAP flour
48% Water
0.6% ADY
0.5% Salt
4% Pure olive oil
16% Corn oil

You may have noticed that I did not list cornmeal as an ingredient. That's because there is no cornmeal in real deep dish. Cornmeal in deep dish is probably the most widespread pizza myth there has ever been. The one thing everyone knows about deep dish is that it has cornmeal in it, but it's just not true. So don't put cornmeal in your deep dish dough unless you want to ruin it.

Here's a recipe that will make just about enough dough for two 12" pizzas, three 9" pizzas, or seven 6" pizzas (if my spreadsheet did the math right):

16.85 oz KAAP flour
8.09 oz Water
1.01 tsp ADY
0.49 tsp Salt
0.67 oz Pure olive oil
2.7 oz Corn oil

Here's how to make this dough:
  1. Measure 1 tsp of active dry yeast and put it in mixer bowl.
  2. Measure 8.09 oz of 110-degree water.
  3. Add about 2 oz of the water to the mixer bowl.
  4. Stir the water to dissolve the yeast.
  5. Measure 16.85 oz of KAAP flour.
  6. Measure 0.49 tsp of salt and add it to the flour. Stir to incorporate the salt into the flour.
  7. Measure 0.67 oz of pure olive oil.
  8. Measure 2.7 oz of corn oil.
  9. If the yeast water is foamy, add the rest of the water to the mixer bowl and continue to the next step. If the yeast water is not foamy, wait five minutes, then add the rest of the water to the mixer bowl and continue to the next step. (Even if the water is not foamy by now, go ahead and add the water, then continue to the next step.)
  10. Add the flour to the mixer bowl.
  11. Put the bowl in place on the mixer and attach the dough hook.
  12. Begin mixing on speed 2.
  13. Immediately after the dough starts mixing, add the olive oil and corn oil to the mixer bowl.
  14. Mix for about 1 minute. (As an alternative to using the mixer, you can mix this dough by hand, with a spoon, adding the ingredients to the bowl in the same order.)
  15. Remove dough from the mixer bowl.
  16. Divide the dough into appropriately weighed pieces of dough (see below) and place them in ziploc bags.
  17. Put the dough balls in the refrigerator and leave them there for 24 hours. (48 hours is fine, too, and I suppose 72 hours is no different. After that I'm not so sure.)

Before you begin baking, you should know how much dough to use for common pan sizes:

For each 6" pizza, use 3.82 oz of dough.
For each 9" pizza, use 8.16 oz of dough.
For each 12" pizza, use 14.14 oz of dough.
For each 14" pizza, use 19.02 oz of dough.

How to make the pizza:
  1. A couple hours before you intend to bake the pizza, remove the appropriate amount of dough balls from the refrigerator and let them warm up at room temperature.
  2. If you will be baking on a stone, begin preheating your oven at 500 about an hour before you intend to bake the pizza.
  3. Shortly before you intend to bake, remove your dough from its bag.
  4. Decrease the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  5. Place your dough in a seasoned, unoiled deep dish pan of appropriate size. (Let's say you'll be making a 9" pizza. If so, you'll want to use about 8.16 oz of dough.) (How to season a pizza pan.)
  6. DO NOT ROLL THE DOUGH! Instead, press the dough into the pan with your fingertips until it completely covers the bottom of the pan.
  7. When the dough fills the bottom of the pan, crimp the outer edges of the dough against the sides of the pan. You'll want the lip of the dough to be very thin and reach about 1-1/4" up the side of the pan.
  8. If you're making a 9" pizza, cover the dough with about 7.2 oz of sliced mozzarella.

  9. Dough skin with appropriate amount of sliced cheese covering it.

  10. If you want to make it how most people order it in Chicago, cover the cheese with coin-sized pieces of raw Italian sausage, with a few millimeters in between each piece. (I'll put a picture here as soon as I get a chance. Right now I don't have a picture showing this.)
  11. Add other toppings (above the sausage if you used sausage).

  12. Pepperoni on half.

    Stanislaus Saporito Filetto di pomodoro tomato strips. This product works very well
    for deep dish. This and the next three pics show you a few angles of what
    kind of tomato product you want to use for this type of pizza.

    One way of showing you the texture of these tomatoes.

    Another way of showing you the texture of these tomatoes.

    Yet another look at the texture.

  13. Add about 9 oz of chunky tomato sauce (uncooked) above the toppings.

  14. I weighed the tomatoes before adding to the top of the unbaked pizza.

    Spread the tomatoes evenly around the pizza with your fingers.

  15. Sprinkle or dash some romano or parmesan cheese over the tomatoes. (You may want to sprinkle a little oregano, too.)

  16. Sprinkle some romano or parmesan cheese over the top just before baking

  17. Set the pan on the bottom rack of your 450-degree oven. If you bake on the stone, it should probably be on the bottom, too. (I was experimenting with the pizza I baked in the following picture. I don't normally advise using a setup like this, but this pizza turned out great.)

  18. Unusual oven setup, but it worked for me.

  19. Bake at 450 for at least 22 minutes. If you've done everything how I instructed, it shouldn't take longer than 25 minutes for the pizza to finish baking.
  20. If you don't know how the pizza should look when it's done, here are some visual clues that tell you the pizza is done: The crust will begin browning and pulling away from the side of the pan.

Bigger pizzas may take longer to bake than smaller pizzas. I'm not sure, though, because I've only ever made 10" pizzas.

For sauce just use a chunky tomato product, uncooked. If you can't get your hands on the Stanislaus tomato strips (or something like that), I suggest to buy whole tomatoes and chop them coarsely, then drain any excess liquid. A lot of serious home pizza-makers use diced tomatoes or Escalon 6 IN 1 tomatoes, but I don't really like either of those options. Diced tomatoes are too firm and 6 IN 1 is not chunky enough.

Here are some pics of fully baked deep dish pizzas:

Finished pizza, after baking at 450 for 22-25 minutes.

Removing the pizza from the pan. It might take a
little practice to do this without any trouble.

Baked pizza removed from the pan. Deep dish should be served in the pan, but I had to
remove it so I could take pictures of the outside of the crust.

Baked pizza on a screen with a couple slices gone.

Slice undercrust.

Even though I used finely chopped tomatoes on this one, instead of large chunks of tomato,
this one was the best deep dish pizza I've made, precisely because I processed the
tomato filets into smaller pieces than is typical on Malnati's style deep dish.

Lotsa cheese and wonderful gooeyness on this one. Mmmmm!

Here's a very good deep dish site, created by someone who is probably about as passionate about pizza as I am, but who focuses mostly on deep dish. Although I've made some damn good deep dish pizzas, is probably the best source of accurate deep dish information available. I will most certainly give Ed's dough formula a try before long. When I do, I'll share the results here.

Posted by Picasa