Published September 1, 1999.
Can you make better-than-takeout deep-dish pizza at home, in a reasonable amount of time?
We began our quest for a good, homemade deep-dish pizza because most of the deep-dish pizzas to be had at restaurants or from takeout services simply aren't that good. Many of them, unfortunately, are oily disks of tasteless, soggy, heavy dough, overwhelmed by even greasier toppings.
Because these pizzas are 75 percent crust, we wanted a recipe that would give center stage to a crust that was really good: rich-tasting, slightly chewy, and golden brown. We also wanted a recipe the home cook could produce in a moderate amount of time. We didn't want anyone wishing they'd gone for the greasy takeout version instead just to save time.
The secret to a perfect crust came from an unlikely source: a potato. Also used in a recipe for focaccia dough that we liked, the potato contributed moisture as well as extra richness and sweetness to the dough. We cut down on the time required to ready the dough for baking by putting it in a barely warmed oven for the first rise. While the first rise usually takes an hour, this dough was ready to work with in only 35 minutes. Covering the pizza pan with oil before loading it with dough made for a densely caramelized crust that looked and tasted delicious. Finally, to keep the toppings from weighing down the crust and making it soggy, we precooked it for 15 minutes, giving it a chance to rise and firm up a bit. This practice ended up benefiting the toppings as well, which now had just enough time to heat through and melt or brown.list of recipes