Thursday, May 19, 2005

Deep-Dish Pizza

Deep-Dish Pizza (Adapted from Cooking Light)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 pre-cooked Italian chicken sausages (about 6 ounces total), diced
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/4 cups chopped red bell pepper
salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt. Pour in water and 1 tablespoon oil - stir mixture together until a shaggy dough forms. Scoop mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding enough of remaining flour as needed to prevent sticking, until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should be just tacky to the touch.

Set dough into a large bowl coated with cooking spray, then turn the dough over to coat the top. Cover bowl and let dough rise until until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover and punch down dough -place the cover back on and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into an 11" x 15" rectangle. Rub a 9" x 13" baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Carefully transfer dough into a 9" x 13" baking dish - evenly fit the dough into the pan, pressing the dough up the sides of the dish. Season top of dough with dried basil and oregano, then scatter 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) of mozzarella evenly over the dough. Top with chopped sausage. Cover dish and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coarsely chop tomatoes. Place tomatoes into a sieve - stir in oregano and basil, then let mixture drain for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium. Add bell pepper - cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season lightly with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Uncover dough and evenly scatter vegetables over the top. Spoon chopped tomato mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining 2 ounces (1/2 cup) cheese. Place into the oven and bake until the crust has brown and the cheese bubbles, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

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