Healthy Chicago Deep Dish-Style Pizza Recipe

We all know that there is truly no such thing as a healthy pizza. Well…not a good tasting one anyway. However, if you use much healthier ingredients you will be surprised at not only how much healthier pizza can be, but how good its overall quality is as well compared to any of the major pizza products.

I’ve spent a good amount of time refining and tweaking my recipe and think it is now just near perfect enough where I feel comfortable sharing it.

Ingredients for Dough:

2 1/2 Cups Semolina No. 1 Durum Wheat Flour (I prefer the ‘Bob’s Red Mill’ brand)
3/4 Cup of warm water (Between 105 – 113 Degrees F)
1/4 Cup of Canola/Soy/Olive Oil (I prefer ‘Smart Balance Omega’ brand)
1 Packet of Active Dry Yeast
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp or less of salt
1 – 2 Tbsp melted butter
Olive oil to later coat finished dough.

Dissolve the sugar into the warm water by stirring. Carefully and slowly pour in the yeast while stirring…be absolutely sure that you have all of the yeast completely dissolved. Add in the Canola/Soy/Olive Oil also and continue stirring. I will now typically pour the water/sugar/yeast/oil solution into the mixing bowl. Using the Bread Hook attachment on a Kitchen Maid mixer to keep the solution stirring, I will then add in the melted butter. You guessed it…keep it stirring/mixing.

Mixer Speed and Duration:

Medium Speed for 4 minutes.
Hand knead an additional 2 minutes.

Dough Rise Time:

2 Hours.

Slowly pour in all of the Semolina No. 1 Durum Wheat Flour. Use a soft spatchula to make sure all of the flour is getting into the mixture. Once the dough begins to come together slowly pour in very small portions of the left over warm water (What you do not want to see is the dough looking like dry bits/balls of cookie dough). The dough in its proper texture will form into one large clump or ball. You want it to be pliable and smooth.

Once you have finished the mixing and hand kneading gather a large bowl to place your dough into. Pour some olive oil into your hand and coat the dough completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let it rise for two hours.

Tip: Place your bowl of dough near the stove top where your sauce will be cooking…the heat will help the dough rise.

Ingredients for Pizza Sauce:

3 to 4 packages of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
2 – 14 oz cans of Diced Tomatoes (for stand by in case you like a lot of sauce on your pizza)
Red Wine – 1/4 cup
Oregano – 1 heaping Tsp to 1 heaping Tbsp
Basil – 1 heaping Tsp to 1 heaping Tbsp
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Minced Garlic – 1 Tsp

Slice each Grape or Cherry Tomato in half and place into a large bowl. In a good Sauce pan poor in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Turn heat to Medium. Pour in enough of the halved Grape or Cherry Tomato’s to cover the bottom. Let them sit for a few minutes in order to soften them up. Take a large spoon and press down in order to smash the tomato’s (My advice to you…DEFINITELY wear an apron for this portion).

Once you have all of the tomatoes smashed and softened up, pour in your red wine. I have no exact amount or quantity to give you on the wine…maybe a 1/4 – 1/2 cup.

Next add the Oregano, Basil, Minced Garlic and freshly ground black pepper.

Add a very light portion of the Montreal Steak Seasoning…it has very good flavor but also a lot of salt in it. I probably only add 1/2 to 1 Tsp.

Stir everything together well and let it cook on low heat for at least 2 1/2 hours. The longer it cooks the better the flavor will be. But more importantly, the longer it cooks more of the natural liquids will evaporate.

If you like a smaller amount of sauce on your pizza you can probably stop here. If you prefer more sauce then simply add a can or two of the diced tomato’s (but be careful and check the nutritional value(s) as they can be very high in sodium). Once your sauce is finished cooking you may need to strain the sauce. Excess liquids = soggy pizza.

Pizza Toppings:

1 8oz bag of Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
1 8oz bag of Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian

Grated Romano Cheese
Dried Oregano

Turkey Pepperoni
Fresh Mushrooms
Turkey Sausage

Pizza Prep:

Place your ball of dough into your deep dish pizza pan, spread evenly ensuring that the dough reaches a minimum of 3/4 height on the sides.

Mix your two bags of shredded reduced fat cheese well, then place atop dough in your deep dish pan, spread evenly and pat down a little.

Spread your sauce evenly. Place pizza into the oven for Stage 1.

Pizza Oven Settings and Duration of both stages:

Temp – 475 F
Stage 1 – 14 minutes
Stage 2 – 13 minutes

After Stage 1 in the oven is complete, remove the pizza and add your toppings (this will eliminate any of your preferred toppings from burning. If you use any vegetables this will also assure they remain fresh). Also add some grated romano cheese and some dried oregano.

Place the pizza back into the oven for the final 13 minutes.

Once stage 2 is complete, remove your pizza and let stand for 4 minutes.