Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

According to Tim Samuelson, Chicago's official cultural historian there is not enough documentation to determine with certainty who invented Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. It is often reported that Chicago-style deep-dish pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago, in 1943, by Uno's founder Ike Sewell. However, a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News asserts that Uno's original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the recipe, and Michele Mohr from the Chicago Tribune reports that Saverio Rosati's descendants say that the menu is still the same today (including deep-dish) as when Rosati's Authentic Chicago Pizza opened in 1926.

The primary difference between deep-dish pizza and most other forms of pizza is that, as the name suggests, the crust is very deep, creating a very thick pizza that resembles a pie more than a flatbread. Although the entire pizza is very thick, in traditional Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas the crust itself is thin to medium in thickness.

Deep-dish pizza is baked in an iron skillet or a round, steel pan that is more similar to a cake or pie pan than a typical pizza pan. The pan is oiled to allow for easy removal as well as to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. In addition to ordinary wheat flour, the pizza dough may contain cornmeal, semolina, or food coloring, giving the crust a distinctly yellowish tone. The dough is pressed up onto the sides of the pan, forming a bowl for a very thick layer of toppings.

The thick layer of toppings used in deep-dish pizza requires a longer baking time (typically 30–45 minutes), which could burn cheese or other toppings if they were used as the top layer of the pizza. Because of this, the toppings are assembled "upside-down" from their usual order on a pizza. The crust is covered with cheese (generally sliced mozzarella), followed by various meat options such as pepperoni or sausage, the latter of which sometimes is in a solid patty-like layer. Other toppings such as onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers are then also used. An uncooked sauce, typically made from crushed canned tomatoes, is added as the finishing layer; though sometimes, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese is added for extra flavor. It is typical that when ordered for carry-out or delivery, the pizza is uncut, as this prevents moisture from the sauce and toppings from soaking into the crust, causing the pie to become soggy.

Jake & Elwood's

2230 Frankfort Avenue

Louisville, KY  40206

502-690-2167