October 05, 2010

Deeply Delicious

Regular readers of this blog will notice that I'm rather fond of pizza.  Two of the recipes I've featured so far have been for pizza.  This time around I can't post a recipe, because it isn't mine to post, but what I can say - and show - is that I've found a recipe for Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza that is the real deal.  This makes me quite happy.

Mind you, I've made a lot of recipes that claim the same thing, but to a one, they've all been disappointing.  A few of them have been really bad, while most have ranged from okay to pretty good when considered on their own terms, but until now I haven't found one that really manages to capture the qualities that make the Chicago pan pizza so distinct.   Really, it's all in the crust.   A crust of an authentic Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza has a very distinctive texture:  a crunchiness that extends throughout the crust, but also a chewiness, with the crust being neither brittle nor hard.  Some people have claimed it's the cornmeal in the crust that delivers that texture, but from multiple tries, I know that just isn't true, as I've made at least a dozen other recipes with various amounts of cornbread inside or outside the crust, and none of them have produced the desired result.  None of them  until now, that is.

The recipe I used on Sunday night finally got it right.  From the first bite, I re-experienced the distinctive flavor and mouth-feel I associate with the better Chicago pizzas.

The recipe in question came from the January 2010 issue of Cook's Illustrated.  It is also available in The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2011.  I really, really wish I could reprint it here, because it is just that good, but I can't, and as far as I've been able to determine, it isn't available anywhere as a free link.  So, instead, I'll just urge you to find a copy and try it out for yourself.  If you appreciate great pizza, I guarantee you'll be pleased with the results.

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