Sausage, an inexpensive meat as long as you avoid foodiepreneurs trying to sell you fennel-infused giraffewurtz, still offers you the chance to go carnivore on the cheap. Homeslice in Lincoln Park offers a heart-stopper that adds Canadian bacon and pepperoni to your Italian sausage pizza and even throws in some vegetables while the venerable Lou Malnati’s dumps sausage into its iconic deep dish. In fact, there are about a thousand at-least-adequate options within the city limits and even in the suburbs.
But that shouldn’t keep you from making your own. Homemade is always best, is it not? Once again The Chicago Food Encyclopedia provides the guidance.
Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza [Pizza]
Prep: 45 minutes
Rise: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: One 14-inch pizza, about 6 servings
Feel free to use pepperoni or sweet Italian sausage, or both, in this recipe, adapted from The Great Chicago-Style Pizza Cookbook, by Pasquale Bruno Jr. (McGraw Hill, 1983).
1 1/2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn or olive oil, plus more for brushing, drizzling
1/2 cup warm water
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon each: dried basil, dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
10 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casing removed, crumbled
1. For dough, dissolve yeast in 1 cup of the warm water. Stir in sugar; set aside. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Stir in the yeast mixture, the oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water until dough forms a rough ball and cleans the sides of the bowl.
2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough, dusting with flour if too sticky, until smooth and soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Dust dough and a large, clean bowl with flour. Put dough in bowl; cover with plastic wrap and towel. Let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, for topping, combine tomatoes, basil, oregano and salt. Set aside. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Turn dough out of bowl; knead about 2 minutes. Let dough stand, covered, about 10 minutes. Oil bottom and sides of a 14-inch round, 2-inch deep pizza pan. Spread dough in pan until it covers the bottom. Press edges of dough up sides to form a lip around the pan edge. Pierce dough bottom with a fork at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake exactly 4 minutes; remove from oven. Brush crust lightly with olive oil.
4. Lay slices of mozzarella evenly over crust. Spoon tomatoes over cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan over tomatoes. Distribute pepperoni or flattened sausage pieces evenly over filling, Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over top. Bake on bottom oven rack 5 minutes. Move pizza to upper third of oven. Bake until crust is lightly browned and sausage is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing.