Windy City Classic

Windy City Classic
Recipe type: Pizza
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115 F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/5 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups flour, all-purpose (unbleached)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup corn oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 2 cans plum tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • ¾ pound mozzarella cheese, cut in ⅛ inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. To make the dough: Pour water into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Sprinkle yeast over water.
  3. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  4. Let stand for 10 min.
  5. Add flour and salt; stir to combine.
  6. Add corn oil and mix until a dough is formed.
  7. Knead by hand or in heavy-duty mixer with a dough hook at least 6 to 7 minutes, until completely smooth and satiny.
  8. Lightly dust a large bowl with flour.
  9. Place dough in the bowl, dust the top with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil.
  10. Let stand on the kitchen counter for 20 min.
  11. Refrigerate overnight.
  12. The next day, lightly oil a 14-inch pizza pan that is 2 inches deep with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place the dough in the center of the pan.
  13. Using your palms, stretch and push the dough toward the edge of the pan (as the dough warms up, it will be easier to stretch).
  14. Pull the dough up the side of the pan, pressing it against the side with your fingers (only about ¼-inch of the pan sides should be showing) until it is quite thin.
  15. Cover and set aside. (The dough can be made to this point and held, covered, about 1 hour until the topping is ready.)

Windy City Classic
Recipe type: Pizza
  1. To make the topping: Cook sausage in a saute pan over medium heat, breaking it up and pressing it with the back of a wooden spoon to form large, thick chunks, until just cooked through, about 4 min.
  2. Drain excess grease from pan.
  3. Set sausage aside.
  4. Place tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
  5. Crush completely with your hands and drain.
  6. Crush again, then drain again. (You should have about 2 cups.)
  7. Add garlic, oregano basil, salt and pepper; stir.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Arrange mozzarella slices, overlapping them slightly, over the crust.
  10. Spread tomato mixture evenly over cheese.
  11. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and arrange sausage evenly over tomatoes.
  12. Bake on the bottom rack of a preheated 450 F oven until the crust is golden and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 18 to 20 min.
  13. Let stand for 10 min. before serving.