Student food blog: Deep-dish pizza

Sophie EdmondsI'd never had proper home-made deep-dish pizza until recently. I think I had tried some terrible fast-food version at some point but the idea of eating what is essentially a pie filled with cheese and processed meats frightened me.

A few months back we suffered one of the most horrendous food comas to date. Three courses of Italian-inspired carb-laden glory. One of these courses involved deep-dish pizza.

This is again another one of Alex's specialties and so I asked him to show me how to make them.

They are pretty easy - all you need is a cast-iron skillet pan. If you don't have one of these I imagine a sandwich cake tin would work just as well.

It is just a basic bread dough recipe and should be enough to make two 25cm pizzas.

If you have any leftover pizza dough, roll it out, drizzle it with garlic, olive oil, rosemary and parmesan then bake for 20 minutes and you have yourself a delicious pre-dinner snack!

Deep-dish pizzas
Makes two 25cm pizzas
(adapted from the non-recipe of Alex Lovell-Smith)

 

For the dough
200ml warm water
1 tsp white sugar
1 tsp active dry yeast
2 cups high grade flour (and a little more to dust the bench)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

For the toppings
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pottle of tomato paste
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large red onion, sliced
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
½ cup grated parmesan (plus more for topping)
2 cups of grated cheese
a small handful of rosemary
5 sausages of your choice (we used pork)

Activate the yeast by stirring it with the sugar into warm water and setting aside for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy, then add the oil.

Place the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir until the dough comes together, then turn out on to a floured board and knead for 10 minutes.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for half an hour.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200degC on bake.

Squeeze all the sausage filling into a small bowl and season with a bit more pepper if you wish.

Toss the thinly sliced red onion in a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and give it a good grinding of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Stir the tomato paste in with the crushed garlic, chili flakes and the four other tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

Once the dough has risen, split into two, roll on a floured board and shape into discs large enough to line the base of your skillet with a slight overhang.

Grease the bottom of your skillets with a splash of oil. Scatter ¼ cup of grated parmesan over the base of each skillet. Drape the discs of dough onto the skillets and press the dough to fit into the corners.

Spread the tomato paste over the base, followed by the red onions. Tear off chunks of sausage meat and scatter those around the pizza base also. Scatter over a few leaves of rosemary.

Sprinkle on the cheese as well as a bit of extra parmesan (if you have some) and then bake for 25 or so minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese bubbly and melted.

Serve with a fresh salad. Enjoy!