My husband and I loved Giordanno's when we lived in the Chicago area. Here in Minnesota, Davanni's is the only place that even comes close. Last summer, we tested a bunch of different techniques of cooking the crust in a 14'' deep dish pizza pan (which you will need) to taste Giardanno's-style, and here is what we have come up with. The secret is flooding the pan with olive oil under the crust and then cooking the whole pizza in the deep dish, on top of a pizza stone to make the crust extra crispy. We're pretty proud of this one! It's got a few steps, but it's worth the time. And it's kid-friendly all the way--my 18-month-old ate two slices of this last night!
3 cups flour (the more whole wheat the more nutritious, but the more white, the more like Giordanno's...I usually compromise with 1 1/2 cups white, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs. yeast (active dry or instant packages)
1 cup very warm water
jar of pizza or spaghetti sauce
14 oz. can diced tomatoes (optional)
1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt to taste
at least 3 cups mozzerella cheese
cooked sweet italian sausage, sliced
anything else you like!
- Combine the flour and salt in mixer bowl of the kitchen aid mixer. Add olive oil.
- In separate bowl, measure the hot water and then add the yeast. Mix until yeast is dissolved in the water.
- Pour the yeast-water in the mixing bowl and mix with the bread dough hook attachment. (You can do it by hand by flouring a surface...it would probably just take more muscle!) Knead for 3-5 min, until the dough looks completely mixed.
- Cover bowl with a dry cloth and let sit for 30-60 min.
(Make while dough is rising.) There is no secret here: I have used a jar (16 oz.) of any brand pizza sauce, or half a 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce. But if you have time, it's always best if you dice up 1-2 fresh tomatoes and then simmer them in the sauce for about 5 min. over medium heat.
Putting it all together:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with pizza stone already placed on middle rack.
- Punch the dough down in the mixing bowl.
- In a 14'' deep dish pizza pan, add 2-3 Tbs. olive oil. Tilt the pan around until the oil has completely covered the bottom of the pan.
- Next press the dough into the deep dish pan with your palm and give it a little higher edge for the crust end. Oil will probably seep over into the dough but that's okay. Pierce it with a fork all over. It will look like this.
- Then place the deep dish pan on top of the pizza stone in the preheated oven. Bake at 400 for 7-10 min. (I usually take it out around 8 min--you don't want the crust to be at all browned yet.)
- When you take the crust out, while it's still hot, sprinkle with a layer (about 1-1 1/2 cups) of shredded mozzerella cheese and let it melt over the top like this.
- As soon as you take the crust out, increase the oven to 425 degrees.
- On top of this first cheese layer, pour and spread out the sauce.
- After the sauce, I usually add the sliced sausage and any veggies.
- Then add another layer of shredded mozzerella...about 1-1 1/2 cups.
- Then arrange pepperoni on top according to who likes pepperoni. :)
Once oven is at 425, place your pizza on top of the pizza stone again and bake it for 15-20 min. until you like how browned the top is. Keep checking it until it looks really good! :) Enjoy the deep dish!