Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

By: Cassy Joy
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This Paleo Deep-Dish Pizza delivers a thick, but fluffy and crispy crust that stands up to any traditional Chicago-Style pizza!

Chicago deep dish pizza on a round sheet pan

The other day, I came home after an extended Thanksgiving stay at our favorite football getaway town (College Station, TX) to find a good amount of mail had piled up. We sorted through the envelopes, recycled a big pile of ads, and just when I was about to curl up with latest Pottery Barn magazine to fantasize about all their pretty Christmas decorations, Austin said there was one more package for me. For me?! OH How I LOVE packages! It was heavy, about two inches thick, and the size of a book …it's a book!! In fact, I bet it's a Paleo cookbook! I have a few friends with new cookbooks coming out right about now. Oh hallelujah, how I love a good cookbook! I plopped down on the couch, tore open the package, and beheld …the incredible work of art titled “Every Last Crumb” by my friend, Brittany Angell.

Brittany, an accomplished blogger and author, set out this past year to write a Paleo bread book. Through the magic of social media, I felt like I was there with her during the development process – drooling over her book work photographs and dreaming of the day when I could learn exactly how she pulled off a completely grain-free pretzel. All I can say about her hard work is that it shows and that we'll probably still never know how much she poured into each page. Instead of just presenting her recipes as magical recreations of our favorite comfort foods (which they are), she took it upon herself to also teach each reader the science behind Paleo-friendly bread making.

5 years in this Paleo recipe development world, I've never learned so much from one concentrated source.

overhead view of a Chicago deep dish pizza on a round sheet pan with a plate of one slice of pizza, a jar of ranch, a glass of wine, and a book

Though the list of recipes that I'm eager to make is LONG, I couldn't get past the Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza. I have a deep, meaningful love for deep-dish pizza and this pizza recipe completely …and entirely …exceeded my expectations.

By Brittany's instructions, I went to the store and bought my first packets of instant yeast and then traveled to the dairy section for some mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Though you can omit the cheese or opt for a dairy-free version, I wanted to make sure this from-scratch Paleo-friendly pizza was putting its absolute best foot forward.

overhead view of a Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza on a round sheet pan

Though I was apprehensive at first (the yeast intimidated me), I have to say that the crust mixing, proofing, and baking process was a BREEZE. A total breeze! Just follow her instructions and you will end up with a crust that is perfectly crunchy on the outside and still wonderfully soft on the inside. It's going to blow your mind.

Note that she outlines directions for both very precise weighed measurements OR for volume measurements. I followed her volume directions and my crust turned out great.

I loved the toppings she outlined in her book, Every Last Crumb, and only added some pickled jalapeno slices before baking. I also served my deep-dish pizza alongside some of my 5-Ingredient Ranch Dressing …because I'm one of those weirdos who can't have pizza without ranch dressing.

a slice of Chicago deep dish pizza being pulled away from the whole pizza

To Brittany: my most heartfelt thank you. No longer will I endure the gluten/conventional dairy bloat because I wanted Chicago-style Deep-Dish pizza so badly that I went out for one. From now on, I'll flip to page 228 in Every Last Crumb for my deep-dish pizza fix.

To everyone else: I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book for yourself or as a gift for that person in your life who loves to bake. Pre-order HERE before its release date (December 9th) for a special price on Amazon and for a special thank-you eBook from Mrs. Angell.

a slice of Chicago deep dish pizza on a white plate with a jar of ranch dressing and a whole pizza in the background

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Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

a whole Chicago deep dish pizza on a round sheet pan
  • Author: Cassy
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: one 8-inch pizza 1x
Scale

Ingredients

Yeast Mixture::

  • 100 grams lukewarm water (about a scant 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin

Pizza Dough::

  • 97 grams blanched almond flour (about 2/3 cup)
  • 55 grams potato starch or sweet potato starch (about 1/3 cup)
  • 27 grams tapioca starch (about 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon double-acting, aluminum-free baking powder
  • 62 grams oil of choice (about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon), plus more for the pan
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Toppings::

  • 6 links (or 1.5 lbs) hot Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, slightly drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapenos (*my personal addition)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees to warm it up as a “hot box” for the pizza dough to proof. Oil an 8-inch round pan, an 8-inch cast-iron skillet, or, for a pretty presentation, a springform pan (this is what I used).
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the lukewarm water, yeast, sugar, and gelatin; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, mix the almond flour, starches, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder until blended.
  4. Add the oil, vinegar, and yeast mixture and mix until it comes together into a sticky dough that holds together.
  5. Place the dough in the prepared pan. Press the dough across the bottom of the pan and 1 inch up the sides. Cover the pan with a towel.
  6. Turn off the oven and place the covered pan in the warm oven to proof for a total of 30 minutes. Leave the oven door open a crack for the first 15 minutes, and then close the door for the last 15 minutes.
  7. While the dough is proofing, cook the sausage: Remove the casings. Break the sausage meat into small pieces and brown in a skillet over medium heat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.
  8. After 30 minutes of proofing, remove the pan from the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. When the oven is full preheated, remove the towel from the pan and place the pan in the oven. Prebake the crust for 5 minutes, and then remove from the oven. (But leave the oven on!)
  10. It's time to layer on the toppings! Put the mozzarella cheese on the bottom, followed by a layer of sausage, then pour on the diced tomatoes, and top with the Parmesan cheese, if using.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown.
Comments

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  1. LyndaS says:

    That pizza looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing Brittany’s recipe. 🙂

    1. Kelly says:

      Brittany is so talented! Hope you enjoy the recipe Lynda!

  2. Paula B says:

    Proof the dough in a 400 degree oven? Won’t that start it baking?

    1. Kelly says:

      Hi Paula, no it shouldn’t bake it, just proof it.

  3. Sarah G says:

    Is there any way that you might be able to sub the almond flour for coconut or another nut-free flour?

    1. Kelly says:

      Unfortunately coconut flour cannot be subbed for almond flour as it has a different consistency and is very absorbent. I would try a seed flour (sunflower, pumpkin, or even sesame) as they would work for a 1:1 sub, but might change the flavor a bit. Hope that helps Sarah.

  4. Kendra says:

    Ranch Dressing with Pizza is MUST!

    1. Kelly says:

      Haha Kendra, they go together so well! It reminds me of some of those late college nights too haha.

  5. Sally says:

    This has got ..NO, this IS the best Paleo Pizza I have ever had!
    So many possibilities for ingredients and the crust is amazing. I made in a cast iron skillet and the crust was crispy and wonderful.
    This will definitely be a weekly meal. Easy to prepare!

    1. Kelly says:

      The cast iron skillet is genius! Glad you loved it Sally!!

  6. Ann says:

    I would LOVE to try this but am allergic to tapioca. What can I use instead? Thank you 🙂

    1. Kelly says:

      Hi Ann! I would try arrowroot flour as it can work for a 1:1 sub for tapioca. There will probably be a minor texture change as tapioca adds a chewy texture, but it should work. Hope that helps and let us know how it turns out if you try it.

  7. Jen says:

    I did not have Potato Starch, so I substituted the same amount of Arrowroot Flour, and it turned out AWESOME! So good…!!!

    1. Kelly says:

      So glad you loved it Jen!