Deep-dish Dough

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  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal or semolina
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105 to 115° F)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Crisco (for greasing pans)

Preparation: Prepare dough sponge and proof yeast by mixing yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup water with pinch of sugar dissolved in the water in a bowl and letting stand for 20 minutes until mixture is foamy. (Throw out and start over with fresher yeast if not foamy.)

Combine remaining flour with cornmeal or semolina and salt. Mix 1/2 of flour mixture, remaining water with sugar dissolved in it, olive oil, and dough sponge. Mix in remaining flour mixture (dough should only be slightly sticky). Knead 10 minutes on a floured surface (6-8 minutes in a machine) until smooth.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled. Punch dough down, divide into portions, dust with flour, and put in ziploc bag in refrigerator until ready to use.

For a stuffed deep-dish pizza, remove dough from refrigerator when ready to shape into crust (makes one 14" or two personal size 6" stuffed pizza). Divide dough into portions for bottom crust and top cover crust. Punch down dough thoroughly and spread/stretch each dough portion by hand and roller on a greased pizza pan. Place bottom crust into greased deep-dish pan. Add stuffing mixture and cover with top crust. Seal the two dough edges together with fingers and trim excess. Slit the top crust in three places to allow steam to vent during baking. Add tomato sauce topping and bake in preheated 450° F oven on lower rack or directly on the pizza stone for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from pan and cool 5 minutes on a wire rack before cutting and serving.