Chicago-Style Stuffed Pizza


Here's my take on a wonderful pizza we ate at a family-owned pizzeria in Gunnison, CO called Mario's. The trick here is lots of layers, and lots of cheese!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups 00 flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/3 cup lukewarm water
melted butter and olive oil 

28 oz plum tomatoes, hand crushed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

8 oz. provolone, sliced
6 oz. Canadian bacon, sliced
1 pound mild Italian sausage, remove from casings and brown
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
4 oz. pepperoni, sliced
1 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle on top

To make the crust, mix together dough ingredients and knead for 6-7 minutes, to make a smooth crust. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. 

While the dough is rising, place the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30-40 minutes, until it has reduced to a nice thickened sauce, stirring occasionally. Brown the sausage in a large skillet. Add green pepper, onion, and mushrooms and saute until tender.

Prepare your pans (I used my large 12" cast iron skillet, and my 9" springform pan. They both worked well and I could not tell much difference between the two bottom crusts.) In a small bowl, melt 3 tablespoons butter and then stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grease both dishes with a thin layer of this butter mixture. Set butter aside as you will grease the crusts as you layer the pizza.

Divide the dough into thirds. Stretch the first two pieces of dough to make as large of circles as you can to fit each pan. Lay each into a pan and stretch it toward the edges. Continue stretching the dough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. If necessary, allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes, to finish stretching up the sides of each pan. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat the dough with a thin layer of butter mixture. Begin layering the toppings, by adding the provolone cheese slices. Then the Canadian Bacon followed by the sausage and vegetables, and then the pepperoni. Top the meat with a layer of mozzarella cheese. 

Divide the third piece of dough in half and roll each into an 1/8" thin circle. Place each over the cheese layer in each pan. Press the dough into the sides of the bottom crust. Coat this layer of dough with a thin layer of butter mixture. Poke a few holes in this top crust to allow steam to escape while baking. 

Add the final layer of cheese (fresh mozzarella) on top of this crust and top with the sauce. Place pizza on bottom rack of oven, and bake for 30-45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from pans using metal spatulas and place on serving platter. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Cut each pizza into 8 slices. Makes two pizzas. Serves 8-10.