Stuffed-Crust Deep Dish Pizza



Mix warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to proof the yeast, after which bubbles should start to form on top. Mix all remaining ingredients into the yeast mixture. Stop once the mixture is evenly mixed, and avoid any additional kneading. The goal is for the crust to be almost crumbly, and additional kneading adds unwanted strength to the dough.

Cover, place in fridge, and allow to rise. Should have at least an hour or two, but a day or two is ideal.


The goal is to make the sauce as thick as possible, while retaining some of the raw tomato taste. Starting with strained tomatoes avoids thinning out the sauce with excess liquid. Finishing the sauce with tomato paste further thickens the sauce and brings back the raw tomato taste that was dulled by simmering. Excess sauce can be frozen and re-used next time.

Dice onion, then sauté in olive oil until translucent. Strain the cans of diced tomatoes, and add the solids to the onions. Simmer on low heat until the tomatoes are mushy, about 15-20 minutes.

Blend the onions and tomatoes until smooth. From this point on, the mixture is very thick, and should be covered or stirred at all times to avoid painting the kitchen orange. Add the spices, and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn heat off, add tomato paste, and mix well.


Mix together, prior to assembly. Quantity of spices is very approximate.

Fillings can vary. Cooked spinach makes a fantastic filling. Meats are good, though not so much that it breaks up the structural integrity of the cheese layer. For this purpose, sausage is best, because the cheese can surround the chunks of sausage, while pepperoni is worst, because the thin slices break up the cheese layer.

Depending on taste, sautéed peppers can be a good addition, but I dislike the crunch that they add to the filling.


Thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of a cast-iron pan. Using ~2/3rds of the dough, roll out the bottom crust to about 1/8th inch thickness. Place the bottom crust in the pan, lining the bottom and sides, and allowing any excess to hang over the edge.

Add cheese mixture, along with any fillings. Take remainder of dough, roll out the top crust about 1/16th inch thickness, and place on top of the cheese mixture. Fold the overhanging portion of the bottom crust overtop, and pinch the two crusts together to seal. Use a fork to add several holes that will allow steam to escape.

Add a thick layer of sauce on top, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Use a fork to texture the top of the sauce, creating ridges. (These ridges help to release moisture, and will slightly brown in the oven.)

Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Allow to cool before cutting.