From America's Test Kitchen Season 2: Pizza Night
Unlike its thin-crust cousin, deep-dish pizza has a soft, chewy, thick crust and can stand up to substantial toppings. We wanted to try our hand at this restaurant-style pizza at home, without a lot of fuss, and it had to taste better than takeout.
Most of the allure of deep-dish pizza is in the crust, so it was important to get it right. After trying numerous ingredients and techniques, we discovered that a boiled potato gave the crust exactly the right qualities: It was soft and moist, yet with a bit of chew and good structure. The potato even made the unbaked dough easier to handle. To keep the outside of the crust from toughening during baking, we added a generous amount of olive oil to the pan before putting in the dough. Toppings put onto the crust before it went into the oven weighed it down so that it didn’t rise much and became dense, so we baked the crust untopped for a few minutes first. Our deep-dish crust wasn’t just a platform for the topping; it had great flavor and texture of its own.
Makes one 14-inch pizza, serving 4 to 6
Prepare the topping while the dough is rising so it will be ready at the same time the dough is ready. Baking the pizza in a deep-dish pan on a hot pizza stone or quarry tiles will help produce a crisp, well-browned bottom crust. Otherwise, a heavy rimless cookie sheet (do not use an insulated cookie sheet) will work almost as well. If you've only got a rimmed cookie sheet, turn it upside down and bake the pizza on the flat rimless side. The amount of oil used to grease the pan may seem excessive, but in addition to preventing sticking, the oil helps the crust brown nicely.