It may not look pretty, but It's Tradition.
Chicago Style Pizza requires a deep-dish crust, topped with lots of cheese, then topped with toppings, and then a chunky tomato sauce. Call in backwards if you want, but that's the way they do it in the Windy City.
The deep crust and ton of cheese makes this pizza very filling- I usually can only finish a piece or two. I modified the recipe found here.
3½ cups All-purpose flour
1½ cup (scant) Water
½ cup Canola oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2¼ teaspoons Active dry yeast
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian herbs/seasonings
This recipe makes one pizza using a 15″ × 2″ deep dish pizza pan. I have no such pan, so I made 1 pizza in a 9-inch cake pan, and a pan of breadsticks (basically, pizza sans toppings, with herbs & parmesan sprinkled on)
24 Hours Prior to Baking
In a mixing bowl, add the water, sugar, yeast, flour, and salt.
Mix on low speed for a few minutes until the dough comes together, then slowly add the oil. Continue to mix dough for 7 more minutes.
The dough should be somewhat moist and smooth, not sticky, and should weigh about two pounds. Form the dough into a ball and place into a bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and then with a dish towel and place in the refrigerator for an overnight rise.
I LOVED this step- because I have to throw dinner together after work, the fact I can make the dough after dinner the night before is SO convenient.
One Hour Prior to Baking
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator about one hour prior to making the pizza. Set the bottom oven rack to its lowest position and preheat the oven to 450° F for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
After resting for one hour, the dough is now ready to be placed into the baking pan. Coat the bottom of a deep dish pan with olive oil. Place the dough ball (or, half of it, if you're going my smaller-pan route) in the center of the pan and press it out until it covers the entire bottom. Then, using you fingers, pull the dough up the side of the pan.
Cover the dough with mozzarella cheese. Be generous.
Add your desired toppings. I recommend sausage. Top with crushed tomatoes spooned directly from the can.
Finish topping with Italian herbs/seasonings (chopped fresh basil and dried oregano flakes are favorites) and finally with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Place the pan in the center of the bottom oven rack and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (or longer), turning once half way through, until the crust is golden brown. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool for about 3 minutes. Slice and serve.
To make breadsticks: use the other half of the dough, press into a pan, and top with parmesan cheese & herbs. Slice into sticks to serve.