Hawaiian Mango Pizza

Over a year ago we took a family trip to Hawaii. We spent a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center and were unable to get tickets to their Luau dinner. Instead we walked around the Hukilau Marketplace and stumbled on Pounders restaurant in Laie, Hawaii. The menu looked good and we were all hungry from walking around all day. I ordered their Hawaiian Mango Pizza and I have been thinking about it ever since. Sweet and salty, creamy and delicious, this Hawaiian Mango Pizza was completely different than any pizza I’ve had before and utterly delicious. I knew I wanted to re-create it when I got home. A year later…I’m still thinking about the pizza from Pounders and finally figured out the perfect combination of flavors and ingredients.

Hawaiian Mango Pizza Ingredients

  • Pizza Dough: This pizza would work well with many pizza dough recipes. I love this sourdough version and this quick and easy version.
  • Mascarpone Cheese: Mascarpone cheese is spread in a layer on top of the pizza dough and gives the whole pizza a nice creamy base.
  • Prosciutto: Prosciutto is torn into small pieces and spread on top of the mascarpone. It bakes up crispy and salty, giving the perfect balance of sweet/salty to this pizza.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is sprinkled on top of the mascarpone and prosciutto before the pizza is baked. It bakes up creamy and salty making the perfect pizza layer.
  • Honey: Honey is drizzled over the top of the pizza right after it is pulled out of the pizza oven for a signature sweet/salty flavor.
  • Arugula: Arugula is added to the top of the pizza right after the honey. Arugula adds a bright, tart and peppery flavor that pairs so well with the sweet/salty flavors in this pizza.
  • Fresh Mango: Freshly diced mango is put right on top of the arugula giving the signature flavor in this Hawaiian Mango Pizza
Original Pizza from Pounders Restaurant

Using a Pizza Oven or a Conventional Oven

Pounders restaurant uses a beautiful pizza oven to make their pizzas. For this Hawaiian Mango Pizza Copycat version, the pizza is best made in a pizza oven. I’ve made pizza many times in an Ooni Koda 16 oven. Pizza ovens give the best texture, taste and crispness using the high heat and baking stone of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make delicious pizza, though the crust won’t be quite the same. Crank your home oven up to the highest temperature it will go (550 Fahrenheit is the highest my oven will go). Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes. This long pre-heat is crucial to the texture of the pizza dough. Proceed with the recipe as written and bake the pizza in the regular oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is puffed up and baked through.

Pick the Perfect Pizza Dough

I am partial to a really good sourdough pizza crust, though it takes some planning ahead. I also love this quick and easy pizza crust that takes about 2 hours start to finish. You could also use this favorite recipe that we’ve used for years before we bought our outdoor pizza oven and it’s another great option for a conventional oven pizza dough. If you want to make it really easy, grab some pizza dough at the store and bake according to the package directions. This recipe makes 1 personal-sized 10 inch pizza. On our family pizza nights the kids almost always choose pepperoni or cheese, and the adults get creative with toppings. If you’d like to make a pizza larger than a one 10 inch pizza, increase the ingredients for the recipe toppings.

Assembling Hawaiian Mango Pizza

Once you’ve got your dough, get to work assembling the ingredients and the pizza. Chop/dice the fresh mango and set it aside. Cut or pull the prosciutto apart into smaller pieces and set aside. Stretch the pizza dough into a 10 inch circle by pulling and stretching it, being careful not to rip the dough. Once the dough is shaped, carefully spread the mascarpone onto the pizza dough. I had to do this part with my fingers to get it completely covered. Don’t worry if it clumps up a bit, just do your best to get it covered as much as possible. Sprinkle on the prosciutto and parmesan and bake the pizza. As soon as it comes out of the oven, drizzle on the honey and top with the arugula and diced mango. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store leftover pizza?

This pizza stores well in ziplock bags or air-tight containers in the refrigerator for a few days.

Can I substitute cream cheese for mascarpone on the pizza?

I have never tried this. Cream cheese has a little more “tangy” flavor than the mascarpone but it may work. The baked mascarpone reminded me a little of brie so I would consider substituting some brie if you don’t have mascarpone.

Can I drizzle honey on top of pizza before baking?

I like drizzling the honey on right after the pizza comes out of the oven. It doesn’t get your pizza oven all sticky and adds the best bit of sweetness to the pizza.

Hawaiian Mango Pizza (Pounders Copycat Recipe)

Hawaiian-style Neapolitan pizza made in an outdoor pizza oven. Mascarpone, parmesan and prosciutto are baked to perfection in a pizza oven. The pizza is drizzled with honey and topped with fresh arugula and mango. Absolutely delicious. This recipe is inspired from the amazing Mango Hawaiian pizza made at Pounders Restaurant in Laie, Hawaii.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 1 min
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 1 10 inch pizza

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams homemade pizza dough see recipe notes
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 slices prosciutto chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup mango diced

Instructions
 

  • Preheat a pizza oven to 700-800 degrees (see recipe note about using a regular oven) about 30 minutes before you plan on baking the pizza.
  • Dice a ripe mango into small pieces. Set aside. Chop the prosciutto into small pieces and set aside.
  • Spread a little cornmeal on a wooden cutting board or pizza peel. Stretch the pizza dough out to a 10 inch circle and lay it on the cornmeal.
  • Spread the mascarpone cheese over the dough, covering it completely. You may need to use your fingers to gently spread the cheese over the dough. Be careful not to let the dough tear, but do your best to make sure the mascarpone is covering the majority of the dough.
  • Lay the chopped prosciutto on top of the mascarpone. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Check that the dough is not sticking to the board (this can happen if you don't work quickly enough). If it is sticking, unstick it with your fingers, add a bit of cornmeal if needed and try again.
  • Launch your pizza into the pre-heated pizza oven with a quick thrust forward. Let the pizza cook for about 45 seconds, then using the pizza peel pull the pizza out of the oven, turn it with a fork and return it to the pizza oven for another 30-45 seconds. This ensures that the pizza is cooked on both sides. You can watch a video of this process here.
  • Right after the pizza comes out of the oven, drizzle the honey on top of the warm pizza. Top with arugula and diced mango. Enjoy warm!

Notes

Oven: This pizza recipe works best for a pizza oven. I’ve made pizza many times in an Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven. You will get the best texture, taste and crispness using the high heat and baking stone of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make good pizza with this recipe. Crank your home oven up to the highest temperature it will go (550 is the temperature I tested it at). Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes. This long pre-heat is crucial to the texture of the pizza dough. Proceed with the recipe as written and bake the pizza in the regular oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is puffed up and baked through.
Dough: I like using this pizza dough recipe. This sourdough version is also delicious. I haven’t tried it with store bought dough, but I’m guessing it would taste delicious too. 
Keyword hawaiian pizza, homemade pizza, mango pizza, mango prosciutto, ooni pizza oven

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

One response to “Hawaiian Mango Pizza”

  1. Kris Avatar

    Amazing! I think I need this in my life! The arugula must really finish it off nicely! 🍕🥭🌱😋

Leave a Reply

Sourdough “Pizza Oven” Pizza

I am a big-time pizza lover. My whole family loves pizza and Friday night pizza has been on the rotation for many years. We love this recipe that we’ve been using in our regular oven, but recently we added an Ooni Koda pizza oven to our appliances. Even though it was quite the long wait (supply chain issues), we love the way this pizza oven cooks and everything that we pull out of it is top notch! Check out this naan bread I made that is one of our favorites. I decided to combine my love for sourdough everything with my love for pizza and have found the perfect sourdough pizza recipe for our family. I’ve made it a number of times and will continue using this recipe for years to come. It is delicious, the perfect chewy crust and makes the most delicious pizza. We are obsessed and it has revitalized our family pizza nights.

Type 00 Flour or Bread Flour?

Ooni gives instructions with their pizza oven to use a special Italian flour, “type 00.” Type 00 flour is known for making traditional Neapolitan-style pizza (the type of pizza this recipe is trying its best to mimic) and it historically gives a crispy, thin crust while being chewy at the same time. In Europe, flour is categorized by how finely ground it is, not by protein content (which is what we use in America to categorize our flour). You can buy type 00 flour used in Italian pizza crust in some stores (our local Kroger carries it now!) or on Amazon, but with a big family that gets a little expensive if you want to make pizza often. An option that I prefer is to use American bread flour with about 11-12% protein content. I use unbleached bread flour from my local mill that is finely ground. The combination of bread flour, a long rise, high hydration content and sourdough helps to soften the gluten and to produce a light and airy crust that mimics the type 00 flour.

Side by Side Comparison of Sourdough Pizza

I actually did a side-by-side comparison of this recipe using both bread flour and type 00 flour and guess what?! My family preferred the pizza made with the bread flour. I thought the difference was negligible between the two and both are good options for the pizza. They both had a light, airy crust thanks to the high hydration, which produced lots of air pockets and a beautiful rise. Both had good flavor from being refrigerated overnight and baked up the next day. If you’d like to save a little money, look for a bread flour with 11-12% protein content that is finely ground, and you will have a much more affordable way to make pizza night happen weekly in your pizza oven.

Sourdough Starter

I feed my sourdough starter usually once a day, sometimes twice depending on how often I’m baking. This recipe uses 100 grams of ripe sourdough starter. This can be discard from the last few days or starter that is at its peak point. If you want to make starter specifically for this recipe, take a teaspoon of starter and feed it 75 grams of flour, 75 grams of water. Stir it, cover it and wait for 6-8 hours for the starter to double in size. Then use it in this recipe for sourdough pizza.

Sample Schedule for Sourdough Pizza

Day 1

  • 8 AM Mix together the dough ingredients with a stand mixer/dough hook
  • 8:30 AM Bulk Rest – perform 1st fold
  • 9:00 AM Bulk Rest – perform 2nd fold
  • 9:30 AM Bulk Rest – perform 3rd fold
  • 10:00 AM Bulk Rest – perform 4th fold (at this point the dough should be strong and smooth)
  • 11:00 AM Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator overnight
Dough risen and ready to be separated and shaped into balls on day 2

Day 2

  • 8 AM Shape dough into balls, cover and rest at room temperature
  • 1 PM Check on dough, place in refrigerator until ready to bake 
  • 5 PM Preheat pizza oven
  • 5:30 PM Take dough out of refrigerator, shape into pizzas, top and bake

Shaping the Balls of Sourdough Pizza Dough

The more you work with dough, the easier this will become. Don’t worry if it seems hard at first. It will turn out okay! To shape a ball of dough, pick it up in your hand and gently pull the dough together as you turn it in your hand, forming a ball. Then take the ball and tightly move it in a circular motion on the countertop to seal the ball. You should be left with a taught, round ball of dough. It will flatten as it rises, but this shaping process sets your pizza crust up for a successful rise in the oven.

How I pre-shape pizza dough

Working with Cold Dough

The process for making this pizza dough is two days but it is not a lot of hands-on time. Most of the work is done while the dough is resting. I don’t like to add extra flour to the dough while I’m working with it on the counter. Cold dough is easier to shape without extra flour. Once your dough has been shaped into balls, let it rise at room temperature for 5-6 hours. You will notice it expand and puff up. Once the dough has risen, stick it back in the refrigerator until ready to make the pizzas. Cold dough doesn’t stick as much to the pizza peel, especially with a sprinkle of cornmeal underneath it. Work quickly so it doesn’t warm up too much and your dough should slide right off the pizza peel or wooden cutting board.

Cornmeal and an Ooni Pizza Oven

I like to use cornmeal on the bottom of my pizzas. This is not necessarily traditional, but I have found cornmeal is the best way to provide a little friction between the wet dough and the pizza peel or cutting board. The friction makes it much easier to launch into the pizza oven. Be careful that you don’t use too much cornmeal because it can burn up in the pizza oven; you really just want a light dusting of cornmeal.

Too Many Toppings?

With this pizza recipe, it is possible to have too many toppings. Part of the beauty of this style of pizza is in the simplicity of the ingredients. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment. You should! Just be careful to not load your pizza up with too many toppings. It will make it difficult to get your pizza into the pizza oven without half of your pizza collapsing, giving you a melty/cheesy mess that will need to burn up before baking your next pizza—not that I have experienced this or anything 🙂

Launching and Baking Pizza In an Ooni Pizza Oven

The more you make the pizza, the better you will get at this step. I like to use a wooden cutting board to assemble my pizza on. Spread a little cornmeal and place the stretched dough on top of the cornmeal. Press the pizza into a circular shape and top with pizza sauce, chunks of mozzarella and any other toppings you’d like. Check that your pizza is not sticking to the board (if it is, lightly lift it off), and scoot the pizza toward the end of the board. Launch the pizza with a quick thrust of the board into the pizza oven. Do not stick your fingers into the oven! Have a pizza peel and a fork nearby. Once the pizza has cooked about 45 seconds and starts to look crispy, pull it out with the pizza peel, rotate it 180 degrees (one half turn) with the fork and bake for another 30-45 seconds until the crust is perfect.

Pizza Oven vs. Conventional Oven

This pizza recipe works best in a pizza oven. I’ve made it many times in an Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven. You will get the best texture, taste and crispness using the high heat and baking stone of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make good pizza from this recipe, though you may want to check out this one instead. Crank your home oven up to the highest temperature it will go (550 is the temperature I tested it at). Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes. This long pre-heat is crucial to the texture of the pizza dough. Proceed with the recipe as written and bake the pizza in the regular oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is puffed up and baked through.

The top pizza was baked in an Ooni Pizza Oven. The bottom pizza was baked on a pizza stone in a conventional oven at 550 degrees.

Pizza Sauce for Sourdough Pizza

Neapolitan style pizza traditionally uses a fresh, non-cooked sauce. We prefer our pizza with a cooked sauce and the recipe I have listed is one of our favorites. It doesn’t take too long to make and can keep fresh in the fridge for a week or two. I like to make this sauce, cool it down and use it on our homemade pizza nights. A jarred sauce will work too, just find one that you love.

Why do I need to refrigerate the dough in this sourdough pizza? Can I skip this step and make it in one day?

The long fermentation time in the refrigerator helps the dough build flavor and softens the gluten in the dough which allows for lots of air pockets which means a light, airy and open pizza crust. Don’t skip this step!

What are the Best Pizza Topping Combinations in Sourdough Pizza?

Traditionally this Neapolitan-style pizza is made with a simple tomato sauce, chunks of mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. We love making a “white” pizza with a bit of olive oil, goat cheese, mozzarella, roasted garlic and adding a bit of arugula and balsamic vinegar on top after it bakes. Our kids love traditional pepperoni on this pizza dough too.

Can I use Sourdough Discard that is a few days old in this sourdough pizza?

Yes! Due to the long, slow rise, sourdough discard works great in this recipe. The older the discard, the more soudough flavor the crust will have.

Where Can I buy “type 00” flour?

I buy it online on Amazon and most recently I’ve found some at our local Kroger.

Can this Sourdough Pizza Recipe be made in one day?

It can, but it really tastes much better when it’s had time to ferment overnight in the refrigerator. The long rise breaks down the gluten making an amazing, tender, chewy & light pizza crust.

Pizza night has never been better with this sourdough pizza in an Ooni Pizza oven. Give it a try! I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

Sourdough Pizza for a Pizza Oven

Chewy, tender and perfect Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza made for a pizza oven. This is the perfect pizza crust for family pizza night or to make when you are craving delicious pizza.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 d 17 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 6-8 inch pizzas

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Pizza Crust

  • 100 grams ripe sourdough starter 100% hydration see recipe notes
  • 400 grams water room temperature
  • 575 grams bread flour see recipe notes
  • 65 grams whole wheat flour finely ground
  • 4 grams diastatic malt powder see recipe notes
  • 12 grams salt
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal reserved for sprinkling when shaping pizza

Pizza Toppings

  • 16 slices mozzarella cheese good quality
  • fresh basil torn
  • 2 cups pizza sauce recipe below works great
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • other toppings as desired

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed/diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper chili pepper for spicy–up this if you want more spicy
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes nothing else in it but tomato
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 springs basil with stems/leaves on

Instructions
 

Sourdough Pizza Dough

    Day 1

    • To a stand mixer, add the ripe sourdough starter and water. Mix with your hands until mostly dissolved. Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, diastatic malt powder and salt. Mix together with a dough whisk or spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
    • Using the dough hook on your stand mixer, mix the dough for 7-8 minutes until smooth. Alternatively you can knead the dough by hand for 8-10 minutes until smooth. Transfer the dough to a bowl or container.
    • Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for about 2-3 hours on the counter at room temperature (if your kitchen is warmer err on the side of 2 hours; colder err on the side of 3-4 hours).
    • During this bulk rest, perform a series of stretch and folds every half hour to continue developing the dough.
    • After the bulk rise, cover the dough and place in the refrigerator overnight for a long, slow rise.

    Day 2

    • Add a little olive oil to one or two baking dishes or pans with high edges.
    • Pull the dough out of the refrigerator and separate into 8 pieces, about 145-150 grams per piece. This will make about a 6-8 inch pizza. If you'd like to make larger pizzas, divide the dough into 4 balls about 290 grams a piece.
    • Use your fingers to shape the dough into 8 tight balls. Pinch the dough together into a ball shape and drag in a circular motion on your countertop to form a taught, tight ball. Place the dough ball into the prepared, lightly oiled pan. Repeat with the next dough ball, placing it apart from the first ball to allow room for the dough to rise. Continue this process until the dough balls have been shaped.
    • Cover the pans with plastic wrap and leave on the counter to rise for 4-6 hours (depending on the temperature in your kitchen). The dough will puff up a bit and flatten out to a disc-like shape.
    • Check on your dough after about 4 hours. If it has puffed and flattened considerably, move on to the next step. If not, give it a little more time to rise. At this point, the dough balls can be placed in the refrigerator to use later that day or the next day.

    Baking the Pizza

    • Preheat a pizza oven to 700-800 degrees (see recipe note about using a regular oven) and place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while setting up the pizza toppings. This dough is easiest to work with chilled.
    • On a pizza peel or large wooden cutting board, sprinkle cornmeal to dust the board. The cornmeal provides the friction needed to launch the pizza into the oven. Take one piece of dough and stretch it with your hands to form a circle. Place it on top of the cornmeal and continue working it around in a circle until you a 6-8 inch pizza shape.
    • Work quickly to top the pizza with about 2-3 Tablespoons pizza sauce. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and place pieces on top of the pizza dough. Tear the fresh basil and sprinkle with parmesan if desired. Check that the dough is not sticking to the board (this can happen if you don't work quickly enough). If it is sticking, unstick it with your fingers, add a bit of cornmeal if needed and try again.
    • Launch your pizza into the pre-heated pizza oven with a quick thrust forward. Let the pizza cook for about 45 seconds, then using the pizza peel pull the pizza out of the oven, turn it with a fork and return it to the pizza oven for another 30-45 seconds. This ensures that the pizza is cooked on both sides. You can watch a video of this process here.
    • Repeat the process with the rest of your pizza dough, adding whatever toppings you desire and enjoy!

    Pizza Sauce

    • To a small saucepan add the butter, olive and garlic over medium heat. Sautee garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the oregano, salt & pepper and sautee 1 more minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir.
    • Slice the onion in half and add to the sauce. Add two sprigs of fresh basil to the sauce. Simmer on low heat for about an hour until the sauce is reduced and concentrated. Remove the basil and onion. Season with a teaspoon of sugar and more salt if desired.
    • Remove to container and let cool before using on pizza dough. Sauce can be refrigerated for a week or two if desired.

    Notes

    Sourdough Starter: This recipe is based on 100% hydration sourdough starter (fed equal parts flour/water). You can use bubbly sourdough starter or sourdough discard for this recipe.
    Flour: Most recipes for Neapolitan-style pizza call for special Italian type 00 flour. Italian type 00 flour is difficult to come by in a typical U.S. grocery store but can be easily found on Amazon. If you are looking for a more cost-effective option, and the one I use most regularly, I’ve had very good results using bread flour with around a 12% protein content.
    Diastatic Malt Powder: This helps the pizza dough in its long rise and gives the dough a strong rise and a caramelized color crust. You can buy it on Amazon or check your local grocery. If you don’t have any on hand, leave it out.
    Oven: This pizza recipe works best for a pizza oven. I’ve made it many times in an Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven. You will get the best texture, taste and crispness using the high heat and baking stone of a pizza oven. If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make good pizza from this recipe. Crank your home oven up to the highest temperature it will go (550 is the temperature I tested it at). Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it pre-heat for at least 30-40 minutes. This long pre-heat is crucial to the texture of the pizza dough. Proceed with the recipe as written and bake the pizza in the regular oven for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is puffed up and baked through.
    Keyword beginner sourdough, neapolitan style pizza, ooni koda, ooni pizza oven, sourdough pizza

    Rating: 1 out of 5.

    Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

    Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

    Homemade Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

    About six years ago I took my first trip to the Windy City. It was February and very cold! We had a few things on our list of plans to do in the city, #1 was visiting the American Girl Doll Cafe where I enjoyed a lunch with my daughter and her doll and me with my childhood doll Kirsten. #2 on the list was Chicago deep dish pizza. I had been hearing for years about this iconic pizza and had been researching the best places to get a slice, or a whole pie for our group. We ended up at the touristy Lou Malnatis and with my first bite, I knew that I loved this pizza. It was super cheesy, a buttery crust and had lots of sauce on top…basically all of my favorite food groups in one. 

    Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza

    What is chicago Deep Dish?

    Homemade deep dish

    Chicago deep dish is not a regular slice of pizza. It is most commonly eaten with a fork and knife and because it is so substantial and full of toppings you only need a slice or two to fill you up. Since that first time of eating Chicago-deep dish, every time I’ve visited the Windy City (which has been quite a few since my brother moved there a year or two after our first visit), we order some deep dish and enjoy a little bit of Chicago-style heaven on a plate. I never entertained the thought about making this iconic dish myself because I thought it would be too difficult. Turns out, I was wrong.

    As fate would have it, a few years later we ended up being neighbors and good friends with a family who grew up and lived in Chicago. They introduced us to home-made Chicago-deep dish pizza and it was just as good…dare I say better…than the times I’d visited and eaten “authentic” Chicago deep dish. I finally requested the recipe from them and made this delicious pizza for my own family. A couple of tweaks later and I’ve ended up with an awesome recipe that will be made many a Friday-night pizza night around our house.

    What Makes Deep Dish Special?

    Laminating the crust

    One of the things that makes deep dish pizza special is the lamination process the dough goes through. After mixing up a very soft dough (with a little cornmeal in it–yum!), it is left to rise. During that rise, butter is softened and once the dough has risen, the dough is rolled out and spread with a thin layer of butter. Then rolled up again, portioned into two balls and left to rise again in the refrigerator. This layer of dough with butter is what laminates the dough and provides a delicious buttery crust that forms the base of deep dish pizza.

    Deep dish is also special in the way that it is layered and baked. Cheese is placed on the bottom of the dough, followed by toppings and then the sauce. The pizza is baked in a special deep dish pan (or cake pan if you are a home baker) and it really is the perfect pizza “pie.” 

    Even though I can’t travel to Chicago right now for a delicious slice of deep dish, I love that I can make my own right in the comfort of my own home! This pizza is a little bit of a labor of love, but it is also straightforward enough that anyone can make it. I hope your family loves it as much as we do and I’ve got my fingers crossed for another visit to the Windy City when we can travel again.

    Chicago Deep Dish PIzza

    Yield: 2, 9-inch deep dish pizzas

    Time: 50 minute mix/prep/assemble (including making sauce), 1 ½ hour first rise, 2-24 hour second rise, 25 minute bake

    Ingredients:

    Dough:

    • 1 ¼ cup warm water (10 ounces)
    • ¾ Tablespoon yeast (or 1 2 ¼ teaspoon packet)
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup cornmeal (2 ½ ounces)
    • 3 ¼ cups flour (about 15.5 ounces)
    • ¼ cup softened butter (save for after the first rise)

    Sauce:

    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • ½ teaspoon sugar
    • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

    Toppings:

    • 2-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
    • 8-10 slices havarti cheese (optional)
    • Parmesan (optional)
    • Any additional topping you want ie: pepperoni, ham and pineapple, fresh veggies

    Directions:

    Mix Dough/First Rise

    Dough rising
    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or by hand) mix together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Add the room temperature melted butter and salt. 
    2. Add a cup of flour and the cornmeal. Using the dough hook (or your hands), add the rest of the flour a cup at a time until the dough comes together. Reserve the last ¼ cup of flour and use as needed. The dough will be a little bit sticky. Watch to make sure it clears the sides of the bowl and then knead the dough for 5 minutes in a stand mixer or about 10 minutes by hand. Add the extra ¼ cup of flour as needed.
    3. Once the dough is kneaded, add a drop of oil (neutral oil is great) to a bowl. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl or container and turn the dough around so the dough is lightly covered in oil. Cover the bowl and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
    4. During the first rise is the perfect time to make the pizza sauce.

    Make the Sauce

    Simmer sauce for 30 minutes on the stove
    1. For the sauce: In a saucepan add 2 Tablespoons butter, 1 small chopped onion, and 4 cloves of garlic (whole is fine). Saute over medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes until onion and garlic are caramelized and tender. 
    2. Once tender, pour the sauteed mixture in a blender (or food processor). Open a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and add about half a cup of the crushed tomatoes to the blender with the garlic and onion mixture. Blend together until smooth. 
    3. Add this mixture back to the saucepan. Mix in the rest of the crushed tomatoes, salt, oregano, red pepper flakes and sugar. Simmer for about 30 minutes over low heat. Transfer the sauce to a container and keep in the fridge until ready to use on your pizza.

    Laminating the Dough

    Cover and let rise in the fridge
    1. After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out on the counter and roll into a 12 by 15 inch rectangle. Spread the reserved softened butter all over the dough in a thin layer, as if you were making cinnamon rolls.
    2. Roll the dough up (like a cinnamon roll) until you have one long 15 inch “rope.” Cut the “rope” in half and shape into two separate balls (this recipe makes 2 pizzas).
    3. Put each ball of dough in its own bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put the bowls of covered dough in the fridge and let rise for 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. This extended rise will give the butter time to solidify back in the fridge (lamination process) which gives the crust a crispy, buttery flavor.

    Assemble and Bake

    1. After the dough has risen and when you are ready to make the pizzas, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven cooks cool, set your oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Get two 9 inch cake pans ready. It is possible to use a smaller cake pan. If you use a smaller size, put a sheet pan under the cake pan in the oven to catch any spills. 
    3. Pull the first ball of dough out of the fridge and set it in the center of your cake pan. 
    4. Working from the middle to the edges, press the dough to the edges and up the sides of the pan in an even layer. Initially it may take a little bit of work with the cold dough but as it warms up a bit, it should become soft and workable.
    5. Layer the bottom of the pizza with cheese. We like putting slices of havarti cheese on the bottom, followed by a cup of mozzarella cheese. You can use whatever cheese you prefer. 
    6. Next put your favorite toppings on top of the cheese ie: pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, olives, etc…
    7. Spoon half of the sauce on top of the first pizza. Brush the top of the crust with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle parmesan cheese if desired.
    8. Repeat the process with the second pizza. 
    9. Bake the pizzas for 25-28 minutes until bubbly.
    10. Let the pizzas rest for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing to serve. Enjoy!

    Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

    Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook for more baking ideas.

    Family Pizza Night

    I put out a bunch of toppings and let the kids go to town. Pepperoni, olives, pineapple, you name it!

    One of the easiest and tastiest doughs that graces our home most Friday nights is homemade pizza. Not only is it very forgiving, but everyone can tailor it to their own preferences, making it the perfect experiment for kids and a great meal for families. You can go crazy with toppings, or keep it simple with cheese or pepperoni. If you’re like me, it’s a time to clean out my fridge and see what I have that would be yummy on top of a pizza. I also like adding unique ingredients. One of my favorites is a brie, ham and apple pizza drizzled with honey. Pizza night has so many endless combinations that it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

    One of the best parts about this pizza recipe is that you can make the dough ahead of time…as in two to three days ahead! Mix together the ingredients and then throw it in a covered bowl and let it sit in the fridge for a couple days before pulling it out for family pizza night. Retarding the dough for this length of time actually enhances the flavor of the dough. But don’t worry, if you decide on pizza last minute or just keep forgetting to make it ahead of time, it will still turn out great.

    I love using parchment paper and a pizza stone for homemade pizza. To get that beautiful crispy crust, a pizza stone makes a big difference. With that said, I used to make pizza all the time on a sheet pan. The crust never got super crispy, but it was still delicious. So, don’t let not having a pizza stone stop you from trying out this recipe. My kids absolutely love making their own mini pizzas. I like to set all my toppings out on the table and give each child their individual amount of cheese (we’ve got cheese hoarders around here). Everyone gets to work rolling out their own small piece of dough (it doesn’t have to be a complete circle) and topping it with whatever they want. 

    Another tip for delicious home-made pizza is cranking your oven up HOT! That will make for a crisp crust but a delicious middle. You want to bake your pizzas anywhere from 475-500 degrees and they will usually only take a few minutes. Make sure you preheat your pizza stone too. 

    I usually make one large pizza for our family and then my four kids all make their own. As they finish topping their pizzas I’ll bake them quickly and then bake our family pizza. The whole process takes maybe half an hour…for five pizzas. I love pizza night for getting my hands doughy and because I never have complaints from the kids.

    And full disclosure: my freezer is still stocked with Costco frozen pizza because life is all about balance, you know 🙂

    Yield: 2 large pizzas OR 1 large and 4 mini kid-sized pizzas

    Time: 10 minute mix, overnight rise-3 day rise, 10 minute prep, 10 minute bake

    Ingredients:

    Dough

    • 2 cups of warm milk  (you can also use warm water)
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
    • 4-5 cups of flour all-purpose (can also do half whole wheat/half all purpose flour)

    Toppings

    • Favorite pizza sauce
    • Unlimited toppings
    • Shredded mozzarella cheese (2-3 cups)

    Instructions:

    Hot, hot heat is a key to good pizza.
    1. Warm the milk (not too hot, you want it the temperature of a baby’s bathwater). Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a bowl to knead by hand). Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt, garlic powder and oil. Then, a cup at a time, add the flour. Use the dough hook to mix. Continue adding flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but is still a little sticky. Knead for about five minutes.
    2.  For the most flavor, put the dough in a bowl and cover it. Leave in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. When ready to use, divide the dough in two (or more depending on how many mini pizzas you are going to make). Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
    3. If you would rather use the dough immediately after mixing, divide the dough into two balls for two large pizzas, or make 1 large pizza and 4-5 mini kid-sized pizzas. Let dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling out.
    4. Before rolling out the dough, place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat to 475-500 degrees.
    5. Place each ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper. Use a little flour if necessary to roll out, stretch with your hands and shape your pizza. Let the dough rest for a minute and then continue rolling or stretching dough to your desired thickness.
    6. Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake. Large pizzas should bake in 8-10 minutes. Mini pizzas will take around 5-6 minutes. Enjoy!

    Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

    Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook for more baking ideas.