An Overview of Chicago Style Pizza

Ever since its origin in Italy, bakers around the world have experimented with different forms to come up with improved varieties of pizza. In the United States, pizza became more like a staple food upon its introduction. Different styles of Pizza evolved gradually, which varied in their flavor and methods of preparation.

The Chicago style pizza is one such variety that became quickly popular because of its unique flavor and preparation. Also known as deep-dish pizza, a Chicago style pizza is most noted for its thick crust when compared to the other forms of American pizza that usually have a flatter crust.

What is Chicago Style Pizza?

Chicago style pizza has its origins in Chicago in 1943 when the Second World War was raging. The original creator of this pizza is still disputed but its popularity dismissed all these claims. During those times, Chicago had several deep-dish restaurants that produced a different kind of pizza. However, Pizzeria Uno is credited with the creation of the original Chicago style pizza. Other restaurants also came with variations of the deep-dish pizza, and that led to the numerous varieties as available today.

Chicago style pizza has a thicker crust with a layering of cheese along with toppings such as vegetables, meat, and sauce. Its thick crust makes it appear bulky and gives a Chicago style pizza more space for adding toppings, which adds to the overall flavor of the pizza. Depth is the chief characteristic that makes it different from other closer variations like the deep-dish and stuffed pizza.

The raised edges of a Chicago style pizza makes it resemble a pie. The topping is also different here with mozzarella, meat, vegetables, and tomatoes. A layer of tomato sauce covers the entire topping to give it a different taste. Usually, a Chicago style pizza uses toppings like ground beef, mushrooms, green peppers, pepperoni, sausage, and onion.

How is it Made?

The preparation method of a Chicago style pizza is different from that of a conventional pizza. The crust is prepared from wheat flour mixed with either corn oil or butter. The baking for a Chicago style pizza is done on a round steel pan and the dough is pressed on to the side of the pan to give it a raised crust. Additionally, the oiled pan completely fries the underside of the crust making it crispier.

The toppings are precisely added on top of the crust in order. The cheese goes first followed by the toppings of meat and vegetables. Tomato sauce is then poured on top to fully cover the toppings, and then it is baked to make sure that the ingredients inside are cooked well. Compared to traditional pizzas, the Chicago styled pizza requires longer baking time due to its thick crust and toppings.