Basic crust (I use a Kitchenaid mixer)
Add to mixer bowl in this order:
2 cups warm water
1 TB salt
2 tsp sugar (optional, for more bread-like)
2 tsp onion powder
4 TB olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 TB instant yeast
Mix all with dough hook, allow to mix on low speed. At first it will look like the dough won't come together, but as the flour absorbs the moisture, the dough will form into a ball and clean the sides of the bowl. After that I let the machine knead it for about 8 minutes or so. Then I put the dough in a greased (cooking spray) plastic canister, spray the top with oil, put the lid on, and let it rise for an hour on the stove top while I preheat the oven.
After it's risen, spray your working surface with oil and turn the dough out onto the oiled surface. Cut the dough into three equal pieces. (This recipe will make three 12-14 inch thin crust pizzas or smaller diameter thick crust.) Using a rolling pin, I roll each piece out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper and just eyeball the thickness I want and the size. When it's the way you want it, top with sauce (I use Contadina pizza sauce, the four cheese is excellent) and toppings, and bake at 465F on a pizza stone, about 10 minutes for cheese, 12-15 for more toppings, or until it looks the way you like it. If you bake it higher, the toppings will burn before the crust is baked.
Sometimes I use deep dish pans (two 14 inch round), put about 2 TB of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt in them, spread that around, and then put the dough in and stretch it by hand to fit (about a 1/2 inch up the sides, and this takes some time & patience as the dough will fight back!), and let it rise for about 30 minutes, then top & bake. Do this at about 450F for a little longer (15-20 minutes or so) to make a pretty fair approximation of Chicago deep dish.
You can also divide the dough and make personal pan pizzas in cake pans. When I bake in pans, I bake at a lower temp for a little longer.
You can also use all regular flour.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions! Good luck & Enjoy!
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