Cooking with Fire: New York vs. Chicago Style Pizza

Oct 21, 2016


There are many debates in the food world that will never be settled: who has the best barbecue; if chili should contain beans. One debate in my mind reigns supreme: New York- versus Chicago-style pizza.

There are those who straddle the line siding with both, saying that all pizza is delicious. And others will say that any pizza is better than no pizza. But here’s the thing: They’re wrong.

You see, food debates bring us together as much as they tear us apart. They are an important part of the rich fabric of American culture, and I believe to sit on the sideline during a food battle is akin to rooting for the commercials during the Super Bowl. It's un-American and can be tolerated no longer.

It’s time to pick a side.

Do you enjoy the thin, crispy well-balanced meal that is New York-style pizza? Or do you prefer the hearty, full meal in a single slice of Chicago's deep dish? Maybe you honestly are not sure because you’ve been limited in your pizza exposure.

You can change that, you know. The best way to take a side in an important food debate such as this is to make both pizzas at home, and start your research. And for pizza research, a smart plan of attack is to skip the gym, put on some pants with an elastic waist, and accept the challenge of making, tasting, and debating delicious pizza.

In this episode of Cooking with Fire, my co-host Chef Tom and I break down the most important factors that go into making the perfect pie.

 

New York Style Pizza

Makes 2 pizzas

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 500 g pizza/bread flour
  • 330 g warm (110ºF) water
  • 25 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 g white sugar
  • 7 g kosher salt
  • 7 g dry active yeast

For the sauce:

  • 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the toppings:

  • 1/4 lb fresh mozzarella
  • 14 large slices pepperoni

Directions

For the dough: Combine ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the hook attachment, mix for 10 minutes on the second lowest speed  (not too fast). Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size. Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into two portions. Roll each into a ball, place in an oiled container. Cover. Refrigerate at least half an hour before use.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Preheat your oven to 500ºF. Preheat a baking stone. Stretch the dough into a thin disc. Place on a floured pizza peel. Top the dough with a thin layer of sauce. Top with half the pepperonis, and half the cheese. Transfer to the preheated baking stone and bake until the bottom is browned. Repeat with the second pizza.

 

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 500 g (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 250 g (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) warm water 
  • 125 g (9 tablespoons) olive oil 
  • 7 g (2 1/4 teaspoons ) dry active yeast
  • 7 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) sugar
  • 7 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) kosher salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the toppings:

  • 12 slices pepperoni
  • 1/4 lb fresh mozzarella
  • fresh grated parmesan (optional)

Directions

For the dough: In a bowl with a stand mixer and dough hook, mix just until all ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute. Transfer to a floured surface and knead by hand for 1 minute. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down. Form into a ball. Rest 30 minutes before building your pizza.

For the sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Preheat your grill or oven to 400ºF. Press the dough evenly into a greased 12” cast iron skillet. Press the dough up the sides as well, to form a lip. Place your toppings a cheese on top of the dough. Cover with sauce. Grate parmesan over the sauce, if desired.

Bake (or grill over indirect heat) until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Tags: