Chicago-Style Garlic and Butter Pizza Crust

This is a recipe I got from a Rachael Ray magazine. She got the recipe from nine-time World Pizza champion Tony Gemignani (a pizza throwing champion). This is a deep-dish pizza baked in a 9×13 inch baking dish but the recipe says it will also make 1 14-inch pizza. I’ve never had pizza in Chicago so I have no idea how it compares. I hope one day to get to got to Chicago and have a slice there. It definitely is a very thick crust. I only put a light layer of sauce on, but wish I had done more. I needed more sauce for this thick crust. We ended up dipping the pizza in more sauce. It was good and the cornmeal in the crust added to the texture and gave it a good crunch. Next time I’ll just make sure to put plenty of sauce and pile on the toppings, this crust can definitely handle it! For me, I couldn’t really taste the garlic in the crust, but maybe that’s because I used the stuff in a jar. I’ll probably add another clove next time. On Monday, I’ll be back with my homemade pizza sauce recipe.

Chicago-Style Garlic and Butter Pizza Crust

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 garlic clove, ground to a paste
pizza toppings, your choice

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water.
Add 1/4 cup flour and the sugar, stir together.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Stir the remaining 1 cup lukewarm water, 3 cups flour, the cornmeal and salt into the yeast mixture.
Combine the butter and garlic; mix into the dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 10-12 minutes (I let my kitchen aid do this).
Lightly grease a large bowl, add the dough and turn to coat.
Cover and set in a warm place until the dough is doubled in size, 1 hour.
Punch dough down, then knead for 2-3 minutes (again I let the kitchen aid do this part).
Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (I used glass), then press in dough to cover the bottom and 2 inches up the sides; let rise for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Top the pizza dough with your favorite toppings.
Lower the oven to 450 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

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