Bacon-Wrapped Chicago Style Deep Dish Dutch Oven Pizza

June 22, 2015


This post originally appeared on Or So She Says, but I’m really excited to share it here today because after a lot of attempts, we finally got the crust just how we like it.  The crust is a huge part of the deep dish experience, and after trying several recipes that just weren’t quite right, we think we’ve figured it out!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Becky here from Bite of Delight, and today I’m sharing the ultimate dutch oven meal for camping…or the backyard!  Bacon-Wrapped Chicago Style Deep Dish Dutch Oven Pizza.  Wow, that’s a mouthful!  But when you get a taste of this, you’ll be pretty happy about that mouthful, and all the delicious flavors in it!

My husband and I visited Chicago a few years ago, and of course we ate some amazing Chicago Style Deep Dish while we were there.  We came home and tried a few recipes to recreate it, but it wasn’t until my husband went on a guys’ camping trip that we tried making it for the dutch oven.  I prepped all the ingredients and sent him with a sheet of instructions, and as soon as he was back in cell phone range, I immediately wanted to know
how the pizza turned outhow he was, and how the mountain biking went.  We made some big changes (hello bacon-wrapped crust!), and decided that this is the perfect meal to eat while enjoying the great outdoors.  Our maiden voyage of deep dish was too bready…even for carb lovers like us, the crust was just too thick.  I’ve played around with it a lot and finally have it just how we like it.  I hope you love it too!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicago Style Deep Dish Dutch Oven Pizza

Crust:
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk powder
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 Tbsp melted butter
4 Tbsp softened butter

Sauce:
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup onion, finely diced or shredded
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (use 1/2 tsp for more heat,  use 1/4 tsp for added flavor with less heat)

Toppings:
1/2 lb bacon, divided
4 cups shredded cheese
pepperoni
bell pepper
onion
mushrooms
jalapeno peppers
banana peppers
olives
parmesan cheese
crumbled bacon

To make the dough:
Add the water, yeast and sugar to mixing bowl, let yeast activate. Add the flour, salt, buttermilk powder, cornmeal and melted butter and combine. If dough is stiff, add in warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. Alternately, if dough is too soft, add in flour 1 tablespoon at a time.  Knead for about 5 minutes, or until dough is soft and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Let rise in a covered bowl in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours. When dough is risen, press the air out and roll it out into a rectangle on your counter. Spread 3 Tbsp of the softened butter onto the dough. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter), then spread the last Tbsp of butter on half of the folded dough, fold it over one more time into a square. Shape it into a circle and let rest in a covered bowl in a warm place for about an hour.

While the dough is rising:
Make the sauce by sauteing the onion and garlic in the butter. Once they are soft and fragrant, add in the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer on low until ready to use.
Cook bacon so half of it is still flexible, and half of it is crisp. {I bake my bacon in the oven…simply remove half of it before it gets crisp} Prep all other toppings.

Chicago Style Deep Dish

To assemble the pizza:
Line the bottom edge of the dutch oven wall with cooked (but flexible) bacon pieces. Press the air out of the dough and press into the bottom and sides of dutch oven.  {If you can roll it out on parchment and then transfer to the dutch oven, that’s ideal, but pressing works too, especially if camping}  Sprinkle the cheese over the dough and add the toppings over the cheese. Pour the sauce over the toppings, and if desired, sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese.  If using crumbled bacon in your pizza, save some to sprinkle on the top about 5 minute before it’s done cooking.  If you add all the bacon in with the other toppings, it won’t stay crisp, and we like our bacon crisp!

Chicago Style Deep Dish

Cooking the Pizza:
Preheat oven to 425, and bake for about 35 minutes. Remove from oven, remove lid and let sit for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
This works with or without a lid (if you’re using a dutch oven or another pan, doesn’t matter). I have done it both ways with great results.

Chicago Style Deep Dish

Camping Instructions:
Prepare the dough as instructed above, but instead of rolling it out, place it in a freezer bag as soon as it’s shaped into a circle, and store in the freezer.
Prepare the sauce as instructed above. Place in a quart size freezer bag. If you will use it within a couple of days, store in the refrigerator. Otherwise, store in the freezer.
Prepare the toppings you would like in your pizza and store in a zip top bag.
Cook in the dutch oven at 425 for 30-40 minutes. If you aren’t sure how to get your briquettes to heat to 425, try this general guideline that I use: add 2 rings of briquettes to the lid and one ring under the oven. I find that about 10 briquettes underneath is usually plenty, and I keep them toward the outer edge of the dutch oven. More briquettes than that underneath and it will likely burn. This may require some trial and error to get it just right, but this works for me!
I suggested to my husband (for his camping trip) that he make this the first night. He kept everything cold in coolers, but since it’s hard to regulate temperature I was worried about the dough going longer than that. I can’t say how the dough will turn out if it goes longer than a day in a cooler. This worked great for him.

 Notes:

  • When we cook in our dutch oven at home, I worry about my kids getting burned and my cement getting scorched from the heat, so I just put it in the grill, as out of the way as I can.  Works great!
  • I always saute my veggies before topping my pizza with them. They will release juices as they cook, so if they go onto the pizza raw (especially in the dutch oven where moisture can’t escape), they will release their juices into the pizza. Since I don’t like soggy pizza, I cook them first!
  • I found buttermilk powder at the grocery store by the powdered milk.  If you can’t find it, simply omit it.  You can try substituting buttermilk for the water in the dough, but I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say how it will turn out.
  • I find that the crust does not improve with age.  It is best eaten hot out of the oven.

For “s’more” summertime favorites, check out these Thin Mint S’mores and Watermelon Granita!

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By Becky

Becky is a mom to 4 kiddos and wife to an awesome guy. She's a food fanatic and loves creating and improving recipes. Bread is her weakness and delicious food is her passion!