Chicago: Deep-Dish Pizza

RestaurantBlue Line Pizza
City: Mountain View, CA

I had deep-dish pizza for lunch with my coworkers! You can order individual sized pizzas (~8″) at Blue Line, which is awesome because it’s the perfect size for each person, and you can order a whole bunch of individual sized pizzas to share!

I have never been to Chicago, so I’ve never tried the real deal. But among the deep dish pizzas I’ve had in the SF Bay Area, I can tell you I prefer Blue Line’s deep-dish pizza over Paxti’s! The crust is crunchy and thin, even though the pizza itself is thick, which defines Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

deep-dish pizza - 1 deep-dish pizza - 2 deep-dish pizza - 3

I picked the meatball deep-dish pizza, individual sized. Ingredients were spicy housemade meatballs, ricotta, spinach, mushrooms, and red bell peppers. The meatballs weren’t spicy at all; I ended up adding tons of pepper flakes on top of each slice.

Here’s a background of deep-dish pizza, from Wikipedia:

According to Tim Samuelson, the City of Chicago’s official cultural historian there in not enough documentation to determine with certainty who invented Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Although now a matter of legend we can say with certainty that either Ike Sewell and/or Rudy Malnati invented Chicago-style deep-dish at Pizzeria Uno in Chicago in 1943.

Legend has it that: Chicago-style deep-dish pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno, in Chicago, in 1943, reportedly by Uno’s founder Ike Sewell, a former University of Texas football star. However, a 1956 article from the Chicago Daily News asserts that Uno’s original pizza chef Rudy Malnati developed the recipe.

The primary difference between deep-dish pizza and most other forms of pizza is that, as the name suggests, the crust is very deep, creating a very thick pizza that resembles a pie more than a flatbread. Although the entire pizza is very thick, in traditional Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas, the crust itself is thin to medium in thickness, not to be confused with imitations created outside Chicago which use a much thicker crust, often called “pan pizza”.

Deep-dish pizza is baked in a round, steel pan that is more similar to a cake or pie pan than a typical pizza pan. The pan is oiled in order to allow for easy removal as well as to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. In addition to ordinary wheat flour, the pizza dough may contain semolina or food coloring, giving the crust a distinctly yellowish tone. The dough is pressed up onto the sides of the pan, forming a bowl for a very thick layer of toppings.

The thick layer of toppings used in deep-dish pizza requires a longer baking time, which could burn cheese or other toppings if they were used as the top layer of the pizza. Because of this, the toppings are assembled ‘upside-down’ from their usual order on a pizza. The crust is covered with cheese (generally sliced mozzarella), followed by various meat options such as pepperoni or sausage, the latter of which is sometimes in a solid patty-like layer. Other toppings such as onions, mushrooms and bell peppers are then also used. An uncooked sauce, typically made from crushed canned tomatoes, is added as the finishing layer. It is typical that when ordered for carry-out or delivery, the pizza is uncut, as this prevents the oils from soaking into the crust, causing the pie to become soggy.

4 Comments

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  1. I retract my earlier statement about not liking the deep dish pizza. Blue line’s deep dish offerings are simply delicious! (As are their thin crust pizzas).

  2. Yummy! I don’t typically like Chicago style pizza but that looks good! Love that there’s a personal size!

  3. We’ll have to try Blue Line’s deep dish now. I don’t really like Paxti’s myself. If you’re ever headed to Chicago let us know we have a really awesome place for you to try, the wait is over 3 hrs but it’s well worth it!

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