Overnight Deep Dish Pizza
I meant to share this pizza about a million years ago, but I think just in time for the weekend is as good a time as any. Here’s what I especially love about this baby–you can let the dough rise overnight in the fridge. Something about knowing that a dough is rising in the fridge, waiting for me to use it whenever the mood should strike, really brings me joy. It just makes everything sound easier. So, let’s all throw some dough in the fridge and eat this super duper delicious, maximally cheesy overnight deep dish pizza tomorrow!
Check out the cheese! What I like in a deep dish pizza is essentially the opposite of everything I like in a thin crust pizza. I want a bread-like dough to dip in some sauce, and I want pounds of melted cheese. I want to tuck the cheese under the excess dough so that it becomes like a bread stick. And something that I didn’t do here but would encourage you to do, is heat up some olive oil with garlic and brush it all over the crust. *I’m experiencing major regret right now for not having thought of that before*
Large cast iron skillets save the day again and become the perfect overnight deep dish pizza vessel. You could certainly also use a baking pan, however. Throw on whatever toppings you like and serve it with a salad. A complete meal that didn’t take too much effort and will surely keep everyone happy.
Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is activated and the mixture is bubbly.
Combine the wheat flour, 2 cups of the all purpose flour, and the salt in a large bowl. Pour the prepared yeast mixture, remaining water, and olive oil over the flour mixture. Stir to combine a bit. Sprinkle a clean surface with some of the remaining 1/2 cup all purpose flour. Turn the dough out onto this surface and begin to knead, adding more of the flour as needed. Knead the dough until it is a smooth ball and no longer tacky/sticky. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into the large bowl and turn the prepared dough in the owl to coat it. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes to an hour. If the dough is rising quickly, allow it to remain at room temperature for less time. Alternatively, if it's not rising quickly, give it a bit more time at room temperature. You want the dough to increase in size by about a third.
When ready, gently punch down the dough and place it in the fridge, making sure that it is still covered with wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight. About 30 to 60 minutes before ready to use, allow the dough to sit out at room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out so that it can completely cover the vessel you're using. For this amount of dough, I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet and rolled it to about 14 inches in diameter. You may also use a 9X13 inch baking dish or two 9-inch pie plates. If you do the latter, simply divide the dough and proceed. You want to allow for an inch or so of crust to run up along the edges of the vessel you're using, as you would with pie. Whatever vessel you use, lightly dust it with fine cornmeal or semolina flour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the sauce over the prepared crust, top with shredded mozzarella and pepperoni. If you're able to, gently fold the edges of the crust over a bit, as if you're crimping a pie crust. Place the pizza on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.