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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Deep Dish Pizza’

Papa Johns Deep Dish Pizza Review – Nationwide


Papa Johns Deep Dish ReviewPapa John’s Pizza is an American restaurant company. It runs the third largest take-out and pizza delivery restaurant chain in the world, with headquarters in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville.

The Papa John’s restaurant franchise was founded in 1983 by “Papa” John Schnattertaking a small corner of space of his father’s tavern,  in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  He then sold car to by some used pizza equipment and began selling pizzas to bar customers .

Its slogan is “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John’s.”

So they rolled out a new “deep dish” pizza.  I’m not sure which chain was first in using “deep dish” to describe a pie that isn’t.  The big chains offer a pie with a thick, bready crust and call it deep dish, but the original model, Chicago deep dish, doesn’t have a thick crust, and the emphasis is on the toppings.

For a limited time, Papa Johns is offering the new pie, in a 12″ version, with up to 3 toppings, for $10.  That’s fairly good deal for the “value priced” end of the chain spectrum.

I ordered mine with sausage and olives, and a plain cheese with “classic crust,” for my friend.

We each had some that first night, bagged up the rest and threw it in the frig.  If you’re a regular reader, you know I think the true test of a great pizza (for me) is how it tastes the next AM.

Not thrilled at all with this hot out of the box, it was even more disappointing the next day.  Both pies were undercooked, to begin with. The “spicy sausage” isn’t, and the toppings are skimpy in quantity (including the sauce and cheese). The sauce tastes like it comes right from a can, and the cheese?  Just not satisfactory.

Taste and texture aside, the ‘classic crust’ failed on all the same levels, and as well for pure aesthetics.  If you owned a pizzeria would you be proud of a pie that looked like the one below?

If I’m to consume faux deep dish pies, my preferences would be to put this at third, behind Jet and Little Caesar’s bacon wrapped, but ahead of Dominos and Pizza Hut.  Ultimately, my choice would be to pass on all five in favor of any local mom and pop shop.

Papa John, I don’t like your pizza, tho I could guzzle the garlic dipping sauce, even tho it’s probably not real food!  2 pies, 2 liter soda, deliver, tip, $27.

Papa Johns Deep Dish Review

Deep Dish Sausage and Olive


Papa Johns Deep Dish Review

Regular Crust Sausage





Papa Johns Deep Dish Pizza Review


“Ho-Made” Chicago Deep Dish Pizza


Received this recipe in an email from King Arthur’s flour – (recipe here) – for Chicago Deep Dish pizza, and decided to try it out. I followed the recipe ingredients precisely with one notable difference, I used King Arthur’s Perfect Pizza Blend flour in lieu of “All Purpose.”

The recipe says this makes one large pie, but with 4 C of flour, in my experience, that’s more dough that you will need. I ended up with two extra balls of dough (which I freeze, with good results, thawing overnight in the frig before using), enough for another couple of 12″ thin crusts.

Another mistake I made was using a fairly deep springform pan. While it made for easy removal of the pie, I had tried to bring the crust over the top of the pan for shape, and that was a goof on my part, but correctable, tho not aesthetically pleasing, after baking.

chicago8 PNGI make my dough with the KitchenAid, 7 minutes with the dough hook. This recipe calls for 3 T of corn meal, and Mrs. BDB likes her ‘za to have more than that. After a 90 minute rise, I rolled the dough out with my “Swedish Rolling Pin” (what my mother called it, not sure of the actual name), and I fold the dough in quarters to make placement in the pan easier.

I let it rest in the pan for 15 minutes while pre-heating the oven.  Baked ten minutes while I was preparing the Italian sausage, which I formed and shaped into the same size of the pie, and pre-cooked so that the fat wouldn’t make the crust soggy.

Assembly, in the traditional Chicago deep dish manner, is a) crust, b) sausage, c) sauce, d) chopped tomatoes and a bit more cheese for effect.   Bake for 25 minutes and then let it rest for 15 before attempting to slice.

I was quite pleased with the results, it’s a fairly good clone of Lou Malnati’s or other Chicago outlets.   I used a combination of provolone and mozzarella for the bottom layer of cheese and a sprinkle of Asiago for the top.   The sauce was cheap Contadina pizza sauce in a can, which I favor, and the sausage was Johnsonville Hot Italian links that I removed the casings and flattened out.    Extra garlic, fennel, and basil for me, please!

My only real disappointment was the crust.   While I have had spectacular results with King Arthut’s Pizza Blend for thin crust pizzas, it wasn’t the best choice here, the sides of the pie were cooked far more than the bottom, resulting in a range of crispy to chewy, which probably most people will like.

Even a small (10-12″) will feed three.  So if you aren’t planning on freezing dough, you might halve this recipe.

Pics below show the sausage pre-cooking (drain before putting in the pie), the pie just out of the oven (note the crust is “too high”), and a cross section of a slice.

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