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Easy Mini Chicago Pizza

Savor the Flavors of the Windy City: Easy Mini Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Extravaganza

Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Chicago with our Easy Mini Chicago Deep Dish Pizza – a bite-sized rendition of the iconic Windy City delight. Bursting with layers of gooey cheese, flavorful sauce, and a buttery crust, these mini pizzas are a celebration of simplicity and indulgence. Join us as we guide you through crafting the perfect miniature deep-dish experience, bringing the essence of Chicago straight to your kitchen.

Ingredients

For the Pizza Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110°F/43°C)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Pizza Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Mini pepperoni slices or your favorite toppings

Instructions

  1. Activate the Yeast:
    • In a bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and activated yeast mixture. Mix until a dough forms.
  3. Knead and Rise:
    • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat and Divide:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Punch down the risen dough and divide it into mini pizza-sized portions.
  5. Assemble the Mini Pizzas:
    • Press each dough portion into mini deep-dish pizza pans or a muffin tin, ensuring it covers the bottom and sides.
  6. Layer the Goodness:
    • Begin with a layer of mozzarella cheese, followed by a spoonful of marinara sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and your desired toppings. Repeat for added layers.
  7. Season and Bake:
    • Sprinkle oregano, basil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
  8. Cool and Enjoy:
    • Allow the mini pizzas to cool for a few minutes before carefully removing them from the pans. Serve and savor the Chicago deep-dish goodness!

Cook Notes

  • Perfectly Warm Water: Ensure the water for activating the yeast is at the right temperature (110°F/43°C) to facilitate proper yeast activation.
  • Cornmeal Crunch: The addition of cornmeal to the dough and as a dusting for the pans adds a delightful crunch to the crust.
  • Play with Toppings: Customize your mini pizzas with your favorite toppings – from mini pepperoni to bell peppers, mushrooms, or even crumbled sausage.
  • Deep-Dish Pans: If you don’t have mini deep-dish pizza pans, a muffin tin works wonderfully. Press the dough into the cups, creating mini deep-dish crusts.

Variations

Veggie Delight:

  • Load up your mini pizzas with a medley of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes.

Meat Lover’s Dream:

  • Create a carnivore’s delight by adding a combination of sausage, bacon, and ham as toppings.

Margherita Elegance:

  • Keep it classic with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and basil for a simple yet elegant twist.

Keto Version

Almond Flour Magic:

  • Substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour to make the pizza dough keto-friendly.

Tomato Sauce Replacement:

  • Opt for a low-carb pizza sauce or make your own using fresh tomatoes, garlic, and herbs.

Low Carb Version

Cauliflower Crust:

  • Replace the traditional pizza dough with a cauliflower crust for a low-carb alternative.

Sugar-Free Sauce:

  • Choose a sugar-free marinara sauce to keep the carb count low while maintaining the classic flavor.

In conclusion, these Easy Mini Chicago Deep Dish Pizzas are a testament to the bold and savory flavors that define the Windy City’s culinary scene. Whether you’re creating a party platter or indulging in a cozy night in, these mini pizzas bring the essence of Chicago to your fingertips.

Experiment with toppings, explore keto and low-carb variations, and relish in the joy of crafting these bite-sized delights. For more culinary adventures and delicious inspirations, stay tuned to our blog. Happy baking, and may your kitchen be filled with the aroma of Chicago deep-dish perfection!

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