Celebrate National Deep Dish Pizza Day

National Deep Dish Pizza Day falls on April 5th, so we asked our pizza savant, Philip, to share one of his favorite recipes in honor of one of our favorite holidays. 

Fontana’s Deep Dish Pizza

The Stats 

  • Yields: 4 Deep Dish 9-Inch Pizzas
  • Prep Time: 4 Hours, Including Rising Time
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 24 Hours and 30 Minutes

Pizza Dough Ingredients

  • 780 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 160 grams of yellow cornmeal
  • 15 grams of fine sea salt
  • 25 grams of granulated sugar
  • 14 grams of active dry yeast — the size of a standard packet
  • 592.5 grams of warm water
  • 113.4 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 113.4 grams of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • Some olive oil for coating

Pizza Sauce Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 sweet Vidalia onions, minced
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12 grams of salt
  • 12 grams of black pepper
  • 6 grams of Italian oregano
  • 1.5 grams crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3  28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 6 grams of granulated sugar


  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Additional toppings can include sausage, peppers, ham, bacon, pepperoni, etc. 

Prep the Pizza Dough 

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly on low (can be mixed by hand or by the mixer). Once mixed well, slowly stir in the wet ingredients.  You want to make sure that the water and the butter are cooled enough not to kill the yeast.

These ingredients should be mixed until the dough results in a soft, uniform mixture. After 5 minutes, your dough should be falling off the dough hook and sides of the bowl; once the dough has achieved this consistency, you want to remove it all from the container and roll it into a ball.

Place the dough in a large bowl (making sure to lightly oil the sides of the receptacle). Evenly coat the dough in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist cloth and allow it to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. Punch the dough down and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Once the dough has risen to temperature, punch down and place it on a lightly floured surface where it will be formed into a large rectangle.  Spread the softened butter over the top and then roll up the dough lengthwise to create a log.  This log will then be cut into 4 pieces.  Take each piece and reform them into round dough balls. Place dough balls into lightly floured dough trays and cover.  Take the dough trays and place them back into the refrigerator to rise for another hour.

The Pizza Sauce

Saute garlic in olive oil on medium heat.  Before the garlic begins to brown, add the diced onion.  While sautéing, add all dry ingredients (oregano, pepper, red pepper flakes) and allow to simmer onions until they are translucent.  In a separate bowl, pour all 3 cans of tomatoes and use a crusher to crush all tomatoes uniformly. Add them to the sauce. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes and then cool.  Salt to taste.

Assemble and Bake the Pizza

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees — the oven needs to be hot to accommodate the pizza’s depth!

Using a solid metal pan, preferably a deep-sided iron skillet or cake pan, coat with olive oil.

Roll the dough ball out into a large circle (larger than the pan by at least 4 inches in diameter) to easily hang over the edges.  Place the dough in the pan, removing all air pockets and bubbles and letting the remaining dough hang over the edges.  Use a rolling pin (preferably larger in diameter than the pan) to “cut” the dough by rolling the pin over the edges of the dough and pan. 

Place meat/protein ingredients on the dough. Top with copious amounts of shredded mozzarella cheese. Roll out a much smaller dough ball and place overall toppings and pinch into the sides of the crust in the pan like a pie crust.  Make small slits on the top of the dough. Ladle a nice thick layer of tomato sauce over and top with grated parmesan cheese.  

Place pans in ovens and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and pulled away from pan sides.  You may need to cover the crust with some aluminum foil to keep even heat distribution and prevent excessive browning.

Remove from the oven, slice, and enjoy!