Thursday, February 7, 2008

chicago style whole wheat red pepper and caper pizza

my chicago style deep dish pizza is so easy and versatile, so if you've never made dough at home, you should definitely try it out. the little tiny packet of yeast holds so much promise and wonder and can be used for so many things - naan, pita bread, potpies, stuffed buns, spinach pies... you name it.

i think people are a little frightened of yeast because they're not sure how it works. i wouldn't compare using yeast to molecular gastronomy or anything, but if you're worried about the rising time and whatnot, i used a quick rise or rapid rise yeast. the manufacturer says it works in 10 min, but i let my dough rise for a little longer.

if you're still scared, just pretend you're cooking with Ferran Adria or Blumenthal on one of those horrid working vacations. you know the ones - where you pay them to pick a thousand pounds of microgreens during your holiday. whoever made that up was seriously coked out.

So even on a weeknight you can make this pizza because the dough only needs 30 min to rise and 30 min to bake. normally what i do is make the dough as soon as i walk in the door and stick it in the oven to rise while i'm getting everything else together.

chicago style whole wheat red pepper & caper pizza
serves 4
prep time: 15 min
bake time: 30 min

***dough: heat oven on 200 deg for 5 min while you make the dough and then turn off


  • 2 cups organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached AP flour
  • 4 tbspn yogurt
  • 1 packet of rapid rise instant or quick rise yeast
  • 1 tspn sugar
  • 3 tbspn olive oil

***optional - 1/2 tspn of each: dried italian seasoning, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes


  • in a small bowl add a packet of yeast, add 1 tspn sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water
  • let sit for 5 minutes until foamy and bubbly
  • in a large mixing bowl mix both the flours with salt and rub in the oil, add the optional seasonings if desired
  • add in the yeast mixture and yogurt
  • knead the dough with enough warm water to make a soft pliable dough
  • rub the dough all over with oil, cover and place in a warm oven for 30 min to rise

the play:

  • preheat oven to 375 deg for at least 10 min
  • grease 16" deep dish pizza pan
  • shape dough evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan
  • prick all over with fork
  • bake blind for 25 min on lower rack
  • add toppings and bake for another 5 min for cheese to melt


pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, sauteed together: red & green bell peppers, onion and mushrooms, artichokes drained, 3-4 chopped sundried tomatoes, 2 tbspn capers

Listening to: 'california dreamin' , not because i love the Mamas & the Papas, but because i love Wong Kar-Wai's movie Chungking Express.


Maya said...

Hey, the pizza looks very nice..Will try ur method..

Miri said...

Looks delicious - I have made pizza at home only once when i was 15....I think I really need to make these now - especially your post has made it seem really simple. Thanks!

sra said...

Hi Alpa, that's one very colourful post. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Cynthia said...

Would you believe that there are so many kinds of breads and doughs I've made that require the use of yeast yet I have never tried making the pizza dough? Perhaps it's because I do not like pizza. Yeah I know, don't look at me strange :) Looking at your post I suddenly have the urge to make pizza, I'll put it down on my to-do list and who knows, soon I'll probably make one. In the meantime, I am happy to just gaze at yours :)

Alpa said...

Maya - welcome to my blog! please try it out, it's so easy!

Miri - thanks for stopping by! I've been making it this way for years myself but i used to use bread flour, being more health conscious nowadays, I use more whole wheat. Give it a shot!

Sra - Thanks!

Cynthia - Are you pulling my leg? Well, i totally understand if pizza's not your thing, i prob wouldn't make it either, lol!

vimmi said...

I never tried to make the base at home, and u do it even thogh u are working. Thats great. Will try this. Looks great

Aparna said...

Great pizza. I make pizza at home but never thought of seasoning the dough. Thanks for the idea.
Nice of you to drop by my blog.

Alpa said...

Aparna - Welcome! please give it a shot.

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Oh I am going to try this one for sure!
Your blog is wonderful ;D

Alpa said...

Vimmi - Awww you're so sweet, and it's no big production so do try it out. You'll find it's a lot easier and less intimidating than it looks :)

Gillian - Thanks for stopping by and your sweet comments! There really is nothing like a homemade pizza crust... I make it myself so I can use wholewheat and my choice of herbs.

Meera said...

Oh my! That pizza looks so perfect. I am going to try it. wonderful post.

Alpa said...

Meera - Thanks!