Tuesday 19 January 2021


This pizza is NOT your standard Italian kind and I was a little dubious about the idea of a sort of pizza "pie" where the cheese comes first and is then topped with a tomato sauce but OMG this was total cheesy, comfort food heaven and a real Friday dinner treat while restaurants remain closed and we are all a bit over takeaways.

I usually buy ready made pizza dough but here dared to make it from scratch (particularly as this dough stands out with its addition of cornflour) and found it surprisingly easy to do! 

Make sure you leave yourself enough time for the rising process and extra butter lamination step which will make the dough extra bouncy and light, and don't you dare to cheat on the tomato sauce, it's a real delight, again made from scratch and simmered leisurely for a good 20 minutes to really let all flavours develop.

Ok, maybe it is a bit extra of an effort to make for a simple pizza but then again when am I next likely to make it to the States for a bit of pizza pie action, so may as well make it at home in the meantime and really who won't be cheered up by a cheesy, tomatoey, carby slice of goodness to brighten up even the most bleak of lockdown days.

Makes 2 deep dish pizzas (you will need two cake tins to make them at the same time)



  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar and salt and give it a quick whisk. 
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and add it, along with the warm water, to the dry ingredients. 
  • Leave the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter on the counter to soften.
  • Mix with your hands until the dough starts to come together, then knead for 4 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil into a large, clean bowl, then transfer the dough to the bowl and give it a turn to coat it in the oil so it doesn't dry out. 
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until nearly doubled in size.
  • When the dough has risen, roll it into a 15x12-inch rectangle on a clean work surface using a rolling pin. Spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of softened butter evenly over the dough.
  • Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the edges together. 
  • With the seam side down, flatten the dough into an 18x4-inch rectangle, then slice it in half crosswise with a sharp knife or pastry cutter. 
  • Fold each portion of the dough over itself into thirds, then pinch the seams together to shape into two balls.
  • Return the balls of dough to the oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap again, and allow to rise in the refrigerator for another 45 minutes, until almost doubled in size again.

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. 
  • Add the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until softened. 
  • Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper and sugar and stir to combine. 
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened and reduced to about 2 1/2 cups.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chopped basil and olive oil. 
  • Season with additional salt & pepper, to taste.

  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius. 
  • Divide 4 tablespoons of olive oil between two 9-inch cake pans, coating the bottoms and sides well.
  • Roll out each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. 
  • They should make roughly 13-inch discs about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Transfer the pizza dough to the prepared cake pans, lightly pressing it into the corners and up the sides.
  • Fill each pizza crust with 2 cups of the shredded mozzarella, then add any additional toppings like sausage or vegetables, if you want. 
  • Finish each pizza with 1 1/4 cups of the pizza sauce spread over the cheese layer and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow the pizzas to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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