For a time in Chicago, I lived above a wonderful pizzeria. They featured pub style, Chicago thin crust pizza (the pizza that Chicagoans actually eat); thin, flaky crust, slightly sweet sauce, and a subtle cheese rim. I am proud to say that after years of tinkering, I have perfected the Chicago pub pizza at home, using a little science and a little more beer. A few notes; the recipe calls for enough dough to make 2 pizzas, however you can scale that as you wish. Also, while pepperoni is a must, this pie can handle all the toppings you want to throw at it (like fried cherry tomatoes..). Let’s make the best thin crust pizza recipe you’ve ever had; Chicago Pub Style Pizza!
Pub Style Pizza
- 3 cups AP flour
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3 Tablespoons beer (neutral lagers work best)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 envelope rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 6 ounces pepperoni
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- In your stand mixer or large bowl, combine water, sugar, yeast, and one cup of flour. Gently combine and let stand for 3 minutes.
- Following the rest period, pour in beer and begin to mix (use the hook attachment on your stand mixer) on low. Gently pour in remaining flour, salt, and oil. Let mix for 5 minutes on medium low speed (scraping the bowl as needed to keep the dough in the bowl). The dough will be very tacky, that's good!
- Transfer dough to a large bowl (sprayed with non-stick will help) and let rise on the counter for 2 hours, punching down once.
- As dough rises, combine tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, pinch of salt, and Italian seasoning into small saucepot. Bring to just a simmer, whisking in the tomato paste. Set aside for future use.
- Once dough is risen, preheat oven to 450 degrees; if you have a pizza stone, use it here also. Divide dough in half and roll out onto 14" pizza pan*, using bench flour as needed to prevent sticking. I recommend using a clean, clear counter with a dusting of flour and a rolling pin to get there. IF the dough really starts to spring back and fight, go grab a glass of wine and come back in 5 minutes.
- Top each pizza with half of the sauce, mozzarella, half of the pepperoni, any optional toppings, and finished with a heavy sprinkle of the parmesan. Make sure to sauce to the very edge of the pizza, and add a bit extra cheese on the rim to form a crust.
- Bake pizza on the pan for 14-16 minutes or until very brown on all sides. Serve as soon as you won't burn the roof of your mouth.