Sicilian-Deep-Dish Pizza Dough

Serves 4 to 6
This beautiful soft yeast dough is the basis for a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza or what they call a Sicilian in New York City pizza parlors. Basically it’s a thick, doughy, focaccia-like crust instead of the thin, crispy, and chewy variety. This one, baked with one of my favorite toppings of all time— slow-roasted tomatoes—rather than laden with mozzarella, harks back to my grandmother’s house, where she and her sisters embedded this scent and taste memory in my mind. The tomatoes can be made in advance, as can the dough, which needs to rise overnight in the refrigerator. Then simply roll out the dough, let it rest, and assemble the pizza just before baking.


  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for coating


  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, place water, sugar, and yeast, letting dissolve 3-4 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and salt.
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the water/yeast mixture in thirds. Before the last addition, add 1/4 cup olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle one tablespoon of flour on a countertop and knead bread until smoother. Transfer the dough to a bowl coated with olive oil. Turn dough to coat in oil. Cover and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
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