Chicago thin-crust pizza

The crust is thin and crispy and the sausage has great flavor. This is apparently what real Chicagoans eat every day; the thick stuff is only for special occasions and tourists. I got this from ATK.


Makes two 12" pizzas.


2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1½ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp table salt
¾ cup + 2 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
extra olive oil to make kneading surface non-stick
8 oz can tomato sauce (has sugar, salt, spices already inside)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp fennel seeds
1½ lbs coarsely ground pork
1 tbsp fennel seeds, pre-toasted, then crushed by rolling pin in Ziplock bag
1½ tsp sugar
1½ tsp table salt
1 clove garlic minced
¾ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups mozzarella
¼ tsp oregano



1. Add flour to food processor along with sugar, yeast and salt. Pulse for a couple of seconds. Add water and oil running processor until dough comes together, about 60 seconds. (The water is cold in order to counteract how the machine tends to heat the contents.)

2. Rub counter with olive oil (we don't want to add more flour right now). Combine dough maybe a dozen turns. Make a ball, then set aside in well greased ball (more oil) and cover. Allow to double at room temperature, about 2-1/2 hours.


3. Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside in a bowl. Make the sausage by mixing ingredients in a stand mixer. Refrigerate for at least one hour, but best to make the day before.

Bake and serve

4. Roll out the dough, 10 oz for each pizza. Flour counter, make rounds, roll, turn, roll, turn, etc. for 12" pizzas. This will be very thin (that's the point: it's Chicago thin-crust pizza).

5. On two peels, lay down corn meal and place the pizza dough on them. Divide sauce in half and spread on pizzas right up to edge. Garnish with sausage (still raw) divided in half. Divide mozzarella between the two pizzas. Last, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp oregano.

6. Into oven on a stone preheated to 500 degrees for 10-14 minutes. Bake a little darker than you would think for authentic Chicago pizza.

7. Cool for 5 minutes. Cut in squares, three slashes each way (bar pizza-style).