Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Formulation with Poolish

Deep dish Chicago-Style pizza made with a poolish is crisp with an excellent chew. It has an iconic cheese crown that is formed during baking around the outside crust of the pizza giving it a delicious texture.


This recipe is a traditional pizza dough with a pre-ferment called a Poolish (or sometimes called a start or Levain if made with natural yeast and maintained over time). The Poolish is blended and allowed to ferment for 8-12 hours at room temperature before the dough is made. It will give your pizza quality that your customers will taste immediately and keep them coming back for more. Some bakers go so far as to keep the Poolish in the cooler and keep it fed daily for added complexity. If you choose to do so, please check the mixture daily to be sure it hasn’t formed a green or orange mold, as this would indicate that unwanted bacteria is present. Whatever method you decide to employ to keep the start, this is a unique formula.



Mix all the ingredients in a large food-grade bucket. Cover and leave at room temperature until ripe, about 8-10 hours at 75°.



Final Dough

Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix on first speed for 3 minutes to incorporate the ingredients. Adjust the hydration as necessary. Mix on second speed for an additional 5-7 minutes to moderate gluten development. Ferment at 75°F.

Bulk Fermentation

2 hours, with a fold after 1 hour. Divide the dough into desired weights. Roll out into ½ inch thick circle and place in greased deep-dish pizza pans.

Final proof

About 1 hour. Re-define crust edges.


Top the dough with sauce, cheese, and your toppings of choice.  Extend the cheese all the way to the edge of the pan to acheive the iconic “cheese crown” duringbaking. Bake 460 °F. Bake time is dependent upon pizza size (35-40 minutes).
Yield: 37 12-inch standard cast-iron: 1 lb. dough per pizza. 25 14-inch standard deep dish: 1 lb. 8oz per pizza.