My Pizza Crust Recipe

A deep dish pizza made with my pizza crust recipe

Having grown up in suburban Chicago, I love Chicago-style pizza. While I’ll eat practically any style or flavor of pizza, when I have my druthers, it’s deep dish pizza all the way.

Within the many great pizza houses in Chicago, my favorite is Lou Malnati’s. Hence, my pizza crust recipe is based on that style. It’s my own creation.

This Recipe Feeds

This recipe makes enough dough for one deep dish pizza in a 10.25″ Lodge cast iron pan and one thinner crust in a 10.5″ Lodge cast iron griddle. (I make the thin crust to appease the palettes of family members not raised in Chicagoland.)

Depending on how you eat pizza, this might be enough for 4 adults. Or it may be dinner for one.


Ingredients for My Pizza Crust Recipe

  • 3 cups of plain white flour
  • 1 tablespoon of yeast
  • 1 cup of hot (ish) water – not boiling
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 cup of finely ground cornmeal (I use Indian Head Old Fashioned Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine)

Prep Time

This recipe takes about 20-25 minutes to make. That time does not include the time it takes for the dough to rise.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. Into the same bowl, pour the cup of hot water.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast across the top of the water in the large bowl.
  4. Wait 10-12 minutes for the yeast to do whatever the yeast does. It will be ready when it looks kinda doughy. (See yeast photos above.)
  5. Add a single cup of flour to the water, stirring the mix. (I do so by hand, using a big spoon.)
  6. Add the two teaspoons of salt to the mix.
  7. Add another cup of flour, continuing to stir the mix.
  8. Add the third cup of flour. If you’re stirring by hand, at this point you may need to set down the big spoon and mix the dough by hand.
  9. Once the dough mix is mostly all mixed (but it will look really dry), pour in about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Continue to mix the dough by hand.
  10. Add a 1/4 cup of cornmeal. Again, continue to mix and fold by the dough by hand.
  11. Add some more olive oil (I tend to eyeball it, so maybe about 1/8 cup). Mix and fold in the oil.
  12. Add the rest of the cornmeal. Mix that in.
  13. Add the last of the olive oil, mixing the dough until all the ingredients are held together. It will look wet and oily by will feel like a solid bit of dough.
  14. Cover the dough in the bowl and allow it to rest and rise for about 60 minutes. (Allowing it to rise for longer than that is not a problem.)

Cooking Tips

  • I preheat my oven to 500° F as soon as I get done preparing the dough. I find that by the time the oven is hot enough, the dough will have risen enough.
  • I always preheat my pans. I pop them into the oven as I start the oven.
  • Butter upgrade: Once the dough has been placed into the pre-heated pan (see below for more on that), melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Brush melted butter all over the top of the dough in the pan.


  1. This style of crust won’t rise a lot. I think the amount the olive oil keeps it from doing so. (Not entirely sure about that.)
  2. For the deep dish pan, I grease it with a bit of olive oil. With the griddle pan, I sprinkle a tiny amount of regular corn meal onto the surface of the pan just prior to laying the dough upon it.
  3. Working with cast iron pans preheated to 500° F takes a bit of practice. Be prepared for a few “learning burns” until you get the hang of it.

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