C went to business school in Chicago. I have visited a few times and one of my most favorite things in the city is all the wonderful food choices. Pretty much every meal I have had in Chicago has been delicious. We were so excited when Gino's East opened a restaurant in Houston. Apparently, the rest of the city was not as excited and it closed less than a year later. Luckily, the recipe is available online so we can make our own Gino's East pizza at home. I had low expectations, but this pizza is spot on, especially the buttery and flaky crust. It's a winner!
¾ cup cornmeal
1 cup warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup olive oil
4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Desired pizza toppings
1 cup crushed tomatoes
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Process the cornmeal in a food processor or coffee grinder as fine as possible. Sift the cornmeal into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water, yeast, salt, sugar, oil and 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Use the whisk attachment and stir for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour to the mixture and use the dough hook to stir to combine. Add the remaining flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky, you may not need all the flour. Knead the dough with the dough hook for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough into a ball and flatten. Use a rolling pin to roll into a ¼ inch thick circle. Oil the bottom of a 12” iron skillet with vegetable oil. Press the dough into the bottom of the skillet and 2” up the side. Cover the skillet with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest while the oven preheats to 475 degrees. Brush the dough with the remaining butter. Layer the mozzarella cheese on the bottom, then top with whatever desired toppings you choose. Spread a layer of crushed tomatoes on top of the toppings, then sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
Bake the pizza for 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 400 degrees and bake the pizza an additional 10 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Allow the pizza to cool 5 minutes before serving.
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