While I’ve done a traditional deep dish pizza before, a tomato-y sausage and cheese classic. I wanted to do something a little different. Sometimes I give myself certain restrictions in the kitchen for fun. This creation started with the premise “How would I do pizza without any tomato product whatsoever?”
I initially though of a creamy base. Some takeout pizza joints do a ranch dressing or alfredo sauce option for their pizzas, but I wanted something with body and that doesn’t already exist (or so I’ve seen). I thought of the American classic dish, green bean casserole.
Green bean casserole is normally made with a canned creamy soup of some kind (cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken), some green beans and crispy onions.
I like to cook pretty much everything myself, so the idea of using canned soup on pizza was discarded, but a cream soup idea is easy to do homemade. It’s essentially a bechamel sauce with a few flavourings. In my case, the flavourings would be sausage and caramelized onions.
A homemade casserole base needed a better receptacle than a regular stretched pizza dough, so the Chicago deep dish idea was perfect. Cheese sandwiching the casserole keeps it all together and the crust is durable enough to carry it all!!
Sometimes I have good ideas…. 😉
- 1 cup red fife flour (or whole wheat bread flour)
- ⅓ cup oat flour (just put ⅓ cup rolled oats in a blender or food processor)
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔-3/4 cup warm water
- ½ tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp maple syrup or brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups blanched fresh green beans
- 75g/3 oz sausage (any sausage works great, smoked garlic sausage or hot Italian sausage are great, but you could use bacon, ham or even mushrooms if you want to keep it veggie only)
- 2 tsp cold pressed/extra virgin oil
- 1-1/2 cups onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp red fife flour
- 1 cup milk
- Prepared Dough
- Prepared Creamy Green Bean and Sausage Topping
- 100g/4 oz mozzarella or gruyere cheese (slices are traditional on Chicago deep dish, but shredded is fine)
- 50g/2 oz pecorino or Parmesan cheese, shredded
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours and salt. Make a depression in the middle of the flour. Add the water, yeast, and maple syrup. Stir together the water, yeast and maple syrup, allowing it to sit for 10 minutes, allowing the yeast to get bubbly.
- Start to stir the flour into the middle with the frothy yeast mixture. When a dough starts to come together, turn it out on to the counter and start to knead. If the dough is too dry, add water a tablespoon or two at a time. When the dough is smooth and only slightly sticky, form into a ball, place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for at least an hour.
- In a medium pot over medium high heat, add 1 tsp oil, the onions and salt. Stir and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the onions start to lightly brown and soften. Reduce heat to medium and continue to stir, adding a few splashes of water periodically if the onions stick to the bottom of the pan. After about 25 minutes total the onions should be deeply golden brown and caramelized. Take the onions out of the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, over medium high heat, add the remaining oil and sausage. Brown the sausage for a few minutes. Add the butter and when it melts, stir in the flour gradually to form a roux (thick paste of butter and flour). Slowly stir in the milk until a thick sauce forms. Take off the heat, stir in the blanched green beans, half of the caramelized onions and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Lightly oil a 25cm/10" square cake pan.
- Press the dough out into a rectangle on the counter. Rub the whole surface with butter. Fold each side of the dough into the centre of the dough, folding the whole rectangle into thirds.
- Press the dough to fit the bottom of the pan, drawing up some of the dough into a lip about 2cm/1" high. Add the mozzarella to the bottom of the pizza in an even layer. Cover the cheese with the prepared Creamy Green Bean and Sausage Topping. Add spoonfuls of the remaining caramelized onions over the creamy layer. Sprinkle liberally with pecorino over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Pull out of the oven, remove the pizza from the pan with a spatula and allow to set for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. This allows the creamy layer to somewhat set so it won't run everywhere. Serves 2-3