Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

adapted from Cooking Light ( nut info taken from Cooking Light)

Servings - 8   Serving Size - 1/8th of pizza   Points Plus per Serving - 9 points+

Calories - 330,   Total Fat - 9.2g,   Carb. - 44g,   Protein - 17.8g,   Fiber - 3.2g

2 tsp. sugar

1 pkg. dry active yeast ( about 2 1/4 tsp.)

1 cup warm water ( 100 - 110 degrees F) 

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

12.4 ounces all purpose flour ( about 2 3/4 cups), divided

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups reduced fat shredded cheese of your choice ( I used a blend of Italian cheeses), divided

6 ounces of precooked chicken Italian sausage, casings removed and diced  ( I used raw, removed the casing, crumbled it and sauted it until it was done.  Then let it cool before using as a topping) 

1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic

handlful of fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 small bell pepper of your choice ( I used yellow), chopped


1.  To make the dough:   Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water in 2 cup glass measure or small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes to get bubbly on the top.  Stir in olive oil.   Weigh ( 11.25 ounces ) or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife.  Combine 11.25 ounces ( about 2 1/2 cups) flour, cornmeal and salt in a large bowl.  Stir yeast mixture into flour mixture to form a wet ball.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic( about 5 minutes) slowly adding the remainder of the flour as you knead.  Dough will be a little sticky.  Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray and cover.  Allow to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place until doubled in size.  Punch dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes.  Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a 11 x 15" rectangle.  Spray 9 x 13" glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Lay the rolled out dough into the baking dish and press up sides.  

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

3.  To assemble pizza:  Open the can of tomatoes and drain in a colander for about 10 minutes to remove most of the liquid.  ( you can get the rest of the toppings going while the tomatoes are draining)  Spread 1 1/2 cups cheese onto the prepared dough.  Top the cheese with the sausage.  Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray to med heat.  Saute the onion and pepper until they are tender, about 6 - 8 minutes.  Top the sausage with the cooked vegetables.  Top the vegetables with the drained tomatoes.  Top the tomatoes with the remaining cheese.  

4.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 - 30 minutes or until crust browns and cheese bubbles.  Top with chopped fresh basil.   Cool 5 minutes before cutting.