Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Okay.  I decided that after sharing the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls earlier this week I might as well stay with the stuffed theme...and am on a roll...*ba dum dump*.  Okay.  Enough bad puns already.

But really, who can say no to pizza with gooey, melted cheese?  How about having some of that cheesy goodness in the crust in addition to on top of the rest of the pie?  I remember when stuffed crust pizza came out at Pizza Hut.  It seemed like the greatest invention ever at the time.  The commercials featured people diving into their pizza slices crust first.  Suddenly,  the crust became a desirable part of the pizza and so many crusts were spared from ending up in the trash.  Because let's face it.  Before stuffed crust pizza, generally speaking unless you had some yummy Papa John's garlic butter or equally delicious dipping sauce the crust was really just filler.

When I saw this recipe in the cookbook that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas I knew it was a "must make".  The answer to execute to make this "dressed up" pizza at home was so simple: string cheese!  Let's just say that this recipe didn't disappoint and came together surprisingly quickly and easily.  Though there's yeast in the dough you don't need to let it rise or anything before baking.  It'll be on our menu again for sure!

One Year Ago: Churro Bites 
Two Years Ago: Slow Cooker Carnitas

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Prep Time: 25 Minutes; Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Yields: 8 slices

Stuffed Crust Pizza

  • 2 to 2-1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (0.25 oz) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c water
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 8 pieces string cheese
  • 1 c tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of cracked red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 c (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings of choice
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt.  In a saucepan, heat water and oil to 120-130 degrees F.  Add to dry ingredients and beat until just moistened.  Stir in enough remaining flour until it forms a soft dough.  Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle.  Transfer to greased 12-inch pizza pan, letting dough drape 2 inches over the edge.  Place string cheese around the edge of the pan.  Fold the dough over the cheese and pinch to seal (obviously make sure you get a good seal or your cheese will all melt out of the crust and that would be sad!).  Prick the dough pizza bottom thoroughly with a fork.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce and spices.  Spread sauce over pre-baked crust.  Sprinkle with mozzarella and add desired toppings.  Lightly brush pizza crust edge with olive oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Source: Barely modified from The Taste of Home Cookbook, pg 145

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