Stuffed Crust Pizza- Tried it and Liked it

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Y’all, let’s talk pizza.  Yesterday I fought a small battle with some pizza dough and some minimalist directions.  I tried a recipe for stuffed crust pizza that I had set aside some time ago and finally got around to making.  After having made it I must say some helpful tips would have been appreciated to make the process almost hassle free.  For instance, it would have been helpful to know I needed to roll the dough out ONTO THE PAN.  This almost ruined the pizza and it did mess the crust up considerably.  I ended up having to transfer this giant glob of dough with sticks of mozzarella all mangled up inside and reshape it.  Let’s just say this was not one of my finer moments in the kitchen.  Thank goodness I had lined the pan with parchment paper because I definitely would have had globs of cheese burning on the bottom of my oven.

All that being said, we did enjoy the pizza.  The crust was not sealed properly because of the transferring process so more than half of the crust ended up being overcooked mozzarella blobs.  The parts of the crust that remained intact with the cheese inside, were amazing!  I used those perfect pieces to determine whether I would be using this recipe again.  Next time I make this it will definitely be perfect!

The crust is thick and has a good crunch on the bottom and a decent flavor.  I think what I liked most about this dough was the strong structure and the short prep time.

If you follow the small tips I’m about to provide this will indeed be an easy pizza to make.  The recipe is good, just for the love of butter, roll it out onto the pan you are going to cook it on and line it with parchment paper.

**For the toppings, make sure that you pat dry any high moisture ingredients such as jarred toppings like olives.  Added moisture will make the crust soggy and hinder the baking process.  Also try to use a dry, aged yellow mozzarella or one that says low moisture as opposed to fresh mozzarella.  If you do use fresh mozzarella pat it dry and use it sparingly.

Ingredients:

-1 packet of active dry yeast

-1/2 tsp brown sugar

-1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1 1/2 cups of warm water (110°F)

-1 1/2 tsp salt

-2 tbsp olive oil

-3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

-6-7 mozzarella sticks

-olive oil for brushing the crust

Toppings:

-marinara

-low moisture mozzarella, aged/dry if possible

-Kalamata olives, patted dry

-Italian sausage

-pepperoni

-mushrooms

-roasted red peppers, patted dry

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-basil

-spinach

Directions:

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, yeast, and brown sugar and stir briefly, then allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

In a different bowl, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, and garlic powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture into the yeast water while the mixer is on the knead function level 3.

***I added about 3/4 of cup at a time.  You might have to use a spatula to push down flour from the edges of the bowl that the dough hook isn’t picking up.

Knead the dough until it has a sticky texture, but not sticking to the bowl.  For example, when you turn the bowl upside down, the majority of the dough falls out easily.

Prepare another large bowl by spraying the inside of it with PAM or olive oil.

Shape the dough into a ball with floured hands then place in the well oiled bowl and cover tightly with saran wrap.  Let dough rise for 1 hour in a warm, draft free area.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Line a large pizza pan with parchment paper so that it slightly overlaps the pan by about 1/4 of an inch.

Lightly flour the parchment paper.

Roll out the dough with floured hands and a rolling pin ONTO THE PAN.  🙂

Roll out the edges of the dough so that it overlaps the pan a little.

Slice the cheese sticks in half.

Place cheese sticks around the crust about 1/2 an inch away from the edge.  Pinch the dough over the cheese sticks to seal.  Make sure every inch is sealed or it will make a mess!

Bake the crust for about 7 minutes and place the pan on the middle rack in the oven

Take the crust out and quickly top the pizza with sauce, and toppings of your choice.  **Put some of your cheese on top of the other toppings to protect them from scorching in the baking process.

Brush the crust with olive oil.

Slide the pizza back into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.

*The recipe recommended 20-25 minutes but my toppings started blackening at 20 minutes)  Definitely start checking it at 17 minutes to see where your pizza is at.  You want a golden, bubbly crust.

Let the pizza set for 2 minutes before slicing to avoid toppings sliding off.

Enjoy!

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The hubs helped out with the fun part! 🙂

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Adapted from http://lemon-sugar.com/2012/05/stuffed-crust-pizza.html/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+lemon-sugar/oFwp+(Lemon+Sugar)

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