The Most Decadent Pizza I've Ever Made
A few weeks ago, I told you about some of my favorite pizza-related recipes, stromboli and pizza buns. I also mentioned another recipe, stuffed pizza, and promised to write more fully about it later. Well, it's later! Stuffed pizza is a deep dish pie that is crammed full of your favorite pizza toppings, capped off with another crust, pizza sauce and cheese. It is a truly decadent treat and it is on the menu this week. So pull up a chair and read on.
When I first saw this recipe several years ago on King Arthur Flour's web site, I couldn't wait to make it. There is no question about it, this recipe is an investment of time - in addition to making your own pizza dough, the recipe also includes instructions for making your own sausage and your own pizza sauce. I choose to use sausage made fresh at my local market and my favorite commercially made pizza sauce. However, I do make my own crust.
Here's the ingredients that you'll need for the crust: AP flour, semolina, salt, instant yeast, vegetable and olive oils and melted butter. I also add in Pizza Dough Flavoring which is available from King Arthur Flour. I use it in all of my pizza-related recipes. The combination of seasonings and cheese gives your crust that extra boost in flavor which takes from "just okay" to "WOW."
After mixing and kneading the crust dough, let it rise for an hour at room temperature then put it in the frig to continue rising slowly overnight. The long, slow cool rise will enhance the flavor of the dough making your finished pizza taste that much better.
The next day when you are ready to make pizza, take the dough out of the frig to come to room temperature while you prepare the fillings. In addition to the sausage, I like to fill my stuffed pizza with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, mozzarella cheese, sliced olives and hot pepper rings. It's important to remember to sauté mushrooms and spinach before putting them into the pizza. Sautéing these ingredients reduces their water content and prevents your pizza from being soggy. You can put anything that you want in your pizza. These happen to be our favorites.
Stuffed pizza is baked in a buttered 9 inch cake pan or springform pan. I prefer to use the springform pan because it is much easier to get the finished pizza out to cut and serve. I also add a drizzle of garlic oil in the bottom of the pan to give the bottom crust even more flavor.
The dough for stuffed pizza is very easy to work with. It rolls out to the desired size quickly without snapping back like other crusts do. After rolling the dough for the bottom crust, drape it into the buttered pan and add your fillings in the order recommended in the recipe. Roll the top crust, place it over the fillings and crimp the bottom and top crusts together. You'll also want to poke some holes in the top crust to allow steam to escape during the first half of baking.
Let your pizza rest, covered, while your oven preheats to 400 degrees. You should let your oven heat for at least 30 minutes to ensure that it has reached the required temperature. Chances are that your oven will indicate to you that it has reached the baking temperature in less time. However, even though the oven thinks that it has reached the desired temperature, it might not actually be there. To be sure that my oven has hit the required temperature, I always keep a thermometer hanging off the middle rack.
If you are using a springform pan like I do, be sure to put it on a rimmed cookie sheet. If you don't, the butter and garlic oil coating the interior of the pan may leak out and make a mess on the bottom of your oven. Bake the pizza for 20 minutes and then remove it from the oven. Using a spoon, spread the sauce on top of the stuffed pizza and then sprinkle on additional cheese of your choice. I use a combination of grated parmesan and romano cheeses. Return the pizza to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is browned.
Let your pizza cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then, pop off the sides of the springform pan and it's time to eat!! Doesn't that look delicious?? Are you hungry yet?? If you just HAVE to make this stuffed pizza, go on over to King Arthur Flour's web site and download the recipe. You will be so glad that you did.
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