Thursday, September 17, 2009

Want To Make A Stuffed Pizza Crust?

By A J Adams

Is there a food item more popular right now than stuffed pizza crust pizza? You see the ads all over the place.

Stuffed pizza crusts have cash registers ringing again at pizza franchise stores. It seems that adding cheese to the crust did more than bring a new twist to the stodgy old pizza. The perceived value increased for sure, but it gave pizza chains just what they wanted, the ability to raise prices on an already highly marked-up food item.

Want to save some money? Let's make a stuffed pizza crust pizza at home. It's not that difficult and you might even like the finished product better.

Flour, water, oil and yeast are all it takes to make stuffed pizza crust dough. Check the Internet for a generic recipe.

Measure out the flour and pour it onto a cutting board. Make a mound, then make a hollow well in the center of it about 6" in diameter. Pour the warm water into it with the yeast added. Stir it for a couple of minutes. You will see the water turn cloudy then a slight foam will form. This lets you know the yeast has been activated. Finally, add your oil.

Next start pulling the flour from the edges into the wet mixture. Do this carefully so as not to break the "dam" of flour. Continue this until the mixture is quite thick, then pull all the flour into the mass. Keep folding it into itself until a ball of stuffed pizza crust dough forms.

Add a little flour at a time as you begin to knead it to keep it from getting too sticky. After kneading about 5-10 minutes you should have a shiny ball of stuffed pizza crust dough that will bounce back if depressed with a finger.

Put the stuffed pizza crust dough ball in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours to expand and rise.

When ready, take the dough from the bowl and cut off what you need for your first stuffed crust pizza. It should only take a fist-sized ball of dough for a thin stuffed pizza crust.

Roll it out until it's about 1/8" thick. Starting about 1-1 1/2" in from the edge, starting placing cheese sticks or grated cheese in a narrow row all around the outside edge of the pizza.

Next, begin folding the dough over the cheese and pressing the flap into the dough on the inside of the cheese row. Continue all the way around the pie this way.

Guess what? You just made your first stuffed pizza crust shell! Now go get those toppings, load it up and shove it in the oven!

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