It’s true: pizzas do bear some resemblance to pies. It makes sense that "pie" became another slang word for a pizza. But what about creating a true “pizza pie”? I’m talking about going all out and putting another piece of dough on top of the toppings! Can it be done? It can, and let me tell you it tastes delicious. A double decker of flavor, this behemoth puts an interesting spin on a classic, and also makes enough food to feed a small army. Let’s take a look at a how to make a stuffed pizza.
Turn Down the Heat
Cooking a stuffed pie is quite different from cooking a regular pizza. Normally, you’d crank up your kitchen oven as hot as it gets and try to minimize the cook time to produce the perfect pizza. With the stuffed pizza it’s actually the opposite: because of its size, a stuffed pizza needs to be baked at a much lower temperature and for much longer than traditional pizzas. Specifically, we’ll be baking our pizza at 375°F for approximately 35-45 minutes. We’ll also need to use a few special tricks when building the pizza; we’ll discuss that in the method section. Since today’s pizza is all about technique, we’re simply using some leftover ingredients we had hanging around in the test kitchen. Feel free to substitute for your choice of toppings, but be sure not to choose too many moist toppings. Too many wet ingredients can overload the pizza and make it soggy. We also suggest a thicker sauce with this pizza for the very same reason. Lastly, when you make this pizza, try to use a dough recipe or brand that’s low hydration. Dough with less water in it will cook better and resist sticking to the pizza pan.
Stuffed Pizza Recipe
For this pizza you’ll need two pieces of pizza dough. One large piece (14 oz.), and one smaller piece (10 oz.). You’ll also need a rolling mat, pizza stone, and a 12” pizza pan to help assemble and bake the pizza.
- Dough ball (10 oz.)
- Dough ball (6 oz.)
- Pizza sauce (3 oz. or scant ¼ C.)
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
- 5 slices pepperoni, or 10-15 of the smaller variety
- 1 C. bell peppers, sliced
- ¼ C. red onion, sliced
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra to prevent sticking
- ¼ stick butter, softened
When making this pizza we’ll use olive oil to roll out the crust instead of flour so that the two pieces of dough will still stick together when finishing the pie. Also, it’ll be much easier to use a rolling pin to achieve the proper thickness for the dough.
Step 1. It helps to have a large, clean, and smooth working surface to roll the dough on. I used our silicone rolling mat to get the job done. It will also make assembly much easier, as you’ll see in the photos relating to step 2.
Step 2. Rolling the dough out for this pizza is best done when the dough is cold. If you feel the need to let the pizza proof when you’ve finished assembling it, go for it. On the other hand, if you’re too hungry to wait, go ahead and bake it while it’s cold – the pizza will still taste great!
Step 3. Begin by stretching the larger piece of pizza dough with the rolling pin, using the olive oil as needed to prevent sticking. Roll the dough out into a 13” circle so that it hangs out over the edge of the pizza pan. This hanging dough will be folded over the top crust to finish the pizza.
Step 4. Grease your pizza pan using a moderate amount of soft butter or olive oil. Place the pan butter/oil side down directly on top of the dough. Flip the entire setup upside-down (see photos) and peel the rolling mat from the dough. If needed, re-stretch the dough to hang ¼- ½ inch over the edge of the pizza pan
Step 5. Add the sauce, cheese, and desired toppings.
Step 6. Reset your rolling mat and begin stretching the smaller piece of dough in the same manner you stretched the large one. This piece should be stretched to fit just to the edge of the pizza pan, not hanging over the sides.
Step 7. Place the second piece of dough over the toppings to cover. Begin braiding the bottom-crust over on top of the upper crust to seal. When finished, make 4-6 small cuts on the top crust to prevent air from being trapped inside.
Step 8. Bake pizza in a 375°F oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. If desired, a small amount of additional sauce and cheese can be added to the top of the pizza during the last 8-10 minutes of cooking.