How to Make a Stuffed Crust Pizza

Just when you thought a cheesy, topping laden pizza couldn’t get any more indulgent. Along came the stuffed crust pizza! A stuffed crust is a type of pizza crust that is filled with a layer of cheese.  Or sometimes ingredients such as pepperoni or sauces. Instead of a traditional plain sourdough or thin crust edge, a stuffed crust pizza has the filling baked directly into the crust. Creating a flavoursome addition to the pizza toppings.

Although pizza itself dates back to the 18th Century, the stuffed crust by contrast is a relatively new innovation. It became popular by a very well-known international pizza chain! Yes, that’s right, Pizza Hut, one of the world’s largest pizza chains, is often credited with popularising stuffed crust pizza. In 1995, Pizza Hut introduced the phenomenon which featured a ring of mozzarella cheese baked into the outer edge of the pizza crust. This has since been developed by chefs around the world. Other ingredients are now added in place of the mozzarella.

Despite sounding as though it might be quite a complex process to make your very own stuffed crust pizza at home, it’s much easier than you might think. Let’s dive in…

The Technical Stuff

Okay, so we’re known here at The Pizza Oven Shop for promoting how quickly wood fired and gas fired pizza ovens can cook pizza. And it’s very much true, a classic Neapolitan pizza can be cooked in as little as 60 seconds. However, for a stuffed crust pizza, you’ll want to reduce the temperature down to a modest 350°C-380°C. Then bake the pizza for up to 4 minutes to allow the thicker crust edge to cook through and the cheese or other ingredients to come up to temperature. This allows for that unmistakable cheese pull that’s so synonymous with the wonderful stuffed crust pizza.

In terms of the type of dough, it’s possible to use any recipe that takes your fancy. Whether that be a traditional Neapolitan dough, New York style dough or sourdough. The most important factor really is allowing the stuffed edge enough time to cook.

I want cheese, but which one?

The most traditional, and most obvious choice for what to stuff your dough with, is of course cheese. Usually, mozzarella as it’s easy to work with and achieves that cheese pull we spoke about above. You can use mozzarella cheese strings to stuff your crust if you want a little shortcut. However, if you want to be hardcore, slice your mozzarella into workable pieces.

How do I stuff the crust?

The first step is to stretch out your dough. Make sure you stretch it slightly larger than you actually want your pizza to be. This is to allow for folding over the edge over the filling. Lay your cheese around the outer edge of the dough, leaving around 2cm which will then be folded over the cheese. At this point, it’s worth noting that if you’ve decided not to use cheese, and instead opted for another ingredient the process is exactly the same. Be careful not to add too much though as the filling can have a tendency to burst open if it’s too tightly packed.

Sauce Stuffiing

If you’re stuffing your crust with a sauce or garlic butter, ensure its thicker than normal to make it easier to work with. A good little hack if you’re stuffing with garlic butter is to refrigerate the butter and then slice it into pieces prior to stuffing. If you’re using a tomato pizza sauce as your stuffing, reduce it down to a slightly thicker consistency.. Then allow to cool and then add to a piping back and pipe the cooled sauce around the perimeter of your stretched dough, again leaving the 2cm.

Once you’ve added your cheese or other ingredients, it’s time to fold over your dough. This step is crucial for the success of your stuffed crust pizza. Ensure that you tuck it tightly into the crust. Fold the crust’s edges over and firmly press down to securely seal it. While any gaps won’t necessarily pose an issue, they could cause the cheese to melt out onto the pizza rather than staying within the crust. Simply continue the process to ensure that the edges are neatly folded over and securely sealed.

Top Tip:
Take a cocktail stick or skewer and pierce a few holes around the crust. This allows for steam to escape while the dough is cooking and the cheese is melting.

At this point, all that’s left to do is add your sauce and pizza toppings and bake your pizza. Remember to turn regularly to ensure the stuffed crust cooks evenly across the whole pizza.

We hope this article has given you a good idea how to make a stuffed crust pizza.

Thanks for reading,

The Pizza Oven Shop