Thursday, 13 September 2012

Stuffed Crust Pizza

(In which I attempt to clone a stuffed crust pizza from a famous chain restaurant - courtesy of Todd Wilbur of Top Secret Recipes fame.)

Every week, Todd Wilbur releases a tested and cloned recipe.  I think this one was released approximately 156 weeks ago - give or take a few.

I've tested out the sauce - but have never gotten around to testing out the dough and the process off stuffing a crust. 

And, frankly, I'd had enough of the recipe sitting in my little wooden letter box on my kitchen counter.

For 156 weeks.

I couldn't take it ANY. MORE.

I told Dee I was making it and asked if she and her fiance wanted to come over for dinner.

Seriously?  Who's gonna say no to me???

Now - I was well prepared.  Because this recipe actually has to be made over two days.

Apparently, to get the same "taste" as the original, the clone dough must sit in the fridge overnight and rise very slowly.

Of course, in spite of all my careful planning, my Mom and Dad showed up for an overnight visit and I had to seriously multi-task.  But that's a story for another time.

First.  Start off making the dough.

In a small bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast.  Stir until the yeast dissolves.

In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour and salt.

Make a small well in the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture.

Then add the oil.

Then use a fork to bring the flour mixture in a little at a time to combine.

This is where I ran into a problem.  I simply ASSUMED it would just come together.  But after mixing and mixing with a fork and then dumping my hands in and trying to bring the dough together - it just didn't work.

Clearly, something was wrong.

I finally caved and proceeded to add warm water a little at a time until I had a cohesive dough.  The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of water - I ended up adding another 1/2 cup of water.

Knead the dough into a soft ball like this.

Then cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.  That's right - TWO.

Then punch down the dough, cover again, and put into the fridge overnight.

The next day, take the dough out of the fridge a couple of hours before you plan to make your pizza.  You want to bring the dough up to room temperature so it's easy to roll out.

When it's ready to roll, lightly flour the counter, punch down the dough.

Now roll that little dough ball into an 18 inch circle.  Seriously.

18 inches.

It doesn't look like it will roll out that big - but it will.

Now that it's all rolled out, it needs to be moved onto a pizza pan.  Without stretching it out....  Right.

Then take those pull aparty stringy cheese things and put them around the edge.  Of the pan....  On the dough.....  I can't figure out how to describe it. 

How about I show you!

I thought my pizza pan was a little smaller than intended, but once I started closing up the dough, I wasn't too worried about it.

Okay - now.  To close up the dough.  Get a little dish of water, and wet the edge of the dough as you lift it over the cheese stringy things and press it down to seal.

And then just keep going all around the pizza....

Until all the cheesy stringy things are sealed tightly in dough.

Then top with whatever toppings you want.  I did just sauce and cheese.  I didn't get a picture of it before I threw it in the oven.  Sorry 'bout that.

And bake at 475 degrees F for 12 - 15 minutes.

And here again I had an issue with this recipe.

I checked the pizza at 12 minutes and yanked it out of the oven.  If I'd left it any longer it would have burnt to a crisp!  Perhaps the temperature is off? 

And let stand....

I was in kind of a hurry to get this served up and didn't let it stand long enough.  AND - the recipe says to use 1 cup of sauce....  That was just TOO much sauce in my opinion.

It ran all over the place.

But it was YUM.  And fun to make!  I suppose if I was making this pizza with this crust again, I'd probably bake at 400 degrees or 425 for the same amount of time.

It was a delicious dinner - even though when this picture was taken we were being attached by half a dozen crazed wasps and escaped into the house about 30 seconds later.  Oh - the mac & cheese you see there?  That's from dinner the night before.  NO - it was NOT my idea.  Dee insisted that she wanted to try it and I can hardly say no to her.  They loved it.  And the whole dinner was totally amped up by the AWESOME beer lemonade drink that Dee and Nate brought.

Holy MAN, that stuff was good.

Love you Dee!  And you too Nate!

(don't want him to feel left out)

This is the Cane Girl - signing off.
Top Secret Recipes

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