Stuffed Pizza – (two crusts with a “ton” of cheese, sausage, etc. between the crusts, and tomato sauce on top);
This style was invented in 1971 at Nancy’s Pizza. A variant of deep dish pizza, based on Rocco Palese’s Italian family recipe for “scarciedda“, Stuffed pizza has both a top and bottom crust with a substantial amount of cheese and other ingredients in-between, and the sauce going not inside, but on top of the top crust. The dough used for this style of pizza is closer to a regular pizza dough than that of original Deep Dish. Connie’s, Edwardo’s & Giordano’s are also famous for this style of pizza.
OK, FINE! YES, I WILL WORK ON A DOUGH RECIPE FOR STUFFED PIZZA ! Until that is ready…
Here is a set of instructions on how to build a stuffed pizza.
It is one of the more complicated styles and my least favorite, so for now,
this is a basic template for you intermediate pizza bakers out there who want to play around with the style:
People familiar with the stuffed style of deep dish (it’s not the original deep dish), may be aware of the layered/laminated dough that is often used for the style. I haven’t developed a home version of that dough, but you should be able to get something useable with the instructions below.
- Make a double batch of Thin Crust Dough or RDD Quick Dough.
- Split dough into 2/3 and 1/3, then fold over and roll each batch several times to get some layers and then roll them out into thin discs to about the same diameter as your pizza pan. (If your dough is springing back, you may need to let the dough rest for a bit after this step as you just gave the gluten in the dough a real workout.)
Then roll the larger dough out a few inches more so you’ll be able to bring up the sides, and drape into the deep dish pan without pressing.
- Gently bring up the sides of the dough over the top pan edge.
- Fill the pizza with lots of cheese (you can use shredded this time if you want) and whatever toppings you want. Stuffed pizza gets sausage pieces, not patty.
Do NOT put the sauce in yet.
- Top with the second dough.
- Crimp the top and bottom dough edges together all the way around.
- Tear or cut a few vent holes in the top center of the pizza dough so steam can escape.
- Ladle on a thin layer of sauce over the top dough to cover.
- Bake in a preheated oven at a time and temp TBD – I’m thinking 450-460 F for about 45 minutes,
but you should probably check after 40.
- If the outside looks done, but you want to be sure, for safety,
stick an instant-read thermometer into the center of the pie (don’t hit the bottom of the pan with the thermometer – you’ll get a false reading) and make sure the pizza’s internal temp (the fillings, not the crust) is at least 165 degrees F.
If you’re looking for a basic demo, this video from the Chicago Tribune, featuring Fred Besch of Nancy’s Pizza, who is practically ‘giving away the farm’ on the whole process, right next to Nancy Palese:
CORNMEAL ALERT: You will notice that Fred uses a small amount of cornmeal essentially as ball bearings for his dough sheeter. There’s no evidence that the dough itself contains any.
Here are some photos from one of my own attempts at stuffed pizza:
Did you need a sauce recipe? Here’s one I swiped from the Thin Crust recipe :