String cheese is the secret to success for this popular stuffed-crust pizza. Prebaking the crust crust before you add the toppings assures that the cheese inside will melt completely.—Terri Gonzalez, Roswell, New Mexico
- 2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 8 pieces string cheese
- 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
- 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat water and oil to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-in. circle. Transfer to a greased 12-in. pizza pan, letting dough drape 2 in. over the edge.
- Place string cheese around edge of pan; fold dough over cheese and pinch to seal. Prick dough thoroughly with a fork. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, oregano, pepper and garlic powder; spread over crust. Sprinkle with meat mixture, mushrooms and mozzarella.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Yield: 6-8 slices.
Originally published as Stuffed-Crust Pizza in Taste of Home August/September 2006, p7
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