Homemade Stuffed-Crust Pizza from Scratch

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A simple pizza recipe, made from scratch. It’s really easy to do; I’ve never made one before, and look how well it turned out! A homemade stuffed-crust pizza is just a few steps away.

Homemade Pizza: finished product.
Sure enough, making pizza wasn’t too hard!

Pizza is one of the greatest comfort foods ever, right? I’m always down to grab some from a local restaurant, or even a frozen pizza when the day calls for it, but recently I was thinking. Making a pizza can’t be that hard, right? It’s just a dough, a sauce, some toppings, and plenty of cheese! I can do that!

The dough is a simple recipe and only proofed for about half an hour. I added some spices to kick it up a notch and add even more flavor to the finished product. This recipe makes a single 12″ pizza with a fluffy crust (which I stuffed with extra cheese – yum!) so you can easily double it to make two pizzas.

The best tip I can offer is making sure you have fresh, living yeast. Old yeast won’t proof as well, so your dough won’t be as light. Mine was about six months old and worked perfectly.

A ball of proofed pizza dough.
Check out that gorgeously fluffy dough!

The sauce was a simple mixture of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and some spices as well. Really easy! I made it the day before and let it sit in the fridge, and the flavors blend and increase in potency quite a bit. You don’t have to, though! It’s simple to throw together if you don’t have any on hand.

The recipe for the sauce is included below. It makes a full jar and then some, and you only need about a quarter cup of sauce for a single pizza. Save the rest! It stores beautifully in a sealed container in the fridge, and easily lasts a week, if you let it.

A jar of pizza sauce.
A great basic pizza sauce elevates the entire pie.

I didn’t even set out to make a homemade stuffed-crust pizza initially. My partner was giving me a hand and just happened to say “you know, you could add more cheese by making a stuffed crust.” So, I tried it, and what do you know? It’s easy to do and makes the crust nice and gooey with melted mozzarella. What’s not to love?

Formed pizza dough with a stuffed crust.
I even got it mostly round on the first try!

From there it was all a matter of assembly. Load it with all the toppings you want — it’s pizza, after all! I made a meat-lover’s pie with three kinds of meat, some artichoke hearts, and plenty of cheese, but you can use whatever your favorite toppings are. If you’re adding bacon, cook the bacon about 3/4ths of the way to your desired level of crispiness before putting it on the pizza. It’ll cook the rest of the way when you cook the pizza itself. I also like to pat most of the grease off with a paper towel.

I just have two tricks you might not see anywhere else.

Trick #1: Mix some white cheddar in with the mozzarella. Not a lot! You only want about a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of white cheddar to mozzarella. It gives the cheese a bit of brightness without being an overwhelming flavor. I used some Cougar Gold, but you can use any brand you like.

Trick #2: Add something sweet! For this pizza, I made a glaze out of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Mixing those two ingredients and simmering it for roughly 10 minutes will reduce it down a bit, and when it cools it thickens into almost a syrup. Drizzle just a little bit to give some sweetness and some tang that cuts the heavy carbs of the rest of the pizza very nicely. Pineapple works too, of course.

Homemade Stuffed-Crust Pizza from Scratch

An easy, simple, from-scratch pizza made with just a handful of ingredients. Perfect for a first-time pizza maker!
Servings 1 12″ Pizza
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Large Bowl
  • Pizza Pan, Pizza Stone, or Large Flat Baking Sheet
  • Rolling Pin
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients

Pizza Sauce

  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce One can is 15 oz. here.
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste One can is 6 oz. here.
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 ½ tbsp Basil
  • ½ tbsp Black Garlic Salt Regular garlic salt is fine too.
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper Adjust more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp Sugar

Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup Warm Water 105-115º F
  • tsp Sugar
  • tsp Active Dry Yeast Make sure it's fresh! (One Packet)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil Optional: Heat with minced garlic for ~5 minutes for an infused oil.
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour Plus extra to adjust texture when mixing the dough. AP Flour makes a light, fluffy dough. Bread flour makes a denser dough better for thin crust pizzas.
  • 1 tsp Salt

Toppings of your choice

    Instructions

    For the Sauce

    • In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce and tomato paste together and stir to combine until there are no lumpy pockets of paste.
    • Add the spices and stir to mix well.
    • Transfer to jar or storage container to store. Letting it rest over night makes the flavors blend more strongly, but isn't necessary. Note that this recipe makes way more than you need for a single pizza; you can use it for any number of saucy baked goods! It stores well for at least a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

    For the Dough

    • Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt, basil, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl.
    • Add olive oil and warm water, stirring well or mixing on low with a stand mixer.
    • Gradually add 1 cup of flour. Add more if the dough is too sticky; you're looking for the dough to form a cohesive and elastic ball that starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix.
    • In a mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough on medium for about three minutes.
    • Coat a large bowl with olive oil, then transfer the dough into this bowl. Cover with plastic or a towel and leave in a warm place to proof.
    • Let the dough proof for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
    • Pre-heat your oven to 425º F
    • Deflate the dough gently, then transfer to a lightly floured surface.
    • Using a rolling pin, work the dough out into a 14" circle.
    • Transfer the crust onto your parchment paper.
    • Spread some cheese around the outer edge of the crust, then fold the outer edge in over the cheese, pinching it down to form a stuffed crust.
    • Using a fork, stab the crust over the inner surface. This helps prevent air bubbles from forming and disrupting the pizza. Be thorough!
    • Brush oil over the crust.
    • Transfer the crust, still on the parchment paper, onto your pizza pan, stone, or other baking surface.
    • Add sauce; I like about ¼ cup, but you can do more if you want a saucier pizza.
    • Add half of the mozzarella and white cheddar evenly across the top.
    • Spread your toppings on top of the cheese.
    • Cover the toppings with remaining cheese, adding the parmesan on top.
    • Bake! Start with 13-15 minutes, or until the crust is turning golden and the cheese is deliciously browned.
    • Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic glaze or other sweet sauce. Omit this if you're using a sweet topping like pineapple.
    • Let cool enough that you don't burn yourself eating it, slice, and enjoy!
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American, Italian
    Keyword: Pizza

    Did you follow my recipe and make a pizza? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below! Leave a picture so we can all enjoy! When you’re done, why not check out one of my other recipes?

    Join the Conversation

    1. Jessie,
      Your pizza sounds delicious! The balsamic vinegar sauce is a wonderful touch! I am anxious to try it!!
      It was nice seeing you at The Pantry on Tap today!
      Colleen

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