Copycat Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza and Homemade Mozzarella
Makes 2 eight inch pizzas. Cook time: less than 2 hours



Dough:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 package instant yeast
2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup organic whole milk, warmed to 100F
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Butter for greasing your pan

Sauce:
2 pounds organic, ripe tomatoes, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoon tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
A pinch dried oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil

Mozzarella Cheese:
1 gallon of cream-on-top whole milk (make sure your milk is NOT ultra-pasturized!)
Vegetable rennet (either liquid or solid form)
1 ½ teaspoons citric acid

Dough:

Mix together warm milk and olive oil in a small bowl.

Preheat your oven to 200F. Then shut off. Arrange a rack on the lowest point in your oven.

Sift together flour, sugar, yeast and salt into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Using the dough hook on low speed, slowly pour in the milk mixture. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Remove from the mixer and shape into a ball.

(Don’t have a mixer? Pour the sifted flour, salt, yeast and sugar on your work surface. Make a well in the middle and slowly pour in the milk mixture, as you combine it with the flour. When dough comes together, knead for 8 minutes.)

Grease an oven-proof bowl with a tad of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in warm oven for 30 minutes – it should double in size.

(During this time, make the sauce. Recipe below…)

Use butter to liberally grease two eight-inch cast iron pans. Remove the dough from the oven and cut in half. Working with one half at a time, gently roll the dough into a circle. Lift the dough from your surface and use your knuckles to stretch it until it fits in the pan, with some the dough coming up the sides on the pan. Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and let rise again for 30 minutes. Repeat with second pizza. Preheat you oven to 425F.

(During the second rise, make the cheese…)

Take small slices of the cheese place it in a ring around the parameter of the pan. Fold the dough over the cheese to form the stuffed crust.

Spoon about 1/4-1/2 cup of sauce onto the dough. Top with thin of the cheese, then a couple slices of pepperoni. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Set your broiler on high and broil the pizza for about 1 minute, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Tomato Sauce:
Heat up about one tablespoon olive oil in a small sauce pan. Add chopped garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sea salt, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add tomato paste, lower the heat, and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste again for salt.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Fully dissolve ¼ tablet of vegetable rennet in ¼ cup of cool water.
Fully dissolve 1 ½ teaspoons citric acid in ¾ cup of cool water.

Pour milk into an 8 or 10 quart stainless steel pot. Stir in the citric acid. Slowly heat up the milk to 90F, while stirring.

Stir in the vegetable rennet. Continue stirring for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit still for 5 minutes. The curds should now have separated from the whey. Take a knife that can reach the bottom of the pot, and cut the curds horizontally and vertically to form squares. Turn the heat back on low, and gently stir the curds for 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds to a microwave-safe bowl. Try to drain off as much of the whey as possible. Microwave on high for one minute. Drain off more of the whey, and microwave for another 30 seconds. Drain again.

Pull the mozzarella between your hands and roll and shape into a ball. The more you pull, the firmer your cheese will be. Since we’re using it for pizza, we want it quite firm – about 2 minutes worth of pulling (if I were eating the cheese on its own, I would skip pulling although and just shape into a ball for extra creamy mozzarella).