Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

Stuffed Crust Cast-Iron Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 30 min (includes rising and cooling times)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings







Special equipment:
a 12-inch cast-iron pan
  1. For the dough: Combine the bread flour, 00 flour, salt and yeast in a mixer with a hook attachment. Whisk together the water and honey. Turn the mixer to medium speed and slowly add the honey-water mixture and olive oil. The dough will come together when a ball is formed and pulls cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl. If the dough is too wet, simply add a touch more flour until it pulls cleanly.
  2. Grease the inside of a large bowl or deep container with cooking spray. Add the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area until the dough doubles in size, 60 to 90 minutes. The dough can be refrigerated until ready to use, with a damp cloth over it.
  3. For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chile flakes and garlic and cook until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree and basil sprigs. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely in the fridge. Remove the basil from the sauce before using.
  4. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare a 12-inch cast-iron pan by greasing the interior with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 portions and roll out 1 portion on a floured surface, making a round sheet roughly 14 inches wide. (Wrap the other dough portion in plastic wrap and freeze for another use.) Place the dough sheet over the greased pan, lightly pressing the interior corners into the pan to prevent pockets. Place the strips of smoked mozzarella around the interior of the pan, making a circle with the strips along the entire edge. Cut the dough approximately 1 inch above the level of the cheese. Roll the dough over the cheese, lightly tucking the edges underneath to form a stuffed crust. Brush the stuffed crust with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  6. For the toppings: Ladle the sauce into the center of the pizza, creating a thin layer that barely covers the pizza. Finish by topping with the torn mozzarella, olives, and onions.
  7. Place the pizza pan over medium heat and cook until the bottom of the crust begins to brown lightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown and the center is bubbly, about 20 minutes.
  8. Use a large metal spatula to remove the pizza, then top with the torn basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into portions and serve.

Cook’s Note

00 flour is more finely ground and lower in protein than all-purpose flour. It can be found in Italian or specialty food stores, or online specialty grocers.