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So I have to admit, I totally stole this idea from The Evil Mad Scientist. You can check out his stuffed pizza here. I saw his article and thought what a brilliant idea! Making a super stuffed pizza in a springform pan! Genius! I have to say I splurged and bought my springform pan at Williams-Sonoma and absolutely love it. It has so many uses and I’m finding new ones everyday!
I wanted to use the freshest ingredients for my stuffed pizza so to make it an extra special treat I splurged and bought some fresh local veggies and cheeses from the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.
To make my stuffed pizza I first prepared the veggies. I’ve learned the hard way that you cannot cook veggies on pizza or any type of bread when they are raw. They don’t cook well and your pizza or sandwich ends up tasting crunchy and yucky. So I always pre roast all my veggies before cooking them in a pizza, sandwich, lasagna, or casserole.
I roasted my peppers by setting the oven to broil and placing them on the top rack. I let them broil on one side for about ten minutes until they were nice and black and then flipped them and roasted them on the other side for about ten minutes. I then removed them from the oven and placed them in a bowl and covered it with saran wrap. This allows the steam to separate the skin from the flesh so it’s easy to peal off.
For the zucchini, I sliced it into thin strips using a vegetable peeler. For the eggplant I sliced it into about 1/8-1/4” round circles.
The eggplant got desalted, then placed on a pan and covered with oil, salt, and pepper. These take a little longer to broil in the oven. I broiled them about 10-15 minutes, removing the thinner peaces as they became moist and mushy.
Here are all my veggies, roasted, sliced, peeled, and ready to go into my stuffed pizza!
For the pizza dough, I used the white whole wheat pizza dough recipe from 101 cookbooks (Gosh I love her!). Her recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart’s recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I further adapted her recipe by using 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour instead of the white whole wheat flour. This is the first time I have used whole wheat in this recipe and as you can see it turned out really dark. It was also a very dense dough and I was worried it wouldn’t rise and turn out not tasting too good. But I persevered and I’m glad I did. The dough did rise after being left at room temp for a few hours the day after I made it. And it was so easy to work with. Much easier the the version with all white flour! And the best part was that it tasted great! I will totally use this combination again…and again…and again…ok I’m done.
I made a whole batch of the dough and divided it into two balls, a large ball for the bottom and a small ball for the top. After letting the dough rest on the counter for several hours I coated it with flour and rolled it out nice and thin. I folded it into quarters and transferred it to my greased springform as you can see in the pictures above. To prevent bubbling in the oven I poked the bottom of the dough several times with a fork. My pizza is ready to be filled!
For the cheese, I had a hard time deciding what to use. I’m not good at pairing things, I’m not good at knowing what will taste good with pizza versus what will taste good with lasagna. So I basically just closed my eyes and grabbed a couple of cheeses from two different stands at the Farmer’s Market. I ended up with an aged white cheddar which was very mild and oh so yummy. And a teleme, which I had never heard of before. It tasted like brie but less creamy and a bit more rubbery, also very good!
To assemble my pizza, I started with a layer of tomato paste, I just used regular old tomato paste from a can. I added a layer of aged white cheddar cheese, then topped this with my zucchini. I topped the zucchini with another layer of tomato paste and cheese, then added my eggplant. The eggplant got topped with another layer of tomato paste and cheese and then I finished with my roasted peppers.
I covered the pizza with the small ball of dough and sealed it by pinching the two layers together and rolling the edges inward. Then I pricked the top to prevent bubbling and topped the pizza with tomato paste, and layer of the Teleme cheese and some basil. The whole thing went into the oven at 375 F for about 45 minutes. As soon as it was done I remove the springform casing and let it rest for 10 minutes before digging in. It was delicious!