Shit you’ll need:
- 2 lb block of mozzarella
- 8 oz can of Pillsbury pizza dough*
- 8 oz can of Pillsbury crescent roll dough*
- 4 oz can of Pillsbury crescent roll dough*
- 1 green pepper
- 1 onion
- red pepper flakes
- garlic powder
- olive oil
- 8 oz of your favorite pizza sauce*
- 1 can of stewed tomatoes
- ground spicy italian sausage
- springform pan
- rolling pin
- cheese grater
- wax paper
- cookie sheet
* Totally guessing on the size here. Use the ingredients photo as a reference.
- Don’t use thin crust pizza dough.
- Don’t use turkey pepperoni. I will know if you do and when I find you, I will hurt you.
- Don’t use Hormel pepperoni. It’s disgusting.
- Don’t use pre-shredded mozzarella.
- Lactose intolerant? Try using a 2 lb block of mozzarella and not bitching about it for once in your miserable life.
Step 1: Use a cheese grater to shred ⅔ of your mozzarella block. Eat some of the leftovers because it’s delicious. Put whatever is left someplace safe.
Everything about this step sucks. The only cheese grater you have wasn’t meant to process a 2 lb block of cheese. It probably wasn’t meant to grate cheese at all because it’s really just a scrap of branded industrial waste. It’ll take forever and cheese will go everywhere because you’ll get bored and become careless. Suck it up.
Addendum 1: You might be able to just thinly slice the cheese and still achieve the desired meltiness. I haven’t tried this myself.
Addendum 2: If you ignored my previous warning and bought shredded mozzarella, give up. It simply won’t melt before your crust looks like charcoal. See addendum 1 on Step 12.
Step 2: Put all three cans of dough in a bowl and mix them together. By hand. Forever. After forever, leave it sitting in the bowl and move on to step 3.
If this part sucks even more than step 1, you’re doing just fine. Keep on keepin’ on.
You’ll know you’re done when the color is pretty consistent throughout. You may notice a very subtle yellow/lighter yellow marbling. That’s fine.
Addendum 1: Let the dough sit out for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start mixing it. It’s a lot harder to do when it’s really cold.
Addendum 2: I’m by no means a expert doughsmen. That’d be ridiculous. However, I have done this a number of times now and the most effective mixing method I’ve discovered so far is to pull the dough apart, twist it until it breaks in two, mash the pieces back together and then repeat.
Step 3: Dice half an onion and half a bell pepper. Sauté the everliving shit out of them in olive oil. Seriously. This isn’t a salad, boys and girls. The only part of this pizza that’s allowed to be crisp is the crust.
While sautéing, add red pepper flakes and garlic powder to taste.
Addendum 1: If you use fresh garlic cloves, make sure they’re well done. Your ‘toppings’ won’t cook much more once they’re in the pizza and, if the garlic isn’t cooked enough, the flavor will likely end up somewhere between awesome and overwhelming.
Step 4: Brown however much ground sausage you want in your pizza. Cook it to the point that you’re comfortable eating it and then degrease it as much as you can.
I usually just cook an entire package and use the left overs later on as a garnish for my ice cream or whiskey.
Step 5: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step 6: Roll out your pizza dough. Throw a little bit of flour on it whenever it’s not cooperating.
Step 7: Rub the bottom of your springform pan down with a little bit of olive oil. Don’t put any on the sides.
Step 8: Transfer the dough to the springform pan. Make sure that there is some excess hanging over onto the outside all along the top rim. This will hold the dough in place when you put it into the oven. If you don’t do this, your outer wall may end up collapsing into the pan as soon as it warms up.
The springform pan I use (purchased from a Publix) has a lip on the outside of the rim that I like to push the dough up into to better secure it.
Make sure that there are no significant air pockets.
Step 9: Put your ‘toppings’ directly onto the dough.
Pro tip: If you’ve added the sauce already, you’re doing this completely wrong and I hate you. Throw away everything you’ve done and flog yourself.
Step 10: Add all of the cheese you shredded.
Step 11: Lightly cover whatever dough is still exposed with some olive oil. A cooking brush works well for this, but you can also just use a paper towel to daub it on.
Step 12: Put that shit on a cookie sheet and then throw it in the oven. Check on it every 10 minutes or so to make sure the crust isn’t burning.
Addendum 1: If you’re using shredded cheese despite my repeated warnings, divide your cheese into thirds. Put the first third into the pizza before putting it in the oven, add the the second third when you check on it at the 10 minute mark, and add the final third at the 20 minute mark. This is your best bet. Godspeed, free spirit.
Step 13: When the pizza has been in the oven for 20 minutes, put the pizza sauce in a pot. Then, open the can of stewed tomatoes, drain them, and dump them into the sauce. Turn the stove on low and stir occasionally.
Step 14: After 30 minutes, take the pizza out of the oven. Using a butter knife, verify that the cheese has melted by sticking the knife into the cheeseosphere and gently pushing the cheese to the side (be sure to push the cheese back into place before proceeding). If it’s completely melted, pour your sauce on top of the cheese layer.
Step 15: Put the pizza back into the oven for 10 more minutes. If it looks like the crust can’t survive another 10 minutes without burning, daub more olive oil onto it and take it out of the oven before it crosses that line.
Step 16: Let that shit cool off for 10 minutes. If you don’t, pyroclastic flows consisting of cheese and pizza sauce will haunt your immediate future.
Step 17: Break off all of the overhang crust. Using a knife or a fork, separate the crust from the top of the rim.
Step 18: Pop that spring form open. Using a knife or a fork, separate whatever crust is still sticking to the wall and then pull it away.
Step 19: Cut. Serve. Eat. Drink whiskey. Be a man.
To all of the brave souls that ate the terrible pizzas I cooked before perfecting this process: Thank you.