Double Crust Stuffed Pizza: Top Spots and Tips for Perfection

Double Crust Stuffed Pizza: Top Spots and Tips for Perfection

The double crust stuffed pizza traces its roots to the United States, where innovative chefs aimed to elevate traditional pizza. This pizza variant gained traction in the 1980s, quickly becoming a favorite for its indulgent layers. Popularity surged in cities like Chicago, known for their deep-dish styles, blending well with the concept of stuffing pizza between two layers of crust.

Key Ingredients and Variations

For a classic double crust stuffed pizza, you’ll need pizza dough, cheese, sauce, and your choice of fillings. Common choices include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and olives. Variations often highlight regional preferences:

  • Meat Lovers: Incorporates pepperoni, sausage, ham, and bacon.
  • Vegetarian: Mixes mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and spinach.
  • Gourmet: Features prosciutto, arugula, and truffle oil.

Cheese, usually mozzarella, plays a vital role in binding ingredients. For an enhanced flavor profile, consider using cheddar or gouda.

By experimenting with these core components, you can create a unique double crust stuffed pizza tailored to your tastes.

How to Make Double Crust Stuffed Pizza at Home

Required Tools and Equipment

Ensure you have the necessary tools and equipment to make double crust stuffed pizza at home. You’ll need:

  • Pizza Stone or Baking Sheet: Use a pizza stone for a crispier crust, or a baking sheet if you don’t have one.
  • Rolling Pin: Roll out the dough evenly with a rolling pin.
  • Pizza Cutter or Sharp Knife: Slice the pizza smoothly with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
  • Mixing Bowls: Mix dough ingredients in large mixing bowls.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Measure ingredients accurately with these.
  • Pastry Brush: Apply oil or butter with a pastry brush for a golden crust.
  • Oven Mitts: Protect your hands when handling hot equipment.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Follow these steps to create a delicious double crust stuffed pizza.

  1. Prepare the Dough:
  • Combine 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast with 1 1/2 cups warm water in a mixing bowl.
  • Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until smooth, cover it, and let it rise for 1-2 hours.
  1. Preheat the Oven:
  • Set your oven to 475°F (245°C), and place the pizza stone inside if using one.
  1. Roll the Dough:
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  • Roll out one portion to fit the base of your pizza stone or baking sheet, and roll the other portion slightly larger for the top crust.
  1. Assemble the Pizza:
  • Place the base dough on the pizza stone or baking sheet.
  • Spread 1 cup pizza sauce, leaving a 1-inch border.
  • Add 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, followed by your choice of fillings (e.g., 1 cup pepperoni, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup olives).
  • Cover with the remaining dough, folding and sealing the edges.
  1. Add Toppings:
  • Brush the top crust with 1 tablespoon olive oil using a pastry brush.
  • Sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Make a few small slits on the top crust for steam to escape.
  1. Bake the Pizza:
  • Place the assembled pizza in the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  1. Serve:
  • Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes.
  • Slice using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, and serve hot.

Comparing Double Crust Stuffed Pizza With Other Styles

Similarities to Deep-Dish and Pan Pizzas

Double crust stuffed pizza shares several traits with deep-dish and pan pizzas. All three types employ thick, sturdy crusts that can support a significant amount of toppings. Each style also features a generous quantity of cheese and various fillings such as pepperoni, sausage, and vegetables. These pizzas favor a longer baking time, ensuring the crust cooks evenly and the cheese melts thoroughly. An emphasis on hearty, satisfying flavors characterizes all three styles.

Differences That Set It Apart

Double crust stuffed pizza distinguishes itself with key features. Unlike deep-dish pizza, which has a singular thick crust, double crust stuffed pizza encases its toppings between two crust layers. This unique construction creates a sealed-in filling, resulting in a different texture profile where each bite offers a balanced crust-to-filling ratio. Additionally, while pan pizzas often have a crispy, fried exterior due to oil in the pan, double crust stuffed pizza typically bakes on a stone or sheet, leading to a distinctively baked finish. These differences make double crust stuffed pizza a unique and indulgent option.

Where to Find the Best Double Crust Stuffed Pizza

Top Locations Across the U.S.

Chicago, IL
Chicago stands out as a prime location for double crust stuffed pizza. Renowned establishments like Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Gino’s East serve exemplary versions. Their pizzas, characterized by rich, savory fillings, consistently receive high praise.

New York City, NY
New York City offers a mix of traditional and innovative takes on double crust stuffed pizza. Places like Artichoke Basille’s Pizza and Joe’s Pizza blend classic methods with unique fillings, making them must-visit spots.

San Francisco, CA
San Francisco boasts several pizzerias specializing in double crust stuffed pizza. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and Capo’s Chicago Pizza & Fine Italian Dinners feature award-winning versions, known for their high-quality ingredients and distinctive flavor combinations.

Los Angeles, CA
In Los Angeles, you’ll find premium double crust stuffed pizza at local favorites like Masa of Echo Park and Hollywood Pies. Both are famous for their deliciously stuffed and perfectly baked pies, drawing in crowds daily.

Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia’s pizza scene includes top-tier double crust stuffed pizza. Santucci’s Original Square Pizza and Rustica offer exceptional stuffed pizzas, noted for their flavorful fillings and crispy exteriors.

What to Look for in a Quality Pizza

The crust should be both sturdy and tender, providing a supportive base for the fillings without being too hard or doughy. An ideal crust has an even golden-brown color and a slight crunch.

High-quality fillings include fresh, premium ingredients. Look for a generous amount of cheese, meats like pepperoni or sausage, and a variety of vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Each bite should offer a balanced flavor profile.

Authentic double crust stuffed pizza features rich, gooey cheese that adds to the overall indulgence. A good mix of mozzarella and provolone typically achieves the best melt and flavor.

The sauce should complement the fillings without overpowering them. A well-made marinara or tomato sauce, slightly tangy and well-seasoned, enhances the overall taste.

Proper baking ensures an evenly cooked pizza. The crust should be crisp without burning, and the fillings should be thoroughly heated, melting the cheese perfectly. Look for pizzas baked on a stone or sheet for the best texture.

By visiting these locations and looking for these qualities, you can ensure a top-notch double crust stuffed pizza experience.


Double crust stuffed pizza offers an indulgent experience that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re in Chicago savoring a classic or exploring unique variations in New York City or San Francisco, there’s a perfect slice waiting for you. Keep an eye out for quality indicators like a well-textured crust, rich fillings, and a balanced sauce to elevate your pizza experience. So next time you’re craving a hearty meal, seek out a renowned spot and enjoy the delicious adventure of double crust stuffed pizza.

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