Menu Description: "We start with a thin layer of crust, then we lay down a luscious layer of our six-cheese blend and seal it in with another thin layer of crust. We pile on your favorite Pizza Hut toppings, more cheese and bake it to gooey perfection."
You might be as surprised as I was to learn that Pizza Hut uses 2.5 percent of all the milk produced in the U.S. every year for the cheese used on the pizzas. We're talking about a lot of pizzas here—1.3 million served every day. The cheese production alone requires a herd of 250,000 dairy cows producing at full capacity 365 days a year.
Certainly, even more overworked cows had to be recruited to produce the additional cheese needed for this gooey new creation. This special pizza is made with two crispy cracker-like crusts that have a hidden layer of six cheeses cooked between them. Because this pizza requires two crusts, Pizza Hut created a dough that does not rise as much as the dough used in their other pizzas. This version has been adapted from a classic recipe for soda crackers. The finished product is the perfect pizza for people who think cheese is good, and more cheese is even better.
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees F)
- 3 3/4 cups alll-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pinch onion powder
- 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons shredded provolone
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pepperoni slices, chopped onions, sliced mushrooms, sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos, etc.
1. To prepare the crust, dissolve the yeast with the warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup and let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
3. Cut the shortening into the flour and mix the ingredients together with your hands until the shortening is reduced to tiny pea-size pieces.
4. Make an indention in the flour and pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Using a fork, stir the liquid around in the center, slowly drawing in more flour as you stir. When all of the flour is moistened and you can no longer stir with a fork, use your hands to combine the ingredients into a ball.
5. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough with the heel of your hands. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and silky, about 10 minutes.
6. Form the dough into a ball and put it into a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, place the covered container into the refrigerator to rise overnight. Take the dough out of the refrigerator for 2 hours before you plan to cook the pizza so that the dough can warm up to room temperature.
7. You may want to make the pizza sauce a day ahead as well, at the same time as you prepare the dough. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour. When the sauce is cool, store it in your refrigerator.
8. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Divide the dough in half, and form the two halves into balls. On a floured surface, roll out each of the dough balls until they form thin 15-inch circles. Use a fork to poke the dough several times on the surface. This will keep the crust from bubbling. Place one of the crusts on a pizza pan that has been well-greased or sprinkled with cornmeal.
9. Combine the six cheeses to make the blend for the second layer. Sprinkle the cheese blend evenly over the pizza crust in the pan. Leave about a half-inch margin around the outside edge of the dough. Moisten the dough by brushing some water around the outside edge in that margin.
10. While the top pizza dough sits on a hard, floured surface, use an inverted bowl with a 4-inch diameter as a guide to cut a 4-inch circle out of the center of the dough. This is to keep the crusts from separating at the tip of each pizza slice when cut. Carefully place the dough on top of the cheese layer and crimp the edges together. Bend the crust up to form a lip. Brush some olive oil on that lip all the way around the pizza.
11. Spread the pizza sauce over the surface of the top pizza dough layer to the edge.
12. Sprinkle any vegetable toppings (or pineapple) on the pizza sauce. Sprinkle the 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese over the pizza to the lip around the edge. Place any meat toppings or the olives on top of the cheese.
13. Bake the pizza for 12 to 15 minutes.
14. Slice the pizza 4 times through the center, making 8 slices.
Serves 3 to 4.
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