DEEP DISH PIZZA
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 ounce (I used the kind in a can)
1/4 teaspoon oregano or Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 ounces Italian cheese blend or mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
Assorted toppings: pepperoni, ham, sausage, 4 ounce can mushrooms, green peppers, bacon, ground beef, etc.
Dash of garlic pepper or garlic powder and some Italian seasoning for top of pizza
Put the softened cream cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, seasonings and 8 ounces of mozzarella in a medium bowl. Mix with a spoon until well-blended. Spread the cheese mixture evenly in a well-greased 9x13" glass baking dish or a 9x13" rimmed baking sheet that is lightly greased and lined with parchment paper (see note below). Bake at 375º 20-25 minutes or until evenly browned, but not too dark. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
If you baked it without a parchment paper lining, when nearly cooled, take a metal spatula and carefully pry up the edges to loosen from pan. Ease the spatula under the whole crust to loosen. Keep the crust in the pan. This makes it easier to remove the finished pizza later. Refrigerate, uncovered, until shortly before serving time. Chilling the crust before topping the pizza is optional. You can top it right away and do the final baking. I just find it convenient to get the crust baked ahead of time and then do the second baking with the toppings just before serving.
Spread the crust with the pizza sauce, then the cheese and toppings of your choice. Lightly sprinkle with the seasonings of your choice. Bake at 375º about 15-20 minutes or until toppings are bubbly. Let stand a few minutes before cutting.
Makes 8 servings
Can be frozen
Per Serving: 304 Calories; 25g Fat; 17g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 2g Net Carbs
Unless you line it with parchment paper, I don't recommend making this in a metal baking pan as it will stick making the pizza very difficult to remove and the pan very hard to clean.
I think I may have discovered the secret to a crispy crust. I left the baked crust uncovered in the refrigerator for several hours. I think that allowed it to dry out a bit so that it became crisp during the second baking with the toppings. I was able to pick the pizza up in my hands.
NOTE: If you lightly grease the pan and line it with parchment paper, you'll have no trouble removing the pizza from the pan later. Greasing the pan makes the parchment stick to it so you can easily spread the crust batter without the paper moving around too much.
UPDATE 3/10/14: I simplified the method for making the crust. There was no need to add the ingredients in stages. Just dump them all into a bowl and mix them with a wooden spoon. Just make sure that the cream cheese is softened first. I mix mine in an 8-cup measure with a handle on it. I put the cream cheese in first and soften it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Then, I add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix them.
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