This Pepperoni Pizza is in theory really simple; however, it represents the culmination of a lot of research on how to make my pizza dough better. I had been pretty dissatisfied with the recent performance of my old dough recipe. I can’t say I was really doing anything differently. However, I found it difficult to work with and was getting almost exclusive cracker thin crust. So, I did a lot of searching to try and find a solution. Thankfully, I did!! The basic technique is one from Bobby Flay. The key is to use bread flour. Bread flour is different than all-purpose or my traditional 00 (double zero) flour. It has a higher protein content which is the key difference here. The protein in bread flour gives the dough a higher gluten content and results in a less sticky, more resilient texture. The dough was able to bounce back much better from stretching and generally held its shape better. It also produced a slightly thicker, more pillowy crust of traditional pizza.
I decided to stay pretty basic with this first attempt. I made a homemade tomato sauce base, topped it with a mix of mozzarella and parmesan, and then finished with big pepperoni slices. It wasn’t fancy by any stretch, but it was really good and just what I had been looking for with my pizza recently.
Classic Pepperoni Pizza
- 3.5 Cups Bread Flour
- 1 Yeast Packet
- 1 Tsp Cane Sugar
- 1.5 Cups Water Hot
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1.5 Tsp Salt
- 14 Oz Can Tomato Puree
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1/2 Tsp Oregano
- 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flake
- 1/4 Tsp Fennel Seed crushed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Pour in the water and oil while mixing with the dough hook attachment. Add more flour or water to reach the ideal consistency (I did not need to). You should have a pillowy, only slightly sticky ball. Finish with a little bit of hand kneeding on a floured board. Finish by forming into a ball.
- Wipe a little olive oil in a bowl, put the dough ball in, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and allow the dough to rise for at least an hour (a few is better).
- Cut into desired portion size and either use or freeze.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Preheat a pizza stone or pan in the oven at 450F.
- Start by forming your dough portion into a ball and then begin to form into a round shape. Press or roll from the center out, you are looking for about a 1/4 thick with the edges likely being a bit thicker. The dough should bounce back a bit, so you likely want to roll just before it goes in.
- Place the dough on the preheated stone or pan, carefully ensure size and shape.
- Spread the sauce in a thin layer over the pizza and cover with cheese and pepperoni.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melty and browning.