Would ever believe that I HATED pizza growing up? In fact, I don’t think I liked it all until 6th grade. You see, in 6th grade I was attending Harmony Elementary School in Vanouver, Washington and as the oldest kids we got to have lunch in our classrooms. Yeah, we were pretty big stuff. And to make it even more exciting we actually got to order pizza on Fridays. BOOYAH! I can still smell it Oh my gosh, we thought we were awesome. The kind was always the same, Pepperoni Pizza. But, we all grew up and now while I still love a good takeout pizza I also want a pepperoni pizza recipe that’s as good to make at home as it is to have delivered. Which means that we’ve been working on this recipe for 2 months, and testing every ingredient out there.
Two Kinds of Pizza in the World
There are two kinds of pizza, and only two. Bet you already knew that though, right? There’s take out which is greasy, gooey, and crazy delicious. This is best eaten when you are feeling lazy, depressed, partying, or chillin’. But, there’s also pizzeria pizza. This pizza is the real deal. It’s generally more like an actual Italian or New York Style pizza. The ingredients are generally better and it’s usually found in pizzerias or awesome Italian restaurants. They are different. Period. A chain pizza place versus the gourmet deal. And each has it’s moment, but today we want to talk about delivery. I know, you probably didn’t think I was going to say that, but everyone has had a hankering for delivery, the one you want on a Saturday night while you kick back and watch a movie.
Help Us Celebrate Our Oldest Daughter’s Birthday
Our daughter is celebrating her 7th birthday today. Holy crap I’m old. I can hardly believe it! She looooooves pizza. It’s one of her favorites. She is obvioulsy aware of what I do for a living and specifically requested that we make the perfect pepperoni pizza for her, and I kid you not, she wanted to do a giveaway just like I do. Love that girl. So, make sure you scroll down to see what you get, and we’d love for you to leave a birthday shout out that she can read and fell all special about. 😉
Essential Ingredients/Tools for the Perfect Pepperoni Pizza
We tested so many ingredients, pans, recipes, and temperatures and these are the ones that came out with the best results. Gosh, it’s like I’m America’s Test Kitchen! LOVE THEM.
Flour: King Arthur All purpose Flour produced the best crust. We did try using half and half with bread flour or all bread flour, but that crusty, chewy crust was best with all purpose.
Yeast: Red Star Yeast was the most full proof yeast. We got a perfect rise every time, and it produced a chewy crust.
Pepperoni: We found that the Margherita Brand of Pepperoni produced the best flavor and texture. Some pepperonis were rubbery and extra greasy when baked, but Margherita brand crisped up a little around the edges, and had great flavor and texture. It literally was night and day difference. Unfortunately no other brand came close enough to compare so we say stick with this one. *TIP* We found that cooking the pepperoni for 15-20 seconds on paper towels in the microwave removed a little more grease and produced those crisped edges we love on delivery pizza.
Cheese:Oh the cheese… this one was also tricky. Too many Mozzarella’s didn’t melt down well enough or were lacking flavor. Fresh mozzrella or water packed was cray good, but better suited for Margarita pizzas. We found that Galbani provided that perfect cheesy flavor with great meltability.
Pan: This one probably doesn’t seem crucial but it made a HUGE difference in our pizza. We tried everything from air bakes and pizza stones to regular pizza pans, but nothing compared to the Mario Batali Pizza Pan. It gave an even distribution of heat, retained heat, held up to high temperatures and helped to make a perfect crust with a crispy bottom and soft chewy inside. Plus, this one actually has a lifetime warranty and was 10x easier to clean up.
Pizza Dough : I’ll be honest, we tried half a bazillion pizza dough recipes, including making our own, but the fact remains, Artisan Bread in 5 is still the best pizza dough recipe we’ve tried.
Pizza Sauce: We tried jarred sauces, pizza sauce recipes and even a fresh tomato sauce, but our favorite ended up being our own pizza sauce that we posted on Monday.
Pizza Tools: We found out that King Arthur Flour has an awesome pizza tool kit so you can chop, grate and slice to your little heart’s desire!
Perfect Pepperoni Pizza Recipe
- 2-3/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1½ tablespoon Instant Yeast
- 1½ tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ Cup Pizza Sauce
- Margherita Brand Pepperoni
- 2 Cups Galbani Mozarella Cheese
- 1 Tblespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated
- ½ Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- ½ Tablespoon Butter, melted
- 2 Teaspoons kraft Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Salt
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water.
- Slowly add the flour without kneading.Transfer dough to large bowl. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though though not only is it easier to handle when cold, but I think it also produces a better crust. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days. See note
- Heat the oven to 500 or 550 degrees if your oven allows. NOT broil.
- Place the pizza pan in the oven to get hot.
- Stretch the pizza dough into a large circle by holding it up in front of you and turning the dough clockwise, grabbing quickly with one hand after another or by tossing the dough. This creates a better crust, but you can roll it out if you wish. Place on a pizza wheel or parchment paper to help you to transfer the dough to the pan.
- Quickly remove the pan from the oven and transfer the dough to the pan.
- Working fast, spread a little sauce on the pizza, top with both cheeses and then the pepperoni. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of cheese over the finished pizza.
- Combine the olive oil and butter and brush the crust then sprinkle the parmesan and garlic salt over the crust.
- Bake the pizza for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes before cutting into. Enjoy!
This dough can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge.