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Prepared at Home: Pepperoni Pizza

    Prepared at Home: Pepperoni Pizza

    The dough is delicious, the cheese is melty, and there’s plenty of pepperoni on this homemade pizza. What gives pepperoni its distinctive taste? Put some extras under the cheese! Not me, thanks.

    Pepperoni pizza is a tried-and-true crowd-pleaser at my house since my children like it. In all candor, though, I don’t feed my kids pizza very often. The night I order pizza is my “cheat” night, and I usually have it delivered.

    Therefore, I knew that if I made pizza at home, it had to be better than the kind you get from the store or the local pizza joint. It was missing the essential pepperoni, crust, taste, and maybe a pleasant surprise or two.

    The Finest Pizza Crust

    To begin with, regarding the currency: try not to panic! If you’ve never made pizza at home before, I recommend buying the dough. You can buy pizza dough in the supermarket, or you can get a pound of it at most pizza joints for a few dollars.

    Pepperoni Pizza: How to Make the Perfect Pizza Crust from Scratch

    In the beginning, don’t stress about the money! If you’ve never made pizza at home before, I recommend buying the dough. You can buy pizza dough in the supermarket, or you can get a pound of it at most pizza joints for a few dollars.

    If you’ve never made pizza dough before but are curious in giving it a go, a no-knead recipe is a good place to begin. It’s simple to put together and essentially foolproof.


    There Are Two Ways to Get a Crunchy Crust

    Even though I don’t think this pizza works as a deep dish, Chicago-style pizza, I still have two baking alternatives that I’d suggest. (There are more, but let’s keep things straightforward.)

    When I want a really good crust, I like to use a pizza stone, but it does need a few more tools. A pizza stone and a pizza peel are required (the thing you use to slide the pizza onto the stone). However, with only just two items, you can turn your kitchen into a pizza parlor! Once you get the hang of it, this is a foolproof, stress-free approach. I enjoy how the pizza’s crust may be made extra thin and how its overall shape is less rigid. On a hot stone, a big pizza just needs 12-14 minutes to cook.

    If you don’t have a pizza stone, you may use a big cast-iron pan instead, pressing the pizza dough out and up the sides. While the crust will be thicker than when using a pizza stone, it won’t reach deep dish proportions. Achieve a crispier crust by placing the pan on the burner for two minutes at high heat before moving it to the oven.

    In addition, a very hot oven is essential for a delicious crust.

    In order to make the kind of pizza you get at a brick oven pizzeria, the ovens need to be very hot—much hotter than the average home oven. However, the rule that a hotter oven yields a crispier, more flavorful crust remains unbroken.

    So, if your oven can take it, set it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, or even 550 degrees. Allow the pizza stone to heat up for 20 minutes if you plan on using one.


    Best Pepperoni Pizza: The Top-Secret Ingredient

    Now a days, you can make pizza using just about any pepperoni you find at the supermarket. Small, thinly sliced pepperoni that gets a lovely sear on top is what I go for. Pepperoni slices with a greater thickness provide a meatier, chewier bite. It’s all down to taste!

    When I order a pepperoni pizza, I expect more than the usual number of pepperonis, so it’s disappointing when I only receive five. However, much pepperoni becomes a greasy disaster.

    So, now what? Half of the pepperoni should be chopped and layered beneath the cheese and sauce.

    The pizza now has a fantastic pepperoni taste thanks to this. That’s the “Bonus Pepperoni” layer, by the way!

    How to Reheat Pizza When It’s Been Refrigerated

    Don’t heat up that pizza in the microwave, please! The food is best when eaten cold, then reheated in the microwave. The crust becomes mushy and disgusting in the microwave.

    Cast-iron or comparable skillets work best for reheating pizza. Over medium heat, add a little of oil and then the pizza. Then, for three to four minutes with the lid on, cook the pizza until the cheese has melted and the dough is crisp once more.


    A Dad Supplement: Honey Butter

    I picked this up at a pizza joint in Colorado. (Mutual appreciation to Beau Jos Pizza!) You may dip the dough into the honey butter that comes with your pizza. The honey butter was originally intended for me, but my children quickly became enthusiastic consumers.

    Student Evaluations

    My kids would always eat pizza if I put it in front of them, but it was lovely to show them that homemade pizza is just as good as delivery. It’s true; Dad cooks a mean pie. To test my children’s detective skills, I buried some pepperoni beneath the cheese and asked if they could identify the Bonus Pepperoni on the pizza. (They could, in fact.)

    I had hoped my kids would refuse this dish out of spite, giving me an interesting complication to report on, but alas, they ate it. All pizzas taste the same. Never loses, always wins.


    Even More Yummy Pizza Ideas:

    • Meat-Lovers’ Sheet Pan Pizza Grilled Pizza with Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Onions
    • BBQ Pizza made on a chicken-shaped baking sheet
    • Roasted Cauliflower, Green Spinach, and Artichoke Pizza on a Sheet Pan Baked in a Pizza Sheet

    Ingredients

    • Pizza dough, handmade or store-bought, 16 ounces (This is my preferred no-knead method, but be aware that the dough yields enough for two pizzas.)
    • Just under a cup’s worth of pizza sauce (see below)
    • Between 18 and 20 pepperoni slices
    • Twelve ounces of grated mozzarella cheese
    • A Pinch of Black Pepper, Grounded
    • Oregano, fresh, 1 teaspoon (optional)
    • Baking flour used for molding dough

    When you need a pizza sauce recipe fast:

    • Half a cup of tomato sauce (no salt)
    • Salt, kosher, half a teaspoon
    • A Pinch of Black Pepper, Grounded
    • Garlic granules, 1/2 teaspoon
    • Half a teaspoon of onion powder
    • Pepper flakes equivalent to one-fourth of a teaspoon
    • 1/25th of an olive

    (With a nod to Dad) Honey Butter with an added twist:

    • In a small bowl, soften the butter to the equivalent of a quarter cup.
    • About 2 teaspoons of honey

    Method

    1. Turn on the oven heat:

    Start with a hot oven, preferably 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a pizza stone by heating it for 20 minutes in the oven.

    2. Make the sauce

    Stir the ingredients together if you’re going to use my sauce recipe. Only one big pizza may be made with this sauce recipe. If you need to make more than one pizza, just multiply the ingredients by two.

    3. Spread the flour:

    The dough should be rolled out on a surface that has been gently dusted with flour. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes if rolling is difficult. My preferred crust size for a big pizza is a 14-inch round.

    4. Add the toppings

    Place the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel. Alternately, you may use a big cast-iron skillet.

    Spread sauce evenly over the pizza, stopping short of the dough by approximately 1/4 inch. You should sprinkle the sauce with some of the chopped pepperoni. Sprinkle the remaining pepperoni and grated cheese on top of the pizza. Add some ground black pepper before serving.

    5. Cook the pizza

    The pizza stone should be prepared, and the pizza should be delicately slid onto the stone’s middle. After 6 minutes, flip the pizza 90 degrees to ensure equal cooking. Continue baking for another 6-8 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden color and somewhat burnt.

    Press the dough into a cast-iron pan and top as desired. The crust has to be cooked quickly, therefore preheating the pan over a high heat burner for 2 minutes should do the trick. Place in a preheated oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

    6. Prepare by slicing

    Slide pizza off peel and onto cutting board. Wait a minute, then cut the pizza into slices. Use fresh oregano as a seasoning (optional). While still hot, serve with a salad on the side.

    7. Make the honey butter

    Combine the melted butter and honey and serve it on the side for dipping the pizza dough.

    Keep pizza in the refrigerator for up to three days. Using a strong pan and a sprinkle of oil, reheat the pizza over medium heat. Make the crust crispy and the cheese melty by covering the pan.

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