Pepperoni & Extra Cheese Pizza

The traditional pizza – fresh sliced pepperoni and lots of fresh shredded cheese.

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Mmmmmm….. Pizza!  I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t like pizza, except my daughter – who insists that she only likes MY pizza.  And she’s not picky about which one of my pizza’s she likes, she only likes mom’s pizza.  Honestly though, what isn’t there to love about a great pizza… hot melty cheese, great sauce and toppings galore!

I’m a deluxe pizza kinda girl… If I’m going to eat something that can be upwards of 400 calories a slice, I gotta at least have SOMETHING healthy on the pizza, those things cancel out all the greasy meats and cheeses right?!  So load me up with peppers and onions and mushrooms and I’m in pizza heaven… But, there’s something to say about a good ole pepperoni and extra cheese pizza, it’s just about the best comfort food there is (besides all the other comfort foods I love so much!)

One gets sick of ordering pizza though, or just plain tired of always having the same thing from the same place.  So when we want a really great pizza and my kid will be home for dinner, I’ll whip this baby up.  Now this pizza isn’t fast to make, give yourself a good two and half hours from start to finish, most of that is just spent waiting for the dough to rise and sauce to thicken so you can take a jog or clean house while waiting… or have a glass of wine!  Wine and pizza go great together 🙂

Pepperoni & Extra Cheese Pizza

For the Pizza Dough:

  • ¼ cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 ⅛ tsp. instant yeast
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. water, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. Canola oil (or Olive)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt

For the Pizza Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. instant garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Toppings:

  • 4 oz. of shredded provolone cheese
  • 4 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz. sliced pepperoni
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter + ¼ tsp. garlic powder

Make the dough:

  1. In liquid measuring cup, measure out the 110 degree water and sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to mix.  Let the yeast sit for about 5 minutes, until it begins to foam.
  2. In a food processor combine bread flour and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. In the same liquid measuring cup as your water & yeast, add the remaining water and the oil, stir to combine.
  4. With your food processor on high, slowly pour the liquid into the flour/salt and mix until combined and begins to form a sticky ball.
  5. On a flour dusted work surface, remove the dough and kneed for a minute until the dough is no longer sticky and forms a nice cohesive ball.
  6. Grease or spray with non-stick spray a large bowl and place your dough ball in to rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 hours.

Make the sauce:

  1. While your dough is rising, add all the sauce ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced by almost half, whisking often.
  3. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.

Assemble the pizza:

  1. About an hour and fifteen minutes into your dough rising, turn your oven onto 500 degrees.  Once preheated, let the oven stay on at 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes before baking the pizza.
  2. At hour 2, remove the plastic wrap from the dough and punch it to deflate.
  3. Let the dough set for another 10 minutes, uncovered, then kneed it a few times in the bowl.
  4. Place the dough onto a 14″ pizza pan or pizza stone.  Starting from the center, use the heal of your hand to press the dough out to the edges evenly.  Leave a little lip at the edge for your crust.
  5. Top the dough with 3/4 to 1 cup of pizza sauce and spread to the lipped edge.
  6. Top with pepperoni and cheese.
  7. Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes, until the top gets bubbly and starts to form dark spots.
  8. While pizza is baking, melt the butter and stir in garlic powder.
  9. Remove pizza, brush crust and top with the melted butter/garlic powder and slice.
  10. After slicing, let the pizza rest 3-5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you don’t have a food processor, combine the dough ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.  Remove to a floured work surface and kneed for 3-5 minutes until no longer sticky and forms a nice stretchy ball.  Let set for 2 hours as instructed.
  • This sauce a little on the sweet side, just how we like it, but if you prefer it less sweet, eliminate the brown sugar or cut it in half.
  • This also makes more sauce than you’ll need for 1 pizza, so you can refrigerate the rest for up to 1 week or freeze for 2 months.
  • I prefer and recommend using chunk cheese over bagged cheese.  It melts so much better!  You can shred it by hand or use your shredding attachment on the food processor.  If you want, slice it up into thin slices and place on the pizza too.
  • I also do the same for my pepperoni.  I buy it in a large stick and slice it up in my food processor (or do this by hand).  To eliminate some of the grease in the pepperoni, place them on a paper towel lined plate and microwave for 30 seconds, then blot with extra paper towel!

Prep Time – 5 minutes     Servings – 8 slices     Total Time – 2.5 hours

Estimated Calories per Serving, based on one slice – 380.

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