Sicilian Pepperoni Pizza


You know what I love best about fall?  That the temperature and awful humidity drop down and make turning my oven on bearable again. 

I have tested this recipe over and over and over some more.  I wanted that thick crust to be bursting with flavor and be able to hold up to the toppings.  I wanted it to not flop around or get soggy. 

I took my great-grandmother’s pizza dough recipe and tweaked it until I got this perfection you see before you. 

This is just the basic pepperoni version.  Once you master this, you can put anything you want on a Sicilian pizza.  The best part is that the crust is so hearty, it can take anything you throw at it.  So get creative! 

Sicilian Pepperoni Pizza



Ingredients:

FOR DOUGH:
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil – for jelly roll pan

FOR SAUCE:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 nice sprigs of fresh basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes

FOR TOPPINGS:
1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced by the deli
1 stick of pepperoni sliced thin
parmigiano reggiano, grated

Method:

Mix the water, sugar, 2 TBSP olive oil and yeast in a bowl and let it sit until the yeast foams up, about 5-10 minutes.  In a separate bowl, add the flour and salt and mix together.  In a stand mixer with the dough hook, add the liquid to the bowl and mix on low while gradually adding the flour until it forms a fine dough.  Not sticky, and not crumbly.  Knead the dough with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.  Place on a floured surface, form into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap.  Put in a warm place to rise for about 2-3 hours.  DON’T TOUCH IT – just let it do its thing. 

When the dough has risen, spread the ¼ cup of olive oil over the bottom of a large jelly roll pan.  Place the dough in the pan and gently spread it out with your fingers to cover most of the pan before wrapping the top in plastic wrap and letting it sit while you make the sauce.  (This process is called proofing and you will see it rise again – this is perfectly ok)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add red pepper flakes to toast for a minute or two.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Crush the tomatoes with your hands and place into the pan with salt, pepper and fresh basil.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Taste for seasoning. 

Puree the sauce in a food processor or blender after it has cooled for 10 minutes.

Take the plastic off of the pizza dough and make sure it is still spread out evenly to cover the entire pan.  Place the sauce in spoonfuls over the dough coming about 1 inch from the edge.  You will probably have sauce leftover – this is ok – freeze it for later!

Put the entire pound of sliced mozzarella all over the sauce and then top with pepperoni, and some more chopped basil. 

Bake on the bottom rack for about 10-15 minutes until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and crispy.  Just because the top may look done doesn’t mean the bottom is!  An undercooked pizza is NOBODY’S friend. 



*           To get the perfect temperature, I turn the tap to a medium hot temperature.  I place the underside of my wrist under the water.  If it burns me, the water is way too hot and needs to come down.  If it is colder or the same temperature as my own skin, I need to increase the heat.  This is a great method to always make sure you have the perfect water temp.  Use your own body! 



As always, get your asses in the kitchen!!

Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”.

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below. 

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