Throwing a pizza party is twice as much fun when you have your own recipe for pepperoni pizza.
How Pizza Saved the World
It is a widely held belief that the pizza is the most important invention of mankind after, of course, beer, which as we all know, is the cornerstone of civilization. Sure many people claim that the wheel is the most important invention of mankind, but let's look at the facts:
- Pizza is round, so is the wheel. So the wheel's shape isn't even original.
- The wheel is useful, but not as tasty as pepperoni pizza when served with beer.
- Many people (who are me) believe that the wheel was created to facilitate faster pizza and beer delivery.
When we consider these almost entirely made up facts, we see that pizza is much more important than the wheel. One last test: Call up some friends and tell them that you are having a party and you will be making homemade wheels. Now call some more people and tell them that you are having a party and will be making some homemade pizza. I think you will find more people will be excited about eating pizza than wheels.
A Perfect Pizza in Three Parts
When we think of pizza, and I often do, we notice that pizza is really made of three separate but equal parts...kind of like our government but, unlike our government, pizza is covered with tasty cheese.
When we break down a pizza, we notice that it has a crust, a sauce, and toppings. In order to create your own recipe for pepperoni pizza, you will have to get yourself all of these parts.
First, Let's Look at the Crust
You can get your pizza dough by buying it from your local pizzeria, buying a pre-made crust from the supermarket, or, if you are so inclined, you can make your own from scratch. I like to use a potato foccacia recipe for my pizza dough. The added starch of the potatoes gives the pizza a thicker, stronger crust.
In order to make your own pizza dough from scratch, you will need:
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast
- 14 ounces water
- 1 pound mashed potato (bake a large potato and then let it cool. Mash it up)
- 1/2 ounce salt
- 2 1/2 pounds bread flour (you may not need all of the flour)
- Dissolve the yeast in the water.
- Add the potato and about half of the bread flour.
- Add the salt and slowly add the rest of the flour until the dough reaches a smooth and workable consistency.
- Turn the dough out onto your table and knead it for about 9 minutes until it is smooth and soft to the touch.
- Cover the dough and let it rest until it is doubles in size. You may want to place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or just let it rest on your table covered with a damp kitchen towel.
- Once the dough is doubled in size, punch it down and cut it into two equal sized parts.
- Roll out into round pizza shapes about eight inches across.
- Brush the pizza with olive oil.
Now You are Ready for the Sauce
Any tomato sauce that you like will work on your pizza, but traditionally pizza sauce is a bit sweeter than the tomato sauce that you would use on your pasta, so you may want to add a little sugar to the sauce. What you are looking for here is a smooth sauce. If you have left over marinara, you can run it through your food processor or your blender. You don't want your pizza sauce to have chunks of stuff in it because you don't want your toppings to have to compete with your sauce. Jarred sauce will do fine or if you have the time you can make your sauce before hand. If you are making your pizza in a party situation, then make the sauce the night before.
Recipe For Pepperoni Pizza
Now that you have the crust and the sauce, the rest is up to you. Mozzarella cheese is mandatory because it melts well without burning and gives you the stringy cheesy experience that makes eating pizza fun. It would be most helpful if you had a bread stone to bake your pizza on or for best results a wood burning pizza oven, but if you do not have these things you can bake it right on your sheet pan or cookie sheet in your standard oven. For a true pepperoni pizza, you will need to top the sauce with mozzarella then some pepperoni (of course) and then whatever pleases you most. I like anchovies, but that's just me.
Bake your pizza in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until done. You will know it is done when the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly and the crust has risen.