Before you close your browser, hear me out: this isn’t a boring pepperoni pizza recipe. This recipe is more about the technique behind making a great pizza like what you would get at a pizzeria and how to achieve that at home. It’s THE go-to pizza technique and recipe we use all the time. I absolutely love it and this is why I want to share it with you all today, and maybe save you a few bucks from ordering pizza :)
Jason and I adore this one pizza shop near our house. I’ve always tried to mimic how pizzerias make their pizzas but have never had great success. The dough is the trickiest for me. I don’t like my dough to be thick yet I don’t like thin crust either. I like my dough to be in between thick and thin. Thin enough where it isn’t paper-thin and thick enough where there’s still a bit of fluff to bite into. I have been looking high and low for the best pizza dough recipe, I even tried making my own, but every time, the dough would come out to be really poofy and thick. I then saw this thin crust recipe on Annie’s Eats site and of course, it was from Cook’s Illustrated and you KNOW you can’t go wrong with a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.
The process of making this dough is what makes it thin: the chilling process and the COLD ingredients that you must use to make with it. It also does take a bit of planning as you chill this for 24 hours – 3 days, but it makes enough dough for two pizzas so you can always freeze one for later :)
The other process of getting this crust to have that CRISPY CRUNCH is the baking stone. I swear by my baking stone. I love pizza crusts that have that crispy edge just like the pizzerias. I never knew how to achieve that until I read that baking stones were essential for that. Well, they really are!! They aren’t expensive and they last forever, so it’s a great investment if you eat as much pizza as we do, and not only that, baking breads on it is wonderful too cause you get that crunch crust on the bottom.
The last and final tidbit: use whole-milk mozzarella. It will change your life. I won’t make casseroles or pizzas without whole milk cheeses now. It really does make a difference. It’s not as great for you, but I’m not telling you to eat it every day. It just makes your dish so much cheesier and more gooey and PERFECT. I love how it melts because it’s whole milk aka lots of fat :) hehe YUM! Not all delicious things are healthy for ya! Gotta indulge every now and then :)
Anyway, I hope these tips help you achieve that pizzeria crust you’ve been looking for. Try it at home and I promise you that you’ll eat more pizza at home than you do with to go soon!
Pizzeria Style Pepperoni Pizza
For the crust:
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
For the topping:
- 1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
- 2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
- slices Pepperoni
- To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to combine.
- With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and process until the dough is combined everything is incorporated, about 10 seconds. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Add the salt and vegetable oil and process until the dough forms a smooth, tacky ball that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 1 minute on a lightly oiled or floured work surface then transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 3 days. (AFTER the refrigeration process, the dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag, and frozen for later use.)
- hour before making the pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the 2nd highest position. Place your baking stone on top.
- Remove the pizza dough from the fridge and divide in half. If you plan on freezing the other half of your dough for later use, this is the time to do it.
- Form your dough into ball and lightly oil it. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- Transfer your dough to a floured work space and flatten to an 8-inch disc. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough to a 12-inch circle. You may need your rolling pin at this time to help you get the crust thin.
- Take the cornmeal and spread it over a pizza peel then place your pizza dough on top. Gently stretch it to 13-inches. Start layering your toppings, leaving a 1-inch border from the edge: marinara sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni.
- Carefully transfer the pizza onto the pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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