Perfect-Every-Time Pizza Dough and Pepperoni Pizza

Homemade pizza should be a staple recipe for every cook, and it's really easy to make. Not only that, but it's a great recipe to get friends and family involved. I like making the dough and shaping it into balls ahead of time. You can use them right away or even freeze them for the future. This dough also works for making calzones, dinner rolls and flatbreads.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 10 hr 20 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: two 8- to 10-inch pizzas
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Ingredients

Pizza Dough:

1 cup (235 ml) warm water (100 degrees F [38 degrees C])

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt

3/4 cup (90 g) bread flour or Italian 00 flour

1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour

Pepperoni Pizza:

All-purpose flour or cornmeal, for dusting

1/2 cup (120 ml) Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups (230 g) shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese

16 to 24 slices pepperoni

1/4 cup (25 g) shaved Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons (6 g) dried oregano

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons (7 g) minced garlic

4 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped, optional

Two 28-ounce (784-g) cans diced tomatoes, drained

2 teaspoons (2 g) dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons (8 g) sugar (optional, see Cook's Note)

Directions

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, olive oil and salt until the salt dissolves. Let this mixture rest for about 10 to 20 minutes, until slightly foamy.
  2. Transfer the yeast and water mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer, making sure to scrape all the yeast into the bowl. Add the flours to the mixing bowl. Attach a dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 4 minutes. The mixture will come together into a ball that pulls away from the sides.
  3. Transfer the dough ball to a clean area to knead. Flour the station and knead well for about 2 minutes. Cut the ball in half and shape each into round balls. Place each ball in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in the fridge overnight. This overnight fermentation will give the dough a pleasant sourness. You can do this on the counter in an hour or two, but you won't have the same flavor from a slow rise.
  4. Make the pizza: Place a pizza steel or stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to its highest setting. Let the oven heat up for at least 45 minutes.
  5. Dust the surface of a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet with flour or cornmeal. Stretch one ball of dough out into a 12-inch (30.5-cm) round and place on the peel or baking sheet. Place half the sauce in the center of the stretched dough and spread it out evenly with a spoon. You want to cover all but 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) of the edge.
  6. Drizzle the pizza with a tiny bit of olive oil. Rain half the mozzarella over the pizza. Place half the pepperoni on the pizza in an even pattern. Sprinkle with half the Parmesan and half the dried oregano.
  7. Slide the pizza onto the heated steel or stone in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest for 2 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining dough ball and pizza ingredients to make a second pizza.

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce:

Yield: Makes 4 cups
  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the temperature gets to about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), stir in the garlic and the anchovies and sizzle for about 30 seconds.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Lower the heat if the sauce starts to boil. Stir in the oregano, salt, pepper and sugar, if using, and cook for an additional minute. Remove the sauce from the heat and use immediately or store in airtight containers or even resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Cook’s Note

Baking is precise, but don't let that scare you--precise doesn't mean difficult. The trick is to weigh all your ingredients with a scale. Buy a scale that can weigh in grams. Believe it or not, most chefs like high-quality canned tomatoes over fresh. Canned tomatoes from Italy are picked at the peak of ripeness and are far better than tasteless fresh tomatoes out of season. Buy crushed or chopped Italian canned tomatoes for this dish. If you have to use a domestic canned tomato or tomatoes out of season, add a pinch of sugar to the sauce. Ripe tomatoes have a lot more sweetness and don't need the sugar.

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