Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Pizza, Let Me Show You It

Ok, ok, ok, here's the pepperoni pizza recipe. If it sucks, don't blame me. As a writer, I am given to hyperbole now and again.

Here's the ingredients that we use. Obviously you'll have to adjust things accordingly based on what you can get where you are.

1 pizza dough from Publix, thawed if previously frozen and taken out of the fridge for 2.5 hours
Classico tomato and basil pasta sauce
Kroger pizza cheese (This one is very important. Mozzarella isn't flavorful enough, so this cheese is a blend of five cheeses including mozzarella, parmesan, reggiano and other ones that I can't remember. Very important.)
Crushed red pepper
Boar's Head sliced pepperoni (This one is the second most important. For us, this pepperoni is over by the deli counter, not with the sausage and other pork products. Look for it and pay the extra. It's well worth it.)

1.) Preheat your oven to 450. Because we make two pizzas at a time, we have the racks positioned so one is a bit higher in the oven and one is lower. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we'd do the same thing for one pizza so that at the end you can put the top of the pizza closer to the top heat source, thereby browning it nicely. Obviously, your oven will be different so position things accordingly.
2.) Roll out your dough for a 16 inch pizza pan. If you have a pan with a slight lip, use it. This will make the crust's edge a bit thicker, and thereby tastier. You don't need something as deep as a deep dish pan, maybe a lip of like half an inch.
3.) Once the dough is rolled out, spray your pizza pan with cooking spray and place the dough on the pan.
4.) When the oven is ready, poke the dough all over with a fork. This will keep large air bubbles from forming when the crust is baking.
5.) If you're only using one oven rack position, bake the crust for 8 minutes. If using two, bake it on the bottom rack for 4 minutes, and then the top for another 4 minutes.
6.) Remove the crust from the oven after 8 minutes. Spoon the sauce on the crust one to two spoonfuls at a time. I use a soup spoon, as in a spoon for eating soup, not one for stirring or making soup. It's very important that you just get the sauce, no tomato chunks. Use the spoon to smooth the sauce all over the crust. You don't want to over do the sauce. A little goes a long way. When you're done, the crust should look like it was painted with a light coating of sauce, not completely covered with it. Obviously you can put on as much or as little sauce as you want, but this is the way I do it and it's been working pretty well. It ends up being about 3 - 4 spoonfuls of sauce. Spread the sauce so that it comes up to about an inch from the edge of the crust.
7.) Cover the entire crust with cheese. I use almost an entire 2 cup bag, however you can put on as much as you want. Make sure you evenly coat the crust.
8.) Sprinkle a liberal coating of crushed red pepper over the cheese. Spice that bitch up. Trust me.
9.) Put your pepperonin on the cheese so that the pepperoni doesn't overlap, but instead touches edge to edge. Working from the outer edge of the sauce inwards, you should be able to get 3 - 4 rings of pepperoni, depending on the size of the pan, with a slice in the middle.
10.) Take another handful of cheese and sprinkle it all over the pepperoni. This may not sound important but it is very important. As the pizza cooks, the pepperoni will lose some grease. The cheese will melt and mix with the grease, so that when you brown up the top, it makes a really tasty mini-crust.
11.) Throw the pizza back in the oven for 10 minutes. 5 on the bottom rack and 5 on the top if you're going the dual rack way.
12.) After ten minutes take a look at the pizza, you want the top to be bubbling slightly with a slightly brown color. You don't want the cheese to burn, but you don't want it whitish either. You should hear the pepperoni sizzling slightly. If you're going with one rack position, take the pizza out, raise the rack, and put the pizza back in with the oven light on so that you can watch the pizza until it's ready.
13.) Take the pizza out, slice it up and enjoy. Be sure to have plenty of beverages on hand because between the pepperoni and the pepper, you'll need something to drink.

So there you have it. Enjoy! Maybe later I'll share my spinach, bacon and monterey jack pizza recipe. That one isn't a bad little pie either.


Bones said...

I know what I'll be doing this weekend. Thanks for posting this Bink.

Brandon said...

Any time, Busta Rhyme!

Happy to do it.

Booster MPS said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, awesome.