My son the meatatarian can eat pepperoni pizza every day. It’s that good. But can you make a pepperoni pizza that rivals the freshness of pizza parlor pizza, and have it on the table in under an hour? Yes. And it’s easy, if you know how.
The secret is dough made with Fleishmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast, which proofs very quickly. The package claims you can have a pizza in 30 minutes, but I’ve found this to be a stretch. By the time you preheat the oven, make the dough, assemble ingredients, make the pizza and bake it, you’re looking at a more realistic 40 minute period – still remarkably fast for homemade.
The results are fantastic. The crust is puffy with a delicious yeasty aroma. And the pepperoni? Well, you know, it’s pepperoni, just the way it’s supposed to be. My kids love it, and so will you. (For more info on the yeast, see Test Driving the new Pizza Crust Yeast.)
Makes one 14” pizza
For the crust:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 package Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast
¾ cup water at 125º
For the toppings:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup pizza sauce (I used Contadina)
6 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
4 ounces of sliced pepperoni
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Preheat oven: Place oven rack in the center of your oven. If you have a pizza stone or quarry tiles, put them on the rack. Preheat oven to 450º.
Make the crust: In a large bowl, mix 1 cup flour with the salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and, using the handle of a wooden spoon, mix until smooth. Mix in ¾ cup more of the flour, scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary and form a ball. Let the dough ball sit for 5 minutes.
If you are using a pizza stone or quarry tiles, you will want a wooden peel or the back of a cookie sheet in order to ‘slip’ the pizza into the oven. Have this handy, and sprinkle with a light coating of flour or semolina.
If you don’t have a stone, coat the bottom of a 14” pizza pan with olive oil and have this handy.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a counter sprinkled with the last ¼ cup of flour. Toward the end of kneading, spread the dough into a pancake shape. Gradually stretch this pancake into a 14” pizza blank, being careful not to put any holes in it. Easy does it! Use a bit more flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to the counter.
When the dough is stretched fully, move it carefully onto the peel or pan.
Top the pizza: Coat the pizza blank with a tablespoon of olive oil, leaving an inch uncoated at the rim. Spread the sauce over the oil, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Top with cheese and then arrange a layer of pepperoni. Finish with a sprinkle of oregano.
Bake the pizza: Lower the oven temperature to 425º. Either slip the pizza onto the pizza stone or quarry tiles, or put the pan into the oven. Bake for 6 minutes, carefully turn the pizza around, and bake for a further 6 minutes until crust is slightly browned and the cheese is bubbling.
Bellissimo! You have made a fine pizza. And if you’d like to, you can keep it to yourself just how easy it was!
A note about quick-rising dough: In much the way that fine wine improves with age, the finest breads and pizzas come from dough that has risen for a long time. A transformation occurs at the molecular level to change the flavors of the sugars; in the same time the proteins mature. The quick rise solution that Pizza Crust Yeast offers is a compromise on that process. For a longer rising dough that develops a full and nutty flavor overnight, see Pizza Time Pizza with Long Rise Dough. Happy baking!