Pepperoni Pizza

That handsome young man is my son Raymond; he is an excellent pizza maker as well as a good cake maker/decorator. This particular pizza was an absolute masterpiece! The toppings are endless but sometimes there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned pepperoni pizza!

Crust for two pizzas:
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 t instant yeast
2 c unbleached flour
3/4 white whole wheat flour
2-3 T vital wheat gluten (available from King Arthur or Whole Foods)
1 1/2 t salt
2 T olive oil

In the bowl of a kitchen-aid mixer, mix all the dry ingredients together; using the dough hook, add the water and oil. You may need to add more water- this is the tricky part. It should be moist and tacky but not too sticky; you don’t want it to be too dry or the crust will be tough. Knead for 10 minutes with the kitchen-aid. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise on the counter until puffy puffy puffy. Don’t rush this part; depending upon the ambient temperature, this could take an hour or it could take 3. If the dough has risen and you are not yet ready to use it, just punch it down and let it start over again.

For each pizza:
pepperoni (as much as you like)
about 1/4 cup marinara sauce
8 oz. mozzarella, shredded (from a package, not the fancy fresh stuff)

Preheat oven to 500ยบ preferably with a pizza stone in there for about 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into two rounds and roll it out fairly thin (about 15″ in diameter or so); carefully put the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and set on an unrimmed baking sheet or wooden pizza peel; spread the marinara over the top of the dough and then put on the cheese and pepperoni. Raymond likes to put the pepperoni on top and then fold the edges in to create a rim so that the fillings don’t leak out.  It’s a lovely sight because it looks almost like a deep dish pizza. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is crispy (it may take longer depending upon how thin your crust is rolled out and the proportion of toppings). If you don’t have a pizza stone, I suppose you have to bake it on the baking sheet on the lowest rack.

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