In an effort to make my classic Italian pizza crispier, I have slightly adjusted my recipe both in the type of flour as well as the ingredients ratio.
Of course, same issues remain, where conventional home ovens can only reach about 250 degrees C meaning that we can’t have the ‘flash’ baking found in professional wood ovens that reach 500 degrees C. As said in a previous recipe to overcome this problem instead of using the typical clay dish I use instead a cast iron plate that I put in the oven for about 40 minutes prior to baking and as a result the plate reaches temperatures of almost 300 degrees C. This helps in having a crispier base.
Once again, I choose spicy sausage as a topping which I really enjoy!
Rustic Pizza Pepperoni
For the Pizza:
- Preheat the oven to Max degrees C, air circulation and elements and place the cast iron skillet to the top rack.
- Make sure your food processor can handle the above quantities and if yes pit the dough attachment. Put in the bowl of the food processor the flour, sugar and the salt and pulse couple of times. Then add the yeast and pulse couple more times.
- Mix in a bowl the water and the oil and add it to the food processor bowl where the dry ingredients have been mixed. Turn on the food-processor until well kneaded and until a nice silky ball of dough has been formed.
- On a clean table put some flour and place the dough and divide to 5-6 parts/balls.
- Pull down the sides of each ball and tuck it at the bottom repeating this process for each ball 3-5 times and then roll each ball with your palm for a smoother result.
- Lightly oil each ball and place them in a dish, cover with a dump cloth and keep it in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. At the end the dough will easily stretch when pulled. At this point you can add each ball in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate them to be used in the following 3-4 days at which time you take them out of the refrigerator and place again in a flat dish for 90 minutes to come to room temperature.
- To make each pizza take a dough ball, dust it well with flour and put on a lightly flour dusted surface to stretch it. Start by pressing in the center and working towards the outside gradually spreading it out, rotating the dough as you work your way around to create a disk, with the outer ring pressed with the fingers to create a slightly thicker rim (cornicione, as the Italians call it). Lift the disk from the surface and begin to gently stretch it. When the dough is ready for toppings, it should be about 2-3 mm thick and roughly 25 cm in diameter.
- Carefully take the pizza dough, dust a pizza paddle (also called a baker’s peel) with flour or semolina and slip it under the pizza.
- Start building your pizza, with circular movements using the back side of a spoon apply the sauce until the beginning of the outer rim. Add the mozzarella in small chunks cut by pinching the mozzarella and lightly drizzle with oil. Add the pepperoni and always remember not to overcrowd your pizza. Finally add 4-5 basil leaves.
- Go back to the oven and make sure that temperatures have been achieved. (use an oven probe thermometer or a laser gun thermometer). Change the heat mode to only air circulation and take the pizza paddle with the pizza on (carefully moving it left and right so as not to stick) and slide the pizza onto the cast iron plate and bake until the pizza crust is nicely browned, 4-5 minutes.
- Use the pizza paddle to slide the pizza out of the oven and onto a cutting board. Use a pizza cutter or a big sharp chefs’ knife to cut the pizza into slices and serve immediately.