Spicy Pepperoni Pizza
This pizza really hits the spot when you want a classic with a bit of a twist. The smoked mozzarella adds a ton of flavor and compliments the pickled peppers really well. If you can’t find smoked mozzarella at the grocery store, you can easily sub for regular low-moisture mozzarella. Smoked gouda would work great too.
The pickled peppers make a bit more than what you’ll need for the pizza, but keep them in a jar in the fridge and use them on everything.
For the pickled peppers:
- 2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (seeds removed, if desired)
- 2 fresno chiles, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup vinegar (white wine, apple cider, or red wine vinegars all work well)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the pizza:
- 8-10 oz pizza dough
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup freshly shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- 2 oz pepperoni, sliced moderately thin
- 1-2 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Handful (or more) of pickled peppers
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan
- Place the sliced peppers in a small bowl or jar. In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the liquid over the peppers and let cool to room temperature, approximately 1 hour. You can move to the next step and preheat the oven while the peppers are cooling.
- Preheat your oven, with a pizza stone on the lowest rack, to the highest setting (typically 500 degrees) for at least an hour. Alternatively, preheat your pizza oven to 700 degrees.
- Bring the pizza dough out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before you’re ready to stretch it out. Let it rest on a floured countertop (or cutting board) under a dish towel to keep it from drying out.
- When you’re ready to make the pizza, stretch out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10-12 inch round, allowing the dough to rest for a few minutes if it springs back. *Optional: I prefer to place the dough on parchment paper and then trim the excess paper off around the dough – I think it’s easier to handle than cornmeal on the pizza peel.
- Top the dough with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-inch border for the crust. Scatter the shredded smoked mozzarella evenly over the pizza, followed by the fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, garlic, red onion, and pickled peppers.
- Using a pizza peel or cookie sheet, transfer the pizza to the oven. For a standard oven at 500 degrees, the pizza will likely take 12-13 minutes. For a pizza oven at 700 degrees, it’ll take 5-6 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees halfway through so that the crust browns evenly.
- Remove from oven and set the pizza on a cooling rack set on the counter. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the pizza. Let it cool for a few minutes, and then cut and enjoy.