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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Leave a Reply