Classic Pepperoni Pizza
Homemade classic pepperoni pizza tastes as good as your favorite pizza place! It’s so good, you’ll be craving it 24/7!
There’s a handful of dinner items that my entire family (even the littles) will eat on any given night. This pepperoni pizza is one of those! They all love it just as much as macaroni and cheese, or corndogs!
Pizza Never Disappoints!
Any time I ask my husband what he’d like for dinner, he always replies “pizza.” I can’t think of a single time that he has turned down the opportunity to order a giant cheese and pepperoni topped pizza. It’s kind of his thing. Pizza & brownies.
So you bet I’ve been trying to master a homemade version… one that tastes just as good but doesn’t break the bank every week. I mean, how in the world can a pizza cost $18?! That’s just mind-blowing craziness right there.
My homemade pizza certainly isn’t as cookie-cutter looking as the ones you get from the chains—it’s more rustic. But you know what? I’m ok with rustic. It’s kind of my thing.
How to Make Pepperoni Pizza
DOUGH. To start, I turned to one of my favorite pizza dough recipes (I have two by the way, the other can be found here). It’s a simple 2 hour recipe but can be done in just under 1 with the “quick-rise” method noted below. I like to use this recipe when I forget to plan ahead…. or decide that we’re having pizza for dinner instead of something much healthier 🙂
ROLL. When your dough has risen, and you’ve got it all divided (the recipe makes enough for three 13″ pizzas or two 15″ pizzas), roll one ball out into a 13″ circle. Place the round onto a lightly greased or floured pizza pan or peel (dust a pre-heated stone if using a peel).
Note: For this recipe, you don’t need to bake the dough first.
SAUCE. Cover the dough with a light layer of olive oil, then spread the sauce over top. We tend to go light on the sauce so our layer is usually pretty thin. Leave about 3/4″ to 1″ of dough around the edges for your crust. It will puff nicely as it bakes.
TOPPINGS. Then top with the grated parmesan and mozzarella. Place your pepperoni slices on top (Boar’s Head is our favorite by the way) and then put the pizza in the oven to bake.
BAKE. You’ll want to bake this pizza for about 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees. The high heat will help the pizza dough rise quickly and form a nice crispy crust. Don’t be afraid of turning your oven up a little more if it will go higher!
GARNISH. Once the crust and cheese gets nice and golden brown, remove it and sprinkle on some crushed red pepper. Wait about 10 minutes and then garnish with fresh basil or oregano.
Tips, Variations, and Storing
Should you cook pepperoni before putting on pizza? Pepperonis come cooked most of the time. So you shouldn’t have to worry about that. They get a great crispy texture while they cook in the oven.
Additions: Pepperoni is a great starter for any loaded pizza. Add more meats like sausage and ham to make it a meat lover, or add some veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms to make it an ultimate pizza.
Cheese: Some people prefer their pepperonis under their cheese and some prefer them on top. Either way works well! Just keep an eye on the cheese to make sure that it browns and doesn’t burn!
The best way to STORE pizza is to stack pizza slices on plates and separate them with pieces of foil or parchment paper and then wrap all of them in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To FREEZE this pizza, you need to prepare it but not bake it. Wrap the pizza between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and freeze laying flat for up to 2 months. Bake as you normally would and remove the pizza from the oven when the cheese is golden and bubbly.
REHEAT baked pizza slices either in the oven or in the microwave. You can place the pizza on a pan or a piece of foil in the oven at 300 degrees until it’s warmed through. Or zap it in the microwave until it’s warmed through.
For more pizza recipes:
Pepperoni Pizza Recipe
For the Pizza Crust
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/4 cup room temperature water
- 2 1/2 tsp active yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cup all purpose flour
For the Pizza Sauce
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp fresh oregano - chopped OR 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fresh basil - chopped OR 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cup mozzarella cheese - grated
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese - finely grated
- 30 slices pepperoni
- 2 tbsp fresh basil - OR oregano leaves
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
For the Pizza Dough
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, add warm water and yeast. Sprinkle sugar over top and allow to sit for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture begins to puff. Add the oil and the room temperature water. Whisk gently to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine salt, flour, and water mixture. When dough begins to form a ball, remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook. With mixing speed on low, knead dough for 2-3 minutes or until a ball begins to form and the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Remove dough from bowl and place in a large well-greased bowl (I prefer using olive oil, but you can also use Pam). Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours. You can also do a "quick-rise" method and stick the bowl in an oven that has been heated to 200 degrees and then TURNED OFF (that way it's nice and warm in there, but please make sure your oven is actually off before sticking the dough inside). Let it rise for 1 hour.
- To deflate dough, punch with fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two or three balls (depending on how big and how many pizzas you want to make… I make 2). Form into pizza shells to fit the size of your pan (or refrigerate the other dough for up to 48 hours. Place on a lightly greased pan (or one that has been dusted with flour or cornmeal).
For the Pizza Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a small bowl. Refrigerate until needed.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush the olive oil over the entire top of the pizza dough. Spread an even layer of pizza sauce over the pizza, leaving about 3/4"-1" of dough around edges for the crust. Top with the grated parmesan cheese, then the mozzarella. Place the pepperoni slices on then bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, allow to cool for 10 minutes before topping with basil or oregano (to prevent discoloration and wilting). Slice and serve immediately.