Pepperoni Pizzaz Pizza with “Go-To” Pizza Dough recipe

Although I’ve posted other pizza recipes and other pizza dough recipes, this post includes my “go-to” pizza dough; the one I’ve made for years. We like very thin crust and instead of using pizza sauce (or seasoned tomato sauce), we are fans of pesto. In this case, I’ve mixed tomato paste with pesto and added some chopped dried tomatoes to the mix.

“Go-To” Pizza Dough    Makes 2 to 3 crusts
2 to 3 cups+ all-purpose flour (begin with smaller amount & add more as needed)
2 (¼ oz.) pkg. or scant 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil + extra for oiling bowl for “proofing” dough
1 cup warm water (120 to 130°)
Italian seasoning (about 1 to 2 teaspoons), if desired

1.  Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, salt and sugar in mixing bowl and stir.
2.  Add olive oil and water and mix together ingredients. I use the flat blade of my Kitchen Aid mixer for this task but it can also be done by hand. Add more flour only as needed.
3.  Knead for about 3 minutes. I do this with the dough hook of my mixer but it can be done by hand. I hesitate to say this but if dough is sticky, add just a little more flour; I generally never need more and too much flour will make a dough that won’t roll well!
4.  Round dough up into a bowl and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn dough so the oiled side is up. Cover and let rise in warm place until dough in double in volume—about 30 minutes. At this point I added some Italian seasoning to the dough; I usually add it to the dough as I’m mixing but forgot so just added it at this point.
Dough is ready to cover and place in a warm spot to rise until double in volume.
After 30 minutes, the dough has doubled -- I can tell because when I poked the dough, the imprint from my fingers remained. Note -- you can see that I've sprinkled the dough with Italian seasoning which will be worked in as the dough is rolled out.
5.  Punch down and divide into 2 equal pieces; shape into round ball. HOWEVER, since we prefer thin crust, I weigh out approximate 8 ounce portions – I end up with two 8-oz. portions + have leftover dough for a smaller sized pizza.
6.  Roll out a ball of dough to fit the size of your pizza pan or just create a free form pizza.


This photo shows my preferred pie pans — Perfect Crust Pizza Pans by REMA Bakeware (they have perforations which allows the crust to crisp.
7.  Place dough on pizza pan (or baking sheet) and add sauce and toppings.
8.  Bake on low shelf of oven at 500° for 17 to 20 minutes. I baked our pizzas in our Breville oven on the pizza setting (450°) and since we opt for very thin crust, it bakes in about 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Extra dough that I did not used was rolled out, placed on pizza pan/baking sheet and partially baked at 350° for about 3 to 4 minutes. I then wrapped and froze them for later use; they could be refrigerated, too. When ready to use, treat them exactly like an unbaked crust but you may need to reduce baking time a few minutes.
This is the small amount of dough I had left which I rolled into a free form shape.
After partially baking for about 4 minutes at 350°. 
Pepperoni Pizzaz Pizza – sauce & toppings
¼ cup basil pesto
¼ cup tomato paste
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
Pepperoni – as much as you like
Sliced button mushrooms – 3 or 4
Grated Parmesan cheese
About 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
About ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1.  Mix pesto, tomato paste and chopped dried tomatoes together. Spread on pizza dough.
2.  Arrange pepperoni and mushrooms on pizza.
3.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, parsley and black pepper.
4.  Bake as directed in step #8 above.
Recipes without photos . . .
“Go-To” Pizza Dough    Makes 2 to 3 crusts
2 to 3 cups+ all-purpose flour (begin with smaller amount & add more as needed)
2 (¼ oz.) pkg. or scant 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil + extra for oiling bowl for “proofing” dough
1 cup warm water (120 to 130°)
Italian seasoning (about 1 to 2 teaspoons), if desired

1.  Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, salt and sugar in mixing bowl and stir.
2.  Add olive oil and water and mix together ingredients. I use the flat blade of my Kitchen Aid mixer for this task but it can also be done by hand. Add more flour only as needed.
3.  Knead for about 3 minutes. I do this with the dough hook of my mixer but it can be done by hand. I hesitate to say this but if dough is sticky, add just a little more flour; I generally never need more and too much flour will make a dough that won’t roll well!
4.  Round dough up into a bowl and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn dough so the oiled side is up. Cover and let rise in warm place until dough in double in volume—about 30 minutes. At this point I added some Italian seasoning to the dough; I usually add it to the dough as I’m mixing but forgot so just added it at this point.
5.  Punch down and divide into 2 equal pieces; shape into round ball. HOWEVER, since we prefer thin crust, I weigh out approximate 8 ounce portions – I end up with two    8-oz. portions + have leftover dough for a smaller sized pizza.
6.  Roll out a ball of dough to fit the size of your pizza pan or just create a free form pizza.
7.  Place on pizza pan (or baking sheet) and add sauce and toppings.
8.  Bake on low shelf of oven at 500° for 17 to 20 minutes. I baked our pizzas in our Breville oven on the pizza setting (450°) and since we opt for very thin crust, it bakes in about 12 to 15 minutes.
Note: Extra dough that I did not used was rolled out, placed on pizza pan/baking sheet and partially baked at 350° for about 3 to 4 minutes. I then wrapped and froze them for later use; they could be refrigerated, too. When ready to use, treat them exactly like an unbaked crust but you may need to reduce baking time a few minutes.

Pepperoni Pizzaz Pizza – sauce & toppings
¼ cup basil pesto
¼ cup tomato paste
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
Pepperoni – as much as you like
Sliced button mushrooms – 3 or 4
Grated Parmesan cheese
About 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
About ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1.  Mix pesto, tomato paste and chopped dried tomatoes together. Spread on pizza dough.
2.  Arrange pepperoni and mushrooms on pizza.
3.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, parsley and black pepper.
4.  Bake as directed in step #8 above.

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