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Classic Pepperoni and Its Variations – Make Pizza Like a Pro

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Traditional recipe for pepperoni pizza
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I had the opportunity to learn how to make it right from where it all began. In this guide, I’ll cover the traditional recipe while also introducing some variations that add an exciting twist to the classic flavor.

Let’s Start with the Classic


Ingredients for Pepperoni Pizza

  • Pizza Dough: Choose between making your own or using a ready-made base. I recommend the first one. You will hardly find a store-bought dough that’s really good.
  • Tomato Sauce: Simple mix of crushed tomatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian herbs like basil and oregano.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Freshly grated. Add as much as you won’t. That’s the best part about Pepperoni pizza, there can’t be too much cheese on it.
  • Pepperoni: Use thinly sliced pepperoni. The best solution is to ask people in the store to slice it as thin as they can.
  • Olive Oil: For brushing the dough.


Pepperoni pizza - Instructions for preparing

  1. Prepare the Dough: If making from scratch, mix the flour, water, yeast, and salt. Knead until smooth. Let it rise until doubles in size. And you should know that this is a bare minimum. A lot of people are making the same mistake where they are forcing the process. Don’t force it, prepare the dough a day before, and let it ferment in the fridge. Trust me, you will be amazed by the results.
  2. Preheat the Oven: Set the oven to a high temperature, ideally around 475°F (245°C), to ensure a crispy crust.
  3. Shape the Dough: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to your desired thickness and size. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t go under 1/4″. A dough thinner than this will likely collapse when you add all the ingredients. But too thick should never be an option as well. So just make sure it is somewhere in between 1/4″ and 3/8″.
  4. Add the Sauce and Toppings: Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, followed by slices of pepperoni. And that’s it. You are making pepperoni pizza, so these are the ingredients. Do not experiment by adding more to it, it would be a mistake.
  5. Baking: Place the pizza in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

If you have a stone oven, the process will take only a few minutes.

And Now the Varieties (That are Allowed!)

Varieties of Pepperoni Pizza

I will once again repeat that some things are good in their classic form, without any need for playing around with more toppings. But there are some variations you can add to Pepperoni Pizza to follow your specific preferences.

  • Spicy Pepperoni Pizza: Just toss some hot peppers or a sprinkle of chili flakes onto the usual pepperoni setup for that extra flavor.
  • Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza: A straightforward mix of pepperoni and sliced mushrooms. It’s simple, tasty, and really hits the spot.
  • Double Cheese Pepperoni Pizza: Here we go with the cheese. While mozzarella is a standard, you can combine it with provolone. I really like this combination.
  • Pepperoni and Vegetable Pizza: Throw on some bell peppers, onions, or a handful of olives, and suddenly there’s a fresh twist. Bell Peppers are not my favorite, but I will allow it since they are light and can bring a lot to pizza, especially for those who want to make it richer and healthier.

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