CLASSIC PEPPERONI PIZZA
With Renegade Smoky Soppressata
½ Cup Warm Water
1 Teaspoon Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
1 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Salt
Easy Red Sauce:
¾ Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
¼ Teaspoon Salt
3 Ounces Renegade Smoky Salami Soppressata, Thinly Sliced and Divided
6 - 8 Ounces Shredded Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
¼ Cup Fresh Basil
1) Place the warm water, brown sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix lightly to combine and allow about 10 minutes for the yeast to reactivate and become frothy.
2) Incorporate the oil before adding the flour and salt. Mix thoroughly to combine. Use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead for about 10 minutes, or by hand for closer to 15, until the dough is smooth and elastic, but still slightly sticky.
3) Transfer to a clean bowl and lightly grease. Cover, place in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in volume; 1 - 1 ½ hours.
4 Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing together all the ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Get the toppings ready to go and set aside.
5) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease a pizza stone or sheet pan.
6) Once risen, turn the dough out onto your prepared pan. Use your hands to stretch it out towards the edges in an even circle about 14-inches in diameter. If it begins to fight you and starts shrinking back before you reach the full size, let it rest for 15 minutes before giving it a final pull. Leave a thicker ring of dough around the edges to form the crust
7) Bake the pizza on the lower oven rack until it looks dry on top but is not yet fully baked; about 8 - 10 minutes.
8) Remove from the oven and spread the sauce on top, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge clear. Scatter the half of the soppressata over the sauce. Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly on top, and then equally distribute the remaining soppressata on top.
9) Bake on the upper oven rack for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted. Broil on high for a final 5 minutes to get a bit of golden-brown color on the surface.
10) Let cool for just a few minutes before finishing with a light sprinkle of fresh basil, slicing, and serving.
Makes 6 – 8 Servings
To simplify this recipe, start with 16 ounces of prepared pizza dough, available in the deli section of most supermarkets, and use ¾ cup of ready-made pizza sauce. Skip straight to step #5 for assembly and baking.
Leftover pizza can be wrapped in foil and stored in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat slices in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. Cook until the cheese has melted and crust is crispy; about 3 – 5 minutes.