Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza

Rating: 5.00
(1)
By Dave
April 17, 2021
Yum

A loaded pepperoni pizza on a Neapolitan style crust cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Pizza is just one of those comfort foods that makes everyone feel good. For me, pepperoni pizza is the king of pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I make all kinds of pizza and several recipes can be found below. Pepperoni pizza is just my hands-down favorite.

Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza
Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza Dough

There are two pizza dough recipes on this site. One is for pizza made in a wood-fired oven and the other is for pizza made in a conventional oven. Both require overnight fermentation so plan accordingly. The difference between the two is the amount of water in the dough. Because a wood-fired oven cooks a pizza at 900˚F in 90 seconds, it needs less water in the dough. If one uses the conventional oven dough with more water in a wood-fired oven, it will make a huge mess. The bottom of the dough will not dry out enough by the time the top has cooked and it will tear when trying to remove it from the oven.

Pizza Dough

Both pizza dough recipes are from the 24-48 Hour Pizza Dough recipe in the book “The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home” by Ken Forkish. It’s an outstanding book. If you love pizza, this is a must own.

This is a true Neopolitan pizza dough from Naples. I have tried every dough recipe in the book and like this one the best, it’s easy and hard to mess up. Form the dough into a disc by first gently pressing with your finger tips from the inside out. Then, hold it vertically and gently stretch the rim while letting gravity work and expand the pizza dough.

Hold the Flattened Pizza Dough Vertically and Stretch the Rim

The Sauce

The pizza sauce is simple and fantastic. It is made from whole canned San Marzano tomatoes and a little sea salt, that’s it. If you have extra, doctor it up and make pasta sauce.

The Cheese

Most of my pizzas are made with a blend of four cheeses. This pizza is made with 50% low-fat mozzarella, 25% asiago and 25% fontina. Then a bit of parmesan or pecorino romano is added at the end. Mozzarella is, of course, on practically every pizza made. The asiago adds a little bit of a nutty flavor and the fontina is just creamy and good.

The Pepperoni

There are two things to know about pepperoni. First, most store-bought pepperoni is too thin to make pizza and will just curl up and die in a wood-fired oven. Second, pepperoni is greasy and you have to plan on doing a little cleanup before serving.

I solved the first problem by buying a pepperoni log rather that sliced pepperoni. It gets sliced on my meat slicer nice and thick. I want the pepperoni to cook on the edges and curl a bit, but nothing more. Thick pepperoni is the ticket, cut it on a meat slicer for consistent slices.

Slice the Pepperoni Nice and Thick
Slice the Pepperoni Nice and Thick

Love at 900˚F

A wood-fired oven will cook a pizza in 90 seconds. With the coals pushed to the back of the oven, the part of the floor closest to the burning logs will be about to 950˚F. The area 20″ from the logs may be only 750˚F. Place the pizza about 6″ from the logs. Then, using a small metallic pizza peal, rotate the pizza 1/4 turn every 20 seconds. This will cook FAST, there is NO time to go get a beer. After a full rotation check the bottom and the edge of the pizza. If there is an area on the edge that needs a little more heat, put it back in with that area closest to the fire 10 seconds at a time until done. The bottom of the crust should show some small dark areas particularly near the edge.

Ready for the Wood-Fired Oven
Ready for the Wood-Fired Oven

If using a conventional oven, place a pizza stone in the middle of the oven and set the oven to its highest setting, probably 500˚F. Let it warm up for about 30 minutes. Thick pizza stones (about 1/2″ thick) seem to hold heat better and cook more evenly. Place the pizza in the center of the stone and cook for 6 – 10 minutes, depending on your oven. There is no need to turn a pizza cooked in a conventional oven.

Remove the pizza from the oven and let it setup for a few minutes before slicing. In the meantime, gently lay a sheet of paper towel across the pepperoni and blot up as much grease as possible. Then, cut, serve and enjoy.

Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza Ready to Serve
Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza Ready to Serve

Try These Recipes

Watch How to Make Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza on YouTube

Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza

Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza

5 from 1 vote
A loaded pepperoni pizza on a Neapolitan style crust cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Both pizza dough recipes are from the 24-48 Hour Pizza Dough recipe in the book "The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home" by Ken Forkish.
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Resting Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 32 mins

Equipment

  • Pizza stone or Pizza oven

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ball pizza dough
  • 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes (whole)
  • 1.5 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan or Pecorino Romano grated
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella freshly grated
  • 3 oz pepperoni sliced

Instructions
 

  • See separate recipe for making the pizza dough. NOTE: There are TWO pizza dough recipes on this site. One for a wood-fired oven and one for a conventional oven. If you are baking this on a pizza stone in a conventional oven, then pre-bake the pizza dough, after it has been shaped, for two to three minutes.
    Pizza Dough Ready to Go
  • Add the San Marzano tomatoes and juices to a blender with fine sea salt. Pulse several times until the tomatoes break up and form a purée.
  • Form the dough into a 12" round pizza (see pizza dough recipe). Brush the prepared pizza dough a good olive oil making sure to cover the crust. Spread a scant 1/4 of the sauce on top of the olive oil to within 3/4" of the edge.
    Spread Extra Virgin Olive Oil Edge to Edge
  • Sprinkle the Parmesan or Pecorino Romano on top of the sauce. Spread the mozzarella cheese on top.
    Add the Cheese and Spices
  • Liberally apply pepperoni on top of the cheese.
    Load it Up with Pepperoni
  • Bake for 90 seconds or so in a 900 degree wood-fired pizza oven, turning every 20 seconds (a bit longer on a pizza stone in a convention oven). Remove when the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown.
    Turn the Pizza Every 20 Seconds
  • Let the pizza rest a few minutes to setup.
    Wood-Fired Pepperoni Pizza Ready to Serve

Video

Notes

This is one of my family’s go-to pizzas in my house.  Cut the pepperoni thick to prevent it from curling and burning.  Blot up any grease from the pepperoni with a paper towel before serving.
If you like this, try the Mushroom and Goat Cheese pizza with basil and truffle oil:
https://austin-eats.com/2021/04/18/mushroom-and-goat-cheese-pizza-with-fresh-basil/
or try the Margherita pizza with buffalo mozzarella:
https://austin-eats.com/2021/04/19/margherita-pizza-with-buffalo-mozzarella/
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Nutrition

Serving: 8ozCalories: 621kcalCarbohydrates: 99gProtein: 22gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1920mgPotassium: 297mgFiber: 4gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 203IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 126mgIron: 7mg
Calories: 621kcal
Cost: $6
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian, neapolitan, pepperoni, Pizza, san marzano

Join the Conversation

  1. Something which I really enjoyed thank yous so much for putting up this post I have bookmarked this article by you so that I try it on Sunday. I have also shared this recipe with my sister because she wanted a guide to homemade pizza thank you so much for the article.

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