I have to be honest… I don’t believe in bad pizza. It doesn’t exist. Where there is bread and melted cheese, sometimes sausage and olive, sometimes pepperoni and pineapple… there is some dang good pizza.
Frozen, warmed-over, school-lunch, cold from the fridge, so hot all the cheese slides off, any which way… it’s pizza and it’s delicious.
I have high standards when it comes to wine and chocolate chip cookies. Low standards when it comes to pizza and reality television.
Let’s do this.
PS. It’s exciting that it’s Hatch Chile Pepper season again. These special peppers from New Mexico are just the right spicy. Last year we made Roasted Tomato and Hatch Chile Salsa. That was juuuust fine.
First let’s talk about pizza dough! It’s easy to make. So so easy!
I used White Whole Wheat flour for this dough although this is a versatile dough that can handle bread flour and all-purpose flour as well.
The dough comes together very easily. Bowl and spoon. No need to knead! The dough can rise at room temperature for about an hour, or can go into the fridge for an all-day slow rise. It’s super versatile. That means, no excuses… sorry.
My smoke detector is questionably close to my gas stovetop and does not at all enjoy when I char things like hatch chiles or corn on the cob. It thinks I’m trying to burn the house down. Where’s the trust!?
I charred these chiles over the open flame of my gas stovetop. This can also be done in a broiler, probably to the relief of my smoke detector.
Once charred on all asides, I allow the peppers to rest and steam up (from the residual heat of charring) in a ziplock type plastic bag. Then the skin can be easily scraped from the peppers.
When chopping the peppers, remove some or none of the seeds. It’s up to you. These peppers are pretty spicy. Medium spice. High-medium.
I divided the dough into quarters, creating four smallish pizzas. Four small or two large. Choose your own adventure.
More is more.
Our charred and mostly peeled chili peppers meet up with salty pepperoni and super fresh pineapple.
Sweet, savory, and spicy. There are no accidents.
This crust, extra cheese, fruit and spicy peppers. It’s pizza. There is nothing you can do wrong. Nothing at all.
- For the Crust
- 3 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (all-purpose and bread flour are also great!)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus lots more for the pan
- 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 hatch chilis, roasted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
- pepperoni slices
- sliced fresh pineapple
- red pepper flakes, for topping
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add warm water and olive oil all at once. Using a wooden spoon, work the mixture together until fully incorporated. If necessary ditch the spoon and work the mixture together with your hands. The dough will be slightly shaggy.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours or covered in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
- After resting, dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide in quarters or half. If you’re only going to make one pizza, wrap the second piece of dough in plastic wrap, place in a ziplock bag, and place in the freezer. Defrost dough in the fridge overnight and allow to come to room temperature before pressing out into the pizza crust.
- Working with one dough at a time, liberally oil a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place the rounded dough on the pan and stretch and press the dough out into thin circles. If the dough springs bag as you’re pressing it out, simply wait five minutes to allow the dough to rest and then try again. The dough should be very thin. If the dough tears, don’t worry, just press it back together.
- I used two rimmed baking sheets to make four small pizzas. Top pizzas with as much sauce, cheese, and toppings as you'd like.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 450degrees F.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are charred and bubbling. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few moments then slice and top with crushed red pepper flakes.
- Serve immediately.