Looking forward to Nairobi Pizza Festival can be tricky. The days don’t seem to move and your craving grows as the days go by. As long as you have an oven and some baking skills, we’ve got you covered with this delicious spicy pepperoni pizza recipe.
Pizza can be thick or thin, crunchy or soft, subtle or rich. The true Neapolitan pizza has a spongy dough, and it is slightly thicker around the edges to prevent the topping from slipping into the plate. Spicy pepperoni, sautéed minced beef, smoky bacon and fresh basil make this meaty pizza burst with flavor.
Serves 2 – 4
For the dough
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cups (350ml) lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoon (20ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (12g) salt
For the topping
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 800g can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 400g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 15 slices spicy pepperoni sausage
- 1/4 cup cooked minced beef (cooked and seasoned with 1/4 clove minced garlic, pinch of black pepper, Spanish paprika and salt)
- 1/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
- Put the flour onto a clean work surface and make a well in the center.
- Dissolve the yeast in the water and pour the mixture into the well.
- Gradually start incorporating the mixture into the flour until a loose dough starts to form, then add the oil and salt.
- Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then rub with a little oil, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Grease a 12-inch round pizza pan with oil.
- Transfer the dough to the pan and using your fingertips, spread it to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Loosely cover the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap and at room temperature for at least 2 hours, becoming light and fragrant.
- To make the tomato sauce base, heat oil in a large heavy frying pan.
- Add garlic and cook for 1- 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and break them up into small chunks with wooden spoon.
- Simmer for 15- 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and sauce has thickened.
- Add salt, oregano and red pepper flakes to taste. This makes approximately 1 2/3 cups of sauce.
- When the dough has risen, spread 5 – 7 tablespoons of the tomato sauce evenly over the surface.
- Arrange the mozzarella, pepperoni (at room temperature) and minced meat on top. Sprinkle bacon, if using.
- Let the pizza rise for another 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 220°C for 5 minutes, then bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.