Direct Method Sicilian Pepperoni Pizza
Recipe type: pizza
  • 590 grams high gluten flour (4 ¾ cups) 100 percent
  • 7.9 grams active dry yeast (2.5 teaspoons)
  • 425 grams lukewarm water (1 ¾ cups plus 5 tablespoons) 72 percent
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 17 grams fine sea salt, (2 ½ teaspoons)
  • 500 grams aged mozzarella (about 4 cups)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups pizza sauce
  • 95 natural casing pepperonis (or 140 grams)
  • Grated Pecorino
  • Dried oregano
  1. The Mix: Add the flour, yeast and water to the mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes pausing to scrape the bowl if needed.
  2. Add the salt and olive oil and mix on low for 10 more minutes. A chunk of dough will form in the mixer.
  3. Using wet hands take the dough ball out and place in a dough box or oiled bowl and let rest at room temperature for three hours.
  4. The Hold: Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours.
  5. Bring out the next day and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.
  6. The Fold: You will now see some yeast activity and now is the time to strengthen the gluten net by folding the dough upon itself. Using the envelope fold method and wet hands, form the dough into a square and fold the top of the dough halfway down and then fold the bottom on top of the first fold.
  7. Take the sides of the square and follow the same folding method.
  8. Gently press down and place inside the dough container to rest for one more hour at room temperature.
  9. Panning: After the last hour of rest, the Sicilian dough should be relaxed and ready to place in the pan.
  10. Pour a glug of extra-virgin olive oil in a 12 (W) X 16 (L)X 1 (H) inch Sicilian (or Grandma) Pan, or your preferred pan, and place the dough in it.
  11. Pour more extra virgin on top of the dough and brush it all over to coat all the dough.
  12. Starting with the center of the dough, use your extended fingers spread apart to push the dough outward without ripping or tearing.
  13. Gently work the dough from the center of the pan and into the corners using both hands to push opposite directions. Some of the dough will gather along the sides.
  14. Take this dough and push into the corners also. On this first try, you may not get it all placed perfectly into the corners and sides of the pan, but you can go under the dough and gently stretch the dough into the corners. The dough may also “bounce back,” but no need to worry. If this happens, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough relax for 5-10 minutes, then go back and gently stretch a little more.
  15. Once panning is complete place the plastic wrap on the dough and set in a room temperature spot at 70 to 75 F for 4 hours.
  16. After the 4 hours, the dough will have risen more and exhibit bubbles and elevated crust.
  17. Dimple the dough with your fingertips to alleviate large bubble from forming. You may feel an exceptionally large pocket or bubble of gas below the dough. If so, gently slide your fingers underneath and lift the dough to let the gas escape and place the dough back down.
  18. The Par Bake: Place the pan in a pre-heated oven at 500 F for 10 minutes. The dough will just be turning golden brown. Bring the dough out and let sit at room temperature.
  19. Note: This par-cooked dough is fully cooked, and the gluten structure is “set” so this dough may be wrapped and refrigerated or frozen for future use. This method can also be mishandled if the final bake (below) is done using dough that has not been properly thawed thus leading to an uncooked center.
  20. The Final Bake: Pre-heat the oven 500 F and place the par-cooked Sicilian dough back into the same room temperature, oiled pan it was par-baked in.
  21. Place 500 grams  (about 4 cups) of your proprietary aged mozzarella on the par-cooked crust, getting as close to the crust as 1 centimeter. Remember, depending upon the rise of your par-cooked dough, the cheese will slide a bit.
  22. Looking at your Sicilian pizza vertically on a table, pour 6 diagonal lines with your proprietary sauce from a spoodle or spoon. These lines should be only 1 to 1.5 inches wide. We use approx. 1.5 to 2 cups of sauce on top of each Sicilian pizza.
  23. Place 95 natural casing pepperonis (or 140 grams) across the sauce on top of the pizza.
  24. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes depending upon your oven bake. The bottom should be golden brown, and the cheese melted all the way in the center, the pepperoni will cup holding the wonderful grease in them.
  25. Sprinkle with Pecorino and dried oregano.
  26. Cut in 8-10 pieces and enjoy.
Recipe by Pizza Today at