Pepperoni Pizza (Homemade Dough and Pizza Sauce Recipes)

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Ingredients
Pizza Dough (yields enough for 2 13-inch pizzas)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water , 110 degrees, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil , plus more for brushing
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
3 1/2 – 4 cups bread flour
Pizza Sauce (yields enough for 3 large pizzas)
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp honey
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme (or 3/4 tsp fresh)
1 clove garlic , finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
Topping (yields enough for 1 13-inch pizza)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic , finely minced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1 oz)
20 slices pepperoni (I recommend turkey, it’s just as good as the regular)
2 Tbsp fresh oregano (chopped if using larger leaves)
Red pepper flakes , for serving (optional)

Instructions
For the pizza dough:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine yeast, 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 cup warm water and whisk until yeast has dissolved. Allow to rest 5 minutes. Add in remaining 1 cup warm water, olive oil, salt and vinegar. Fit mixer with whisk attachment, set on low speed and slowly add in 1 3/4 cups of the flour and mix until combined.
Switch to a dough hook and slowly add in remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, then knead mixture on medium-low speed about 5 – 7 minutes, adding in up to an additional 1/2 cup flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic (dough should be slightly sticky but should not stick to a clean fingertip). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
For the pizza sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Preferably let rest 30 minutes (while dough is rising) to allow flavors to meld.
To assemble pizza:
Place a pizza stone in oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven preheats assemble pizza. Punch down pizza dough (divide into two equal 16 oz portions, freeze one in a resealable bag for a later use or make 2 pizzas right away). Place a sheet of parchment paper over a pizza peel, then lightly dust parchment paper with flour. Pat/roll and stretch dough on pizza peel to a 13-inch round, while creating a rim along edge of dough.
Using a fork (without piercing all the way through) pierce dough many times over surface. In a small bowl stir together 1 Tbsp olive oil with 1 clove garlic and brush evenly over top and edges of pizza, then evenly spread about 2/3 cup of the pizza sauce over pizza (leaving rim uncoated).
Top evenly with cheeses (again leaving rim uncoated) and pepperoni slices (if using turkey pepperoni, I recommend adding halfway through baking). Carefully slide pizza (on parchment paper) to preheated pizza stone in oven and bake 12 – 15 minutes until crust is golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle top with oregano and optional red pepper flakes. Cut into slices and serve.

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