Sicilian Pizza with Pepperoni and Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe

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This is an adaptation of a recipe in Serious Eats.  The crust is thick but very light (due to a high hydration dough) and is crispy on the bottom because of oil in the pan.  Serious Eats gives three ways to handle the dough, and I chose the first one since it was new to me, kneading the dough in a food processor.   It was very quick and worked well.  The recipe below is for a half sheet pan (18 x 13 inches) which would make 6-8 servings.  I used half of the dough for a quarter sheet pan (13 x 9 inches) to make a smaller quantity for the two of us.  Using the food processor, it takes about 4 hours in total.

I measured most of the dough ingredients by weight since that is easy and accurate.


500 g. bread flour

6 g. yeast

14 g. salt

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil + ¼ cup, divided

325 g. room-temperature water


2 Tbs.  extra virgin olive oil

9 medium cloves garlic, chopped roughly

1 Tbs. dried oregano

2 tsp. red pepper flakes

28 oz. can whole tomatoes, cut up with a pastry cutter

1 tsp. sugar

Salt to taste (I did not add any)


Sliced low-moisture mozzarella (from the deli in sandwich slices)

Good pepperoni

Grated Romano

Put all the dough ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade.  Pulse until the ingredients form a dough ball.  Scrape the bowl to incorporate any remaining flour.  Then process the dough for about 30 seconds, after which the dough should be very smooth.

Put ¼ cup of olive oil in a half sheet pan and spread it all over with your hands.  Put the dough in the pan and turn it to coat it with the oil.  Pat it out to cover most of the pan, but do not try to cover the entire pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise on the kitchen counter for 2-3 hours, by which time it should be relaxed and easily stretchable.  With oiled hands, stretch the dough to fully cover the bottom of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (or hotter if you can), including using a baking steel or stone if possible.  Allow to preheat for 30 minutes while the stretched dough rises.

While the dough is rising, make the sauce.  Put the 2 Tbs. of olive oil in a large saucepan and heat until shimmering.  Add the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring often, until aromatic, about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes.  Cut them using a pastry cutter to form a chunky sauce.  Stir in the sugar.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.  Remove from the heat.  Season to taste with the salt. and allow to cool slightly. (The photo below is of excess sauce.)

To assemble the pizza, start by covering the dough with slices of mozzarella.  (This will keep the dough from getting soggy.)  Top the mozzarella slices with sauce.  (You will not use it all.) and then with the pepperoni.  Last put a layer of grated Romano.

Bake until the pepperoni is crisp and the bottom is golden brown if a corner is lifted up with a spatula.  (If the top cooks faster than the bottom, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil.)  This will take around 14 minutes at 500 degrees.  (Longer if your oven cannot get this hot.  Shorter if you can get it hotter, for example to 550 degrees by setting it on broil.)  Sprinkle with additional Romano and slice into rectangular pieces for serving.


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