Deep dish pepperoni focaccia features a thick, olive oil–infused crust with a spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and crisp-edged pepperoni. Mind-blowing pizza-style focaccia completely made from scratch!
If you’ve never made your own focaccia, the task may seem daunting at first but it’s really not that difficult. It’s one of those low risk high reward foods. It’s the best version of a pan pizza you’ll ever have! The focaccia dough gets golden brown and crunchy on the bottom while remaining fluffy in the middle which acts as a strong foundation for its toppings. Baked in a pan coated with olive oil to ensure that it doesn’t stick while baking and keeps the dough chewy and moist.
The makings of the focaccia takes place in the mixer. The reaction of the yeast with the warm water activates its properties ensuring that it is still alive and will leaven. From start to finish, the dough proofs twice. Once in a bowl coated with olive oil right after forming in the mixer, and the second after it has taken the shape of the pan. This allows for those gluten structures to re-form and introduce air back into the dough. It’s important to remember when making any dough, that it reacts to every knead, and every change in temperature which alters the way the bread is cooked in the end.
TOPPINGS AND LAYERING
It goes, pizza mozzarella, sauce, pepperonis and parmesan. Once baked and removed from the oven add more parmesan and a light olive oil drizzle.
We’ve layered the cheese under the sauce to prevent the crust from getting “wet” aka that soggy bottom. The assembly is incredibly easy as pictured above. We used pizza mozzarella because its low-moisture cheese with a firmer texture which makes it easy to grate and has good melting characteristics. If using fresh mozzarella, it’s important to remember to bring it to room temperature before handling and removing it from the liquid to get rid of that excess moisture.
Our pan pizza is a cross between Detroit-style, Sicilian and the infamous Chicago deep dish. So what are all these different styles of pizza? Sicilian pizza is made in a pan coated with olive oil and has a focaccia like dough. The other thing about Sicilian is the way the toppings go on to the pizza. Cheese first, then sauce followed by the rest. This is the method we’ve applied here. Both Sicilian and Detroit are rectangular in shape. The Detroit having a thicker crust, and is also cooked with olive oil just not as much. Where it differs is that the sauce is placed on top of the toppings rather than saucing the dough first. As for Chicago deep dish well it has the thickest crust and typically takes on the traditional pizza shape being round. So that’s that in a nutshell!
Our deep dish pepperoni focaccia is suited for anyone! There is no need to fuss around with pizza dough and all that stretching and getting it the perfect shape and thickness. You can feel comfortable handling it because the olive oil keeps it moist. All the shaping happens in the pan and you’re basically pressing it out to take on the same shape so you are assisted by the pan itself. This is definitely a big help!
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