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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 PROCESS

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.

before proofing
after 1st proof

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!

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it on Instagram! We love to see what you come up with. #thecommunalfeast Follow along our social media account on instagram for quick videos on how our recipes come together!

pepperoni focaccia
Yield: 8-10

pepperoni focaccia

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

Homemade deep dish focaccia topped with simple tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, crispy pepperonis and parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • Standard focaccia
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (rapid rise is fine)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Toppings:
  • 1 can 398ml Mutti San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 TBS red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 TBS fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • 250g pizza pepperoni
  • 2 cup pizza mozzarella, shredded
  • parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. To make focaccia: in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast with warm water. Let stand until dissolved and begins to foam. About 10 minutes. Add the salt, sugar, 3/4 cup olive oil and 1 cup of flour at a time. Kneed with the dough hook on low speed. Once the dough begins to come off the sides of the bowls and stick to the hook it's done. Remove from the bowl and form a ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Proof the dough in a warm area until it doubles in size. (1h30-2hours)
  2. In a deep dish pan, grease with oil. Turn the dough out into the pan and evenly using your hands into the pan covering the entire surface. Cover once again with a kitchen towel and let rise another hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Dimple the dough using your fingers across the entire surface. Be sure to go in as far as you can with your fingers. Make sure that the dough is flat all the way across and even. The edges should all be the same level as the middle and not higher.
  4. To make the sauce: combine tomatoes, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper and chili flakes into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and well combined, about 1 minute.
  5. To assemble: Layer mozzarella as the base overtop the focaccia, followed by the sauce, pepperonis, and finish with grated parmesan. Ensure the surface is fully covered. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the pepperonis begin to crisp. For crispier pepperonis broil the bread in the last minute of cooking.
  6. Remove from heat and let rest in the pan until slightly cooled. Remove from the pan and cut into squares. Drizzle a little olive oil over top when serving and extra parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*For extra dipping sauce on the side, we recommend doubling the recipe.

deep dish pepperoni focaccia

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