spicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato saucespicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato sauce

I know you’re feeling the cold temperatures out there (just like I am), so perhaps something hot & spicy (instead of a soup) can warm you up this weekend and get your blood boiling (or at least pumping) a little more ! 

The roasted red pepper & tomato sauce was an experiment, using a jar of roasted red peppers to transform a tomato pizza sauce into something smokier and more intense, but still using some canned crushed tomatoes for the acidity and tang that they provide. I did a half-half ratio of peppers to tomatoes but there’s no reason why you couldn’t reduce to tomato to ¼ and increase the roasted red peppers to ¾ of the total. Try it.

Making a thicker dough will be more filling and it’s relatively easy since it rises only once directly inside the baking dish and using a food-processor (if you can) to mix it up and knead it somewhat, saves time and increases the chewiness of the dough when baked.

And of course, the toppings. A combination of very spicy and mild chorizo sausages, sliced thickly, mozzarella cheese in thin slices and grated and a sprinkling of parmesan (or dried manchego) cheese too.

For the past year, I’ve been putting one-third of the grated cheese directly on top of the pizza sauce and under the additional toppings and then adding the rest of the grated cheese on top. Why ? The first time was accidental because I was assembling too quickly but it worked out fine. It seems to hold up better and avoids the other toppings from sliding around and the dough is less soggy and crispier. It also tastes better. Of course, if you decide to place part of the cheese directly on the dough, as I’ve learned that many people do, you’ll need it to be in very thin slices and not grated, otherwise you’ll never be able to spread the pizza sauce on top … just a few helpful hints that are tried & tested.

And for those people, who like me, don’t have a pizza oven at home or even an oven that heats up really hot, then use the floor (or sole) of the oven to imitate a pizza-oven, which is what I do with thin-crust pizzas for the whole baking time but in this case because the crust is thicker, just start off on the bottom to crisp up the underside and then switch to the lower rack.

I’m pretty picky about my pizzas, with a preference for montreal-style thin-crust all-dressed pizza with green peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni and mozzarella but I think that this could be my new favorite . . . :)

spicy & thick-crust spanish-style pizza with chorizo & roasted red pepper-tomato sauce

29.02.2020

1800 grams or 4 servings x 450 grams each

ingredients

pizza dough :

  • 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 125 grams (1 cup) cake & pastry flour
  • 125 grams (1 cup) whole wheat bread flour
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 300 grams (1 ¼ cups) water
  • 25 grams (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 6 grams (1 ½ tsp) sugar
  • 6 grams (1 ½ tsp) dry active yeast
  • optional : 1 gram (1 tsp) dried oregano leaves
  • 50 grams (4 tbsp) olive oil (for brushing the baking pan & dough)

roasted red pepper & tomato sauce :

  • 200 grams (1 cup) crushed tomatoes (slightly strained)
  • 200 grams (1 cup) roasted red peppers, well-drained & chopped
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) sweet onion or shallot, finely diced or grated
  • 25 grams (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 12 grams (1 tbsp) garlic (2-3 medium cloves), crushed
  • 3 grams (1 tsp) anchovy, chopped
  • 7 grams (1 ½ tsp) sea salt
  • 0,5 gram (¼ tsp) black ground pepper
  • 1 gram (1 tbsp) dried oregano
  • 1,5 grams (¾ tsp) sweet paprika powder
  • 1,5 grams (¾ tsp) smoked paprika powder
  • 0,5 gram (½ tsp) fennel seeds, coarsely ground
  • 0,5 gram (2 whole) bay leaves
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) dried chili flakes
  • 3 grams (2 tbsp) parsley stalks with leaves (approximately 2 stalks)
  • optional : 20 grams (1 ½ tbsp) tomato paste (to thicken the sauce)

toppings :

  • 400 grams low-moisture mozzarella (one block separated into 150 grams (¾ cup) thin slices + 250 grams (2 cups) shredded)
  • 325 grams (2 cups) chorizo sausage (spicy & mild), 75-80 slices 5mm thick
  • 75 grams (¾ cup) parmesan cheese, finely grated (or use dried spanish manchego or mexican cotija)
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) flat-leaf parsley leaves, fresh
  • optional : 50 grams (¼ cup) roasted red pepper, sliced or diced

instructions

  • prepare the dough by combining all flours (you could just use only all-purpose flour instead) with the salt and in a separate bowl combine the warm water with the olive oil, sugar and dried active yeast
  • combine the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients until mixed, let sit then knead by hand or machine for 5 minutes or simply place everything in a food-processor and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball (for extra chewiness)
  • use a large baking dish (I use an enameled drip-pan that is an excellent non-stick baking dish with interior measures of 33 cm x 36 cm x 3 cm) and brush generously with 3 ½ tbsp olive oil, place the dough inside and gently flatten and stretch it out until almost reaching the edges, brush the top of the dough with the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil, gently lay a sheet of oiled baking paper on top and let it rise in a warm space (or in a turned-off oven) for 3 hours or until at least doubled in size (or height)
  • prepare the ingredients for the sauce, grate (or finely chop) the shallot or onion, crush the garlic, slightly strain the crushed tomatoes to thicken and drain and pat dry and finely chop the roasted red peppers
  • heat up the olive oil in a large pan at medium-high heat and add the shallot or onion, anchovy, bay leaves and let cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the crushed garlic and let cook for 1 minute, toss in the fennel seeds and dried chili flakes, then add the chopped roasted red peppers and let simmer for several minutes until softened and finally add the crushed tomatoes, fresh parsley, paprika, salt, pepper and dried herbs, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, when cooked, adjust to your taste and add some tomato paste if not thick enough, set aside to reach room temperature
  • chop the chorizo sausage into 5 mm slices (about 75-80 slices), very thinly slice about 1/3 of the low moisture mozzarella block and set aside and grate the rest of the mozzarella, coarsely grate the parmesan (or dried manchego), prepare some fresh parsley leaves and chop up any remaining roasted red pepper (if any is left as an extra topping)
  • preheat the oven to 230°C (this is the maximum of my oven but if you can go higher, like 275°C, it’s better and the pizza will bake much faster in approximately 10 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes)
  • to assemble the pizza, gently lay the thin slices of mozzarella on top of the dough in a checkerboard pattern, spoon the sauce on top, sprinkle with the grated mozzarella, add the chorizo slices (add any extra chopped roasted red pepper if any), the parsley leaves and finally the grated parmesan
  • bake directly on the floor of the oven for 5 minutes (to crisp up the bottom) then transfer to the lower rack and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the edges and underside of the pizza dough are slightly crispy and golden
  • remove from the oven, let cool down 5 minutes, slice & serve.