Bell peppers are one of the few fruits that everyone associates with pizza. Yes that’s right peppers are a fruit and can be sweet, bitter and spicy; providing a great variety in flavor. Bell peppers though are generally on the sweet to lightly bitter side. They are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants so if you are looking for a reason to eat healthier look no further than a pizza covered in them.
When thinking about a typical pizza with bell peppers on it, the thought of a thick crunchy slice of bell pepper comes to mind; the ones you never seem to bite completely in half thus pulling off some extra cheese with it. The problem is that the peppers are too thick to cook during the short period of time the pizza is in the oven. This prep error seems to be typical on many restaurant pizzas because it takes more time to slice peppers thin. One of the advantages to making pizza at home is you can control the thickness of the slices to ensure they are fully cooked as well as enhance those peppers by infusing them with more flavor as we have will do in the recipe.
Three ingredients really compliment and bring out the wonderful flavor of a bell pepper; white wine vinegar, garlic and of course salt. If you allow ultra-thin slices soak in a mixture of those three ingredients plus some hot water after a half an hour or overnight you come up with the most delicious peppers for a pizza ever, or just to snack on. Similar to lightly favored pickled peppers with the white wine vinegar enhancing the natural sweetness.
Another really cool aspect of bell peppers is they come in a lot of colors; green, red, yellow orange, purple, brown and even black. The first four are the most readily available colors however with such variety you can use bell peppers to create fun designs for a special occasion. If you are going to try adding a design to your pizza its best to partially bake the pizza before adding the peppers, this gets the cheese partially melted to avoid the peppers moving around as it melts.
I made this pie, with a likeness of the eCampus.com logo, for my sister who has worked her way up at eCampus and shaping the beginning to a wonderful career in the digital marketing space and beyond.
If you have any questions or issues ask in our in our community forum.
Yield: 1- 14-16″ thin crust pizza
Portions: 2 – 3
- 1 new york style pizza dough
- 5 ounces of simple tomato pizza sauce
- 5 ounces (140g) of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 ounces (60g) smoked gouda, finely shredded
- 1 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, sliced extra thin
- 1 clove of garlic (optional)
- 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mixing Bowls
- Digital Kitchen Scale
- Baking Steel / Baking Stone
- Wooden Pizza Peel
- Chef Knife and / or pizza cutter
- Large Wooden Cutting Board
- Box Grater
Preparing The Ingredients
- Make the new york pizza dough as per instructions; this can be done preferably the day before or 4-5 hours before. Follow all instructions and continue two step two for the final shaping / proofing.
- Make your simple tomato pizza sauce per instructions. Can be made up to two days before or while the oven is preheating.
- When you place your dough into your individual proofing containers for the final rise, preheat oven with baking steel / stone on the 2nd from bottom rack to 550°F (288°C) .
- Slice your bell peppers into very thin slices, less than 1.5mm thick. Cut with a mandolin or knife. Slicing them thin ensures they cook in the oven and also are easier to bite in half making the pie more enjoyable to eat.
- Crush the garlic clove with side of knife or pan. This releases the skin and breaks open the inside cell structure of the garlic clove allowing the flavor quickly be released.
- In a small mixing bowl / cup; mix hot water and salt. Add your sliced bell peppers and garlic clove. Lastly add the white wine vinegar and gently mix. This should set for at least 30 minutes. Before using you will need to strain the liquid from the peppers and discard the garlic clove.
- Slice the mozzarella and shred the smoked gouda. All the prep work should be done at this point.
- Ensure at least 45 minutes has elapsed since step #3 before continuing. The baking steel / stone takes longer to heat than does the air in the oven. The oven pre-heated signal has nothing to do with the temperature of the steel or stone surface.
Shaping and Topping the Pizza
- Lightly flour your pizza peel (with semolina flour or white flour) and the top / smooth top of your dough.
- Turn the dough ball top side /smooth side down without deflating it onto the pizza peel. Using your fist press down the center creating a flat inside with a nice even ring on the outside of dough. Continue to press down the center until you have expanded the size of the dough some and have a nice perfect ring for the crust with an evenly flat inside bottom crust.
- Pick up the dough from the bottom. Add a light dusting of flour to the peel where the dough was if needed.
- To stretch the pizza dough, lift it from the board and, with two fists placed on the flat underside move one hand and then the other in a clockwise (or counter clockwise) fashion as if you were boxing. This allows gravity to stretch the dough out without tossing.
- Once stretched to about 13 – 15″ lay back down on the pizza peel, smooth side down. You can use your hands to fine tune the shape of the dough. For more info on shaping see Forming a New York Style Pizza
- Give the pizza peel another quick jiggle to ensure no stickage and to set the dough into a natural resting shape. Time is key here don’t stop working until its off the peel and in the oven.
- Add the sauce to the center and with your ladle in a spiraling motion spread the sauce around.
- Add cheese. If using fresh mozzarella slices only use 6 ounces or less. The cheese doesn’t need to cover the whole surface as it will melt and spread.
- Add the thin slices of sweet bell peppers.
Cooking the Pizza
- Give the pizza peel one last jiggle to ensure no sticking before transferring to the oven. If any sticking occurs gently lift that side of the dough and toss a few pinches of flour under the dough.
- Open the door and position the pizza peel at a slight angle touching close to the back of the stone and give the peel a slight back and forth jiggle to start the pizza sliding down toward the stone. Once the edge of the pizza has touched the stone keep jiggling and pulling the peel back until the whole pizza is on the stone. Shut the oven door allow to bake at a temperature of 550°F (288°C) for about 3-5 minutes. Check on it after 3 but keep the door shut as much as possible.
- Once the cheese is bubbling and the crust is a golden brown slide the pizza peel under the pizza and all the way to the back and lift out. Wait about 2 minutes before cutting on your cutting board (not on the peel) to allow the cheese to cool slightly.
- Enjoy and leave a comment below and let us know what you think!
In The Making Photos