Eric Wareheim's Personal Pan Pep Pep Pizza Recipe

For over a decade, comedic multi-hyphenate Eric Wareheim has made it his mission to expand his culinary horizons, and those efforts are documented in his just released book "Foodheim," which doubles as a global culinary adventure guide and recipe collection. "If I can make some people laugh and learn how to make pizza along the way, I think that's a real fun, new challenge in my life," the Adult Swim superstar told Mashed during an exclusive interview. Well, great job!

Wareheim, who has made it his mission to create the perfect pie (and enlisted the help of pizza pros Joe Beddia and Noel Brohner to reach that elusive goal), devotes an entire chapter in "Foodheim" to his ultimate food obsession.

From scratch-made dough and sauces to full canvas pies, Wareheim covers the basics and then some. But he is particularly pleased with a recipe that bridges a childhood fast food favorite with his more refined kitchen skills. "I do a pan pizza that kind of freaks people out because it tastes a lot like Pizza Hut in a way," Warheim said. Dubbed the Personal Pan Pep Pep Pizza, the hefty, grease chalice-topped mini-wheel of decadence manages to, dare we say, out-pizza The Hut. Don't believe us? Check out the recipe for Wareheim's Personal Pan Pep Pep Pizza below and taste for yourself.

Be warned though: While it doesn't take a lot of hands-on time, the pizza dough does need a lot of time to rise and rest. You'll need to start making your dough a full day before you plan to dig in to this tasty pizza.

Reprinted with permission from "Foodheim: A Culinary Adventure" by Eric Wareheim with Emily Timberlake. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Eric Wareheim's Personal Pan Pep Pep Pizza Recipe
5 from 19 ratings
Eric Wareheim's Personal Pan Pep Pep Pizza Recipe creates a pie that's strangely similar to (but still better than) Pizza Hut's pan pizza. Here's the details.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
12
minutes
Servings
4
Pizzas
pep pep pizza
Total time: 32 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1⅜ cups 70°F filtered water
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3½ teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1¾ cups shredded low-moisture mozzarella
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 ounces sliced pepperoni
Optional Ingredients
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling
Directions
  1. To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the water and then the flour, olive oil, and brown sugar. Mix at the lowest speed setting for 3½ minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  2. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the yeast to the mixture and mix for 1 minute at the lowest speed setting, then add the salt and mix for 1 minute more. Turn the speed to the next setting and mix for an additional 4 minutes. Do the "windowpane test" to check the dough's gluten development: Pull a small piece of dough and stretch it up between your fingers. You should be able to stretch it so that it becomes translucent (like a windowpane) with threads of gluten visible without the dough ripping. If it rips, mix for another minute or two to develop the gluten further.
  4. Lightly oil a plastic dough bin or large bowl and gently transfer the dough into it, using a plastic dough scraper to assist. Cover with the lid or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Time for the first stretch! Lightly oil your hands, then grab about a third of the dough mass, pull it up and away, and fold it over the top of the dough. Spin the tub or bowl 180 degrees and repeat the process. Repeat twice more for four total folds, so your dough looks like a nice li'l package. Flip the whole mass of dough upside down so the exposed top is smooth and round.
  6. Cover the dough and let rest for another 30 minutes. Then repeat the whole "stretch and fold" process again. Now re-cover the dough and place the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight. Just like Heimy, this dough needs at least 8 hours of beauty sleep.
  7. The next day, 4 hours before you plan to bake the pizzas, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. Generously oil the bottom and sides of four 6-inch, straight-edged, non-stick cake pans.
  8. Tip the dough out onto a clean, floured work surface. Cut the dough into four 170-gram portions. (You should have a bit of dough left over at the end, which you can either discard or bake later for a little snack.)
  9. Flour your hands and grab a piece of dough. Knock off any excess flour from the bottom. Begin to fold the sides underneath the dough mass, pinching the seams closed at the bottom as you go. You're sort of stretching and creating surface tension on the dough by pulling the top and tucking it under. It's a little tricky at first but you'll get the hang of it. The goal is to create a smooth uniform ball with a tightly closed seam underneath. Place each shaped ball into the prepared cake pans. Cover the cake pans with plastic wrap and allow the dough balls to rise until they are about one and a half times their original size, about 3 ½ hours.
  10. When you're ready to make the pizzas, place your pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat to 550°F (or, if the oven won't get that hot, as hot as it will go).
  11. Using your fingertips, dimple the dough and spread it out so it fills the pans. Add 1 tablespoon sauce followed by 1. tablespoons mozz to each pie.
  12. Bake #1—This gets your foundation. To parcook the pizzas, place the pans directly on the pizza stone and bake for 7 minutes—this will help you get an extra-crispy bottom. Remove the pans from the oven.
  13. Top each pizza with an additional 3 tablespoons sauce and 5 tablespoons mozz, making sure to go all the way to the edge of the pan and a li'l under the dough. Those bits are gonna form that super-crispy cheese lace. Sprinkle each pizza with a small pinch of salt and drizzle with olive oil, then top with the pepperoni, overlapping each piece a bit to cover the surface. Finally, sprinkle a teensy bit more mozz over the'roni.
  14. Bake #2—Place the pans back in the oven, this time on the middle rack instead of on the pizza stone (you don't want the bottom to burn, and you want to make sure the interior stays soft and pillowy). Bake until the toppings are beautifully melty and crispy, another 5 to 6 minutes.
  15. Pull your pep peps from the oven, lift out of the pans with a spatula, and sprinkle with a bit of Parm. Serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 801
Total Fat 31.3 g
Saturated Fat 10.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 53.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 97.6 g
Dietary Fiber 4.2 g
Total Sugars 7.2 g
Sodium 798.3 mg
Protein 30.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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