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Pepperoni Pizza

Recipe by Tara McAlea, Gahanna, Ohio
First place, Pepperoni Pizza (Perfection), 2019

Baking temperature: 450º F
Baking time: 5 minutes; 7 - 9 minutes
Yield: 4 pizzas



  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • ½ cup beer (pilsner or lager), room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 3 ¼ cups plus 2 tbsp. bread flour, plus extra for shaping
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling the bowl
  • 8 tsp. Penzy’s frozen pizza sauce


  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • One 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


  • One 8 oz. block of mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • One ½ lb. margarita pepperoni stick (sliced into thin pepperoni)
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (recipe at right)
  1. In a small bowl, combine beer, honey and water; stir to combine.
  2. Add yeast to bowl and allow to foam for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and whole wheat flour, salt and Penzy’s frozen pizza spice.
  4. When the yeast is ready, turn the mixer on a low speed, add the olive oil then slowly add the yeast mixture.
  5. Mix on medium to high speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl and starts forming a ball shape.
  6. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface (it should be sticky). Knead it for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball, then place in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  8. Punch the dough down, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge overnight.
  9. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes.
  10. Divide the dough into four equal 8 oz.
  11. Shape the dough into ball until smooth, pinch the bottom to seal the seam.
  12. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping and baking, wrap in plastic wrap to prevent the dough from drying out.
  13. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  14. To shape the dough, start in the center of the ball pressing outward. Use a rolling pin to stretch, repeat.
  15. Place crust on pizza stone and bake in oven for 5 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  17. Place 4 tsp. sauce, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and about 20 pepperoni on the pizza and bake for 7 to 9 minutes.
  18. Allow to cool, then enjoy.


  • Puree tomatoes using an immersion blender in a medium bowl for about 1 minute.
  • Add salt, pepper, basil, sugar and oil and whisk - do not blend - to combine.
  • Transfer to medium sauce pan and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Set aside until needed.
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