Pizza night: Pepperoni and ham with pepperoncini

After a series of rainy or cold spring weekends, as of this Friday the Ooni is back in action. I’ve had the oven for five years now, and every year that goes by the season gets shorter: I am a little less gung-ho about dragging it out of the garage on marginal days in March and April, and quicker to switch to sheet-pan pizza, prepared and eaten fully indoors, in the fall or late summer. According to my spreadsheet, the last use in 2023 was in August — that’s uncommonly early, but probably explained by getting on a Detroit-style pizza kick after our visit to … Charlotte, North Carolina. But that’s another story!

I am using the same sourdough recipe I’ve been using for the last few years: 75% hydration dough fermented at room temperature overnight, then formed into 350g balls and refrigerated till pizza time. This has been pretty reliable, but on Friday the first pie out of the oven was a little tough. I wonder if this is to do with the particular batch of bread flour I am using — I have been buying 50 pound bags of bread flour milled by Baker’s Field in Minneapolis. They use different wheats at different times of year (probably true of all flour!) and this latest batch seems to have less of the strength I associate with a high-gluten flour. Or maybe I’m just losing my edge!

The night’s pies were pepperoni and ham with pepperoncini. Pepperoni is always the most popular around here and was fully devoured; there were some leftovers of the ham pizza. It’s nice to have the oven out again!

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