Sausage and Pepper Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
For the dough:
- 1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (105° to 110°F)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp. salt
For the topping:
- 3 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 red or green bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, casings removed
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups tomato pizza sauce
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Knead each piece by hand for 30 seconds, shaping the dough into a ball and dusting with a little flour if needed. Dust a baking sheet with flour and place the dough on the sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping: In a fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the bell peppers, salt and pepper, and cook until soft and lightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl.
Return the pan to medium heat, add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a separate bowl.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.
Divide the remaining olive oil among 4 mini deep-dish pizza pans (about 2 tsp. per pan), thoroughly greasing each pan. Place a dough ball in each pan and, using your fingers, press the dough in an even layer across the bottom and up the sides of the pans.
Place 1 provolone slice on each dough round. Top with the mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, bell peppers and sausage, dividing evenly. Using the back of a spoon, spread 1/2 cup of the tomato pizza sauce on top of each pizza. If desired, place more toppings on the sauce.
Bake the pizzas until the crusts are golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4 mini deep-dish pizzas.