How to Make Your Sweetie a Heart-Shaped Pizza

Pizza: The ultimate expression of love.

Nothing says “I love you” more than pizza. Think about it: golden crust topped with sauce, lots of melted cheese and an abundance of pepperoni — that just screams “LOVE” to me. So this Valentine’s Day I think you should show your loved ones just how much you adore them by making a heart-shaped pizza.

Before you start thinking that it’s out of reach and too complicated, I’m here to tell you that it’s a lot easier than you think. I’ll even take it a step further and show you how to make a heart-shaped pizza through a series of step-by-step instructions and photos (complete with heart-shaped pepperoni, of course).

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1 Bloom the Yeast

Start with a simple and straightforward pizza dough recipe for thin crust pizza. Begin this process by blooming the yeast in warm water (with a little bit of sugar). You want the yeast to get foamy and frothy.
 

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2 Make the Dough

Then combine the flour, salt, olive oil and the yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Mix on medium-high until the dough comes together and forms a soft, somewhat sticky dough, about 6 to 8 minutes.
 

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You can do this by hand with a wooden spoon, just keep in mind that it’ll take a little bit of elbow grease and a few more minutes.

3 Let the Dough Rise

Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl, flip it over to coat both sides, and then cover loosely with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
 

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I like to let the dough rise on top of the stove, since it stays warm there, or on top of the fridge.

4 Cut the Pepperoni Hearts

To prepare the pepperoni, use a small (1 to 2-inch) heart-shaped cookie cutter, and cut out heart shapes from the pepperoni slices. It’s best to find large slices of pepperoni, depending on the size of your cutter.
 

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If you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, use a sharp pairing knife to free form the hearts.
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5 Roll Out the Dough

Once the dough has risen, cut it in half, and keep one half covered. Working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a large circle, about 1/4 of an inch thick.
 

6 Cut the Dough

Using a sharp pairing knife, cut a wide “V” shape at the top of the circle. This will be the top of our heart. Transfer the dough to a pizza pan (or upside-down baking sheet) that has been lightly sprinkled with cornmeal to prevent it from sticking. Then shape the dough into a heart with your hands. Round out the top and pinch the bottom to create that classic heart shape.
 

7 Load Up on the Toppings

Spread the pizza with either homemade or store-bought pizza sauce. Because the dough is a thin crust, you don’t want to add too much sauce, or the pizza will become soggy.
 

Sprinkle the top generously with shredded mozzarella cheese and a bit of grated parmesan. Then top with the heart-shaped pepperoni.
 

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8 Finish in the Oven

Bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven until golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.
 

About Jonathan Melendez

Jonathan Melendez is a passionate food photographer, cook, baker, recipe developer and author of the blog The Candid Appetite.