Rocky Rococo: A Beloved Pizza Legacy

Introduction

Rocky Rococo is a beloved pizza brand based out of Wisconsin, known for its deep-dish pizzas and unique flavor profiles. While the whole wheat crust option has been discontinued, many fans remember it fondly for its nutty flavor and hearty texture. This recipe aims to recreate that experience, focusing on a whole wheat crust that’s both flavorful and has the right chew, paired with chunky sausage topping as you described. We’ll start with the crust, then move on to the sauce, sausage, and finally, assembling and baking the pizza.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour (for added gluten and structure)
  • 1¼ cups warm water (temperature around 110°F or 45°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (to help activate the yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1½ teaspoons salt

Instructions:

  1. Yeast Activation: In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy. This indicates that the yeast is active.
  2. Mixing the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, bread flour, and salt. Add the frothy yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir until the mixture starts to form a dough.
  3. Kneading: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Whole wheat dough might feel a bit tougher than white flour dough, but it should still be pliable.
  4. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it to coat all sides with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1½ hours, or until it doubles in size.
  5. Punch Down and Second Rise (Optional): After the first rise, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. You can let it rise again for about 30 minutes for an even fluffier texture, though this step can be skipped if short on time.

Sauce and Toppings

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Instructions:

  1. Sauce Preparation: In a medium saucepan, combine the crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Sausage Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sausage Instructions:

  1. Making Chunk Sausage: Combine the ground pork with fennel seeds, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Form into small chunks or balls.
  2. Cooking Sausage: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage chunks until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat.

Assembling and Baking the Pizza

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while it preheats.
  2. Shaping the Crust: On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to your desired thickness. Transfer it to a piece of parchment paper for easy transfer to the oven.
  3. Adding Toppings: Spread a layer of sauce over the crust, leaving a small border around the edges. Add the cooked sausage chunks and any other toppings you like.
  4. Baking: Bake the pizza for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and browned.
  5. Serving: Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

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