Frank Pepes of Bethesda
Frank Pepes of Bethesda

One of Frank Pepe’s first jobs was in a bakery, and this experience helped hone his skill for the art of baking. In it’s essence, pizza, or “apizza” as it is known in New Haven, is a humble meal with crust as the foundation, crushed tomatoes and very simple, fresh ingredients topping the pie. The dough that all Pepe’s restaurants use is identical to the original recipe Frank Pepe created. Pepe’s dough recipe is a wetter dough that takes longer to ferment acquiring a much richer flavor than ordinary pizza dough. The hot, dry air produced by the coal oven works magic on the higher water content dough, contributing to the bubbly quality of the crust—almost like a thin, crispy, airy, ciabatta-style bread. Crisp on the outside, and moist and chewy on the inside. True pizza crust bliss.

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