Capicola Pizza with Fermented Chile Peppers

Source: Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street BakeryPhoto Credit: Squire Fox

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe is from The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook (W.W. Norton, 2017) and was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on December 2, 2017.

This is my idea of a perfect savory food: sweet, spicy, and salty. Capicola is a type of cured pork that is similar to prosciutto. It is lean and perfectly round, making it perfect for assembling an obsessively symmetrical pizza such as this. 

Makes one 18-by-13-inch pizza

Equipment: One 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet and a pizza stone (you can make this without a pizza stone underneath the sheet pan, but the crust will not be as crisp)


½ fennel bulb (150 grams), cored and very thinly sliced
15 grams (1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for the pan 
Coarsely ground fresh black pepper
½ batch Pizza Bianca alla Romana, Version 2 (page 118) or Version 1 (page 65), made through step 3; or pizza dough of your choice
227 grams (8 ounces) mascarpone 
15 pitted Castelvetrano or other pitted green olives
²⁄³ cup Lacto-Fermented Chile Peppers (page 198) (Sriracha sauce is a fine substitute)
15 thin slices capicola 


Place a pizza stone on middle rack in the oven and heat to 450°F.

Toss the fennel slices with the olive oil and black pepper to taste and set aside. Lightly oil an 18-by-13-inch rimmed sheet pan.

Place one ball of dough in the center of the oiled pan. Gently tug the dough so that it fits the pan. Take care not to deflate the dough.

Arrange 15 dollops of mascarpone across the dough in three rows of five. Place an olive in each mascarpone dollop. Distribute the chiles and then the fennel evenly across the pizza. Place a slice of capicola over each olive. Allow to proof at room temperature for 20 minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes—placing the sheet pan directly on the baking stone—until the capicola is crisp and the crust is lightly browned. 

Farmers Market Ingredients