It’s time to satisfy your pizza cravings with a warm slice of cheesy, melty deliciousness. Instead of ordering delivery or baking a frozen pizza, choose to save money and have better control of the quality of ingredients by making fresh pizza in your own kitchen. Creating your own pizza also allows you to experiment with topping combinations and crust textures. Keep reading to find out how to create up a soul-satisfying slice right in your own kitchen.
Pizza Making Tips:
Mixing and Working the Dough:
Start your pizza dough by using granular, not cake yeast. Look for widely-available and easy-to-use pizza yeast. Even if the recipe calls for adding yeast dry, it never hurts to proof your yeast. Simply add the dry yeast to the warm water and sweetener called for in your recipe. Give it a gentle whisk and then set it aside in a draft-free area for about 10 minutes. It should be foamy and smell “yeasty.” Stir in the remaining ingredients and you are ready to knead.
Check the date on your flour to be sure it is fresh. White flour or bread flour are often used to make pizza crust. For a gluten-free pizza crust, try using rice flour or a gluten-free flour blend. Once you have mixed in all of the ingredients, it is time to knead the dough. Make sure that your work surface is sufficiently dusted with flour or cornmeal as you knead and pat the dough into a crust or work on a piece of parchment paper. Knead your dough for the full eight minutes to give it the best flavor and texture. If you have the time, let your dough ripen overnight in the fridge and then bring it to room temperature before forming it into crust. Handle the dough as little as possible and use your hands, not a rolling pin, to form it into crust.
Assembling the Pizza:
Even though you love them, don’t overcrowd your pizza with toppings or the crust will not cook properly. In general, a 12” pizza can take up to ½ cup of sauce, 1 cup of veggies and meat, and 1 cup of cheese.
Start by placing a layer of sliced mozzarella or provolone down on the dough before putting on the sauce. For a simple homemade sauce, drain the liquid off of a can of high-quality whole tomatoes and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Crush the tomatoes with your hand or a stick blender and your sauce is ready to spread on the pizza. You could also use tomato sauce out of the can; a jarred spaghetti sauce; add a layer of sliced, fresh tomatoes; or use an Alfredo or pesto sauce.
Pat off the liquid from any toppings that might be wet or damp, such as olives or anchovies, to keep your cheese from having a wet, eggy texture. For the gooiest cheese, use slices of fresh mozzarella. Give your crust a boost of flavor by brushing it with a light coating of olive oil and sprinkling it with garlic salt, after you have added the toppings to your pizza, just before it goes into the oven.
Keys to a Crispy Crust:
Baking and Serving:
If you are baking your pizza on metal pans, be sure to grease them with a bit of olive oil.
Remember, deep dish pizza will need to bake for a longer time at a lower temperature. When baking a thicker crust pizza, dock the center of the crust with a fork and then prebake the plain crust (no toppings) for 7 minutes. Remove it from the oven, rub it with a clove of peeled garlic, if desired, and then layer on the toppings and bake it for another 7-10 minutes.
Always use a pizza cutter to slice your pizza instead of a knife. Look for a cutter that is made to keep melted cheese from sticking to it and is safe for whatever bakeware you are using.
Delicious Topping Combinations: