Many of us have had sweet memories of homemade pizza since childhood. The pleasant aroma of the freshly-cooked pizza, the heat from the oven, traces of flour on the table. If you are feeling nostalgic or just want to bake the pizza to your liking with all your favorite toppings, spare one hour of your time on cooking.
Detailed Guide on Cooking Pizza at Home
No matter how tasty the frozen pizza you can buy is, it will never replace a homemade one. You don’t have to be an experienced baker or pizzaiolo to create a masterpiece. Even without professional tools, these tips will help you achieve the results you want.
- Preheated surface only
Under no circumstances you should put your pizza in the cold oven. The surface must be preheated and heavy enough to provide you with the pizzeria’s flavor. You may try:
- Pizza stone, the surface that was specifically created for baking pizza. This stone absorbs the extra moisture and keeps hot temperature longer;
- Heavy-duty baking sheet, which can be found in almost every kitchen. It does not have to be round, all you need is to be able to bake your pizza without the loss of temperature;
- Upside-down cast iron skillet. You will be amazed by how many recipes can be performed with the iron skillet. Make sure it is large enough for your pizza.
- Adjust the high temperature in the oven
Pizza ovens in restaurants usually get really hot. During the day, cooks do not try to cool them down, since there is no time to do this. The most suitable temperature for baking a perfect crusty pizza is 500F. If you don’t know how to check the temperature, or your oven does not have a special indicator, you can use a pizza oven thermometer. It is an advanced tool that you may require for different occasions. Here is how to use it:
- Don’t look directly into the beam to avoid eyes irritation;
- Keep your distance from the pizza; it can be a few inches only. Check the recommendations of manufacturers;
- Open the oven before you take measurements and make sure there is no plastic film on the thermometer;
- It is recommended to use thermometer 20 minutes before the final check;
- Always keep this tool clean to receive accurate measures.
- Use parchment paper
Use parchment paper for easy transportation. Baked food easily slides off the baking sheet. Cornmeal may also help you with this problem, but it will leave a mess around further to clean from the table and the floor. If you are worried about a sticky surface, this paper is your best option.
- Experiment with sauces
Go bold with trying new recipes. Don’t worry if it does not turn out perfect at first. Pizza is the type of food that is hard to ruin. If you want to try something else instead of classic red sauce, you can check the next ideas:
- BBQ sauce;
- Alfredo sauce;
- Ranch dressing.
- Avoid overcooking
Nobody is going to die if you slightly under-cook the protein instead of overcooking it. Why? It is baked in the pizza again after you place it on the dough. If you want to decorate your pizza with crispy bacon, don’t fry it separately to this condition. Once you put a pizza in the oven with all the ingredients inside, the bacon will be fried again.
- Consider a wide range of toppings
Not only sauces are made to experiment with. Instead of making one pizza, you can make two small ones but with different toppings inside. Just make sure that the products combine with each other and you like them. Even if they don’t match, but you feel like checking whether the pizza will be delicious in such a combination, try it. You may start with classic ideas like:
- Pepperoni and cheese;
- Four kinds of cheese;
- Sausages or bacon and tomatoes;
- Pineapples and ham;
- Mushrooms, red sauce, and ricotta.
- Brush the crust before baking
Always brush the pizza crust with olive oil. Not only does it look more Italian, but it actually tastes splendid. To go even further, you can mix the olive oil with the garlic blend. This way, you can enjoy the crust as a separate tasty dish. Apply this mix with a small brush on the crust only, before you add toppings.
- Don’t over-top it
You have to decide whether you want a crispy crust or lots of topping on your pizza. Don’t rush with the decision. Once you choose, you can either add more toppings and receive a nourishing pizza or concentrate on the dough itself and receive a crispy crust. It is always easy to get carried away with your pizza, so you may need to plan your toppings in advance. Lots of toppings will not allow the pizza to be fully cooked.
- Choose the cheese wisely
Many people prefer to save money on cheese when it comes to pizza. They believe that there are enough toppings even without it, and the taste of cheese will be devoured anyway. Experienced cooks recommend not getting cheapskate on cheese. Basic mozzarella is an obvious choice, and you can find one of really decent quality, yet it does not reveal the unique flavor. If you want to underline the taste of cheese in your pizza, try the next types of cheese:
- Goat cheese;
You can always mix these sorts of cheese in one pizza. However, such a pizza requires white sauce only. Add some grapes or slices of pears to it.
- Add salt and pepper moderately
Don’t forget to add salt and pepper by taste. However, with the toppings and sauces, you have to be careful about the amount of seasoning you sprinkle. If you use salty or spicy toppings, you should avoid adding extra salt inside. The cheese can be salty as well. Don’t forget to try your sauce before you decide to add more components. It might be already spicy enough.
Enjoy Your Homemade Pizza
No matter which topping you choose and which tools you are going to use, the main idea of any homemade dish is to enjoy both the cooking process and the result. Make sure you eat pizza while it is still warm and crispy. And once you cut a piece of this delicious food, wash your hands and follow your Ninja Turtles’ instincts, that is eating without any cutlery. Good wine, perfectly matching with the pizza taste, will do perfectly. Even if you are still not satisfied with the results you receive afterward, don’t stop practicing. Using the guide above, you can bake pizza with a wide range of toppings and sauces, improve your skills, and create a masterpiece.