Let’s face it, we all would love to be the world’s best pizza connoisseurs. It’s a food that gives us so much satisfaction, and for those who love to cook, it’s a fun dish that you can’t stop perfecting.
But the ultimate pizza doesn’t just come about by chance. It requires some technique, knowledge, and a lot of trial and error.
We’ve skipped that hard stuff for you and compiled together expert tips on how to make a better homemade pizza, guaranteed. This provides a suitable challenge for someone doing some home baking, remember though that it’s difficult to cater for large groups from your own kitchen. For a complete catering service let the pizza experts at Hot Stones Pizza catering deal with your guests.
Let’s start with the dough. Whether you like it thin and crispy, or thick and chewy, it’s got to taste good! Some may neglect the simple fact that the dough needs to be seasoned well. Sure, store-bought dough is quick and easy, but it’s also usually bland and flavorless. You’ll find that making the dough yourself is the way to go, and don’t be shy about adding some flavor! However, keep in mind your toppings. Make sure the salt ratio is balanced well.
Create the dough
When making the dough at home, here’s an easy way to help cooking go faster: use more yeast, a little bit of sugar and some warm water. If you put about 3/4 of a teaspoon more yeast than the recipe yields and the water is around 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit, the dough will rise quicker. Also, adding a tablespoon or so of sugar not only activates the yeast, but makes the crust extra crispy.
For the best texture, don’t use a mixer, knead your dough by hand. After kneading, your dough will form into a supple yet firm cohesive ball. Let it rest in a warm place in your kitchen in an oiled bowl and cover it with a warm towel. Wait, and watch it rise.
If you’re going to do it, do it right. Toss that pizza dough like a pro! Don’t roll out your dough or else you’ll squish down the bubbles that make it rise. If you aren’t brave enough to toss it in the air, massage and stretch it out gently with your hands and fingers.
Alright, enough about dough, let’s move on to the sauce. The point of making pizza at home is that you have the opportunity to choose your own quality ingredients, and even make it healthy. The same rule applies for cheese and other ingredients that you can buy prepackaged (try grating the cheese yourself).
So then, the best sauce is made from scratch. It’s quick and easy to purée tomatoes with Italian seasonings, garlic, salt and pepper.
Choose your toppings carefully
If this is your first homemade pizza you may think, this is my chance to put on all the toppings I’ve ever wanted on a pizza and pile it high! It’s not such a good idea. Try not to go overboard with the toppings, just pick a few basic ingredients and stick to it. Likely, if you put too much on top your crust won’t be able to support it all and the toppings won’t be fully cooked.
If you don’t have a pizza stone (which will give the pizza an amazing crust when preheated) you can use a regular cookie sheet and do the same. To get a slightly fried crust, coat the pan with a little olive oil. If you just want to make sure that it doesn’t stick, then sprinkling semolina on the pan and carefully laying the dough on top will work well too.
Everybody’s preferences are different when it comes to how much they like their pizza cooked. But avoid cooking it at a low temperature in the oven. You want it as hot as possible without it broiling! Generally, it’s done when the cheese is hot and bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
When serving, wait until the pizza has cooled down enough for you to cut into it and not have toppings oozing out with the sauce. Of course you want to serve it as hot as possible!