Making pizza at home isn’t the easiest culinary task, but it shouldn’t terrify you either. All you need is to practice and accept that, at first, you probably won’t get the perfect results. But don’t worry, following our tips will surely be helpful!
Why does everybody love pizza? Because it’s a perfect dish! It’s versatile and it comes in many varieties. Pizza is a flatbread topped with tomato sauce and cheese and baked in an oven. It is commonly topped with a selection of meats, vegetables, and condiments.
Italy is the birthplace of pizza. The term was first recorded in the 10th century, in a manuscript from the city of Gaeta in Central Italy. The modern pizza was invented in Naples, Italy, but now it’s popular all over the world. There are many variations in shape, like the Chicago-style deep dish pizza (called this way because of its high edge and a depth suitable for large amounts of toppings), calzone (which is a round pizza dough topped on one side and then folded into a stuffed half-moon), pizzolo (Sicilian stuffed pizza), and many others.
There’s also a large variety of pizza toppings: Margherita, Hawaiian (a very controversial one), vegetarian, seafood, chocolate, and so on. Somebody who couldn’t decide what to top the pizza made the Quattro Stagioni type, which means that each quarter of the pizza is topped with different ingredients. So, for all those reasons – plus for the fact that you can eat it with your fingers - pizza is adored all over the world!
You may wonder if the effort is worth it. After all, many things are easier to make than a homemade pizza. Not to mention that pizza is always just a phone call away. But you have to make pizza plenty of times before you get it right.
5 tips for making pizza at home
1. Make your own dough
You’re not actually making pizza at home if you use store-bought dough. For the best results, a your-own-two-hands-approach is best. Use flour, salt, sugar, warm water, yeast, and olive oil. Kneading your dough with your hands will give it the best texture. When you’re done, place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a warm towel, and let it triple in size in a warm place.
2. Age your dough
After the dough rises, most people immediately make pizza with it. But the best pizza is made from aged dough. How can you do that? Keep it in the fridge. You can use this rule: make the dough today for tomorrow’s pizza. Pizza dough is one of those things that just seems to get better when they’re allowed to age a little.
If you’ve made too much, freeze the remaining dough! Divide it into pieces portioned for single pizzas. The dough can be frozen for up to three months and just needs to be thawed in the fridge overnight before you use it!
3. Be prepared
So, let’s say you made your dough yesterday and today is baking – and eating! - day. To make your pizza as quickly as possible, prepare all of your toppings before you start assembling it and making the sauce. But this isn’t all you have to do! Take the time to take your dough out of the fridge and knead it again.
Don’t forget to preheat the oven! For a crisp crust, set the oven as hot as it will go and preheat for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, shape the pizza dough, spread the sauce and start to add the toppings.
4. Don’t cook the sauce
Most people use store-bought pizza sauce which, usually, doesn’t have natural ingredients. Whip up your own sauce with canned tomatoes, which are great for making homemade pizza sauce. Make sure no spices or herbs have been added. You can also use fresh tomatoes, but the sauce can become watery because of them. For that not to happen, squeeze the tomatoes of excess liquid before blending. The best pizza sauce is only made with tomatoes and is not cooked.
5. Don’t overtop it
There are no forbidden combinations when you’re making pizza at home, but the biggest mistake you can make is to tower everything on a single pizza. Avoid overdoing it with the toppings, because making a successful pizza relies on the weight and moisture of its toppings.
If your pizza is overloaded with ingredients not only does the flavor suffer but the crust gets soggy when your ingredients are too wet. Less is more: When you top your pizza, stick to three to four ingredients, because simplicity is best!
One more tip: Use parchment paper!
One of the reasons you make pizza is that it’s easy to hold each slice with your fingers and you don’t need forks and knives. In terms of time management, this means less time lost with washing dishes. Reduce the dirt in the kitchen even more by using parchment paper when making pizza at home. Stretch the dough directly onto it, because it’s slick. Then, you can transfer it easier to the baking tray or pizza stone. Let the pizza cool on a rack, just until you're able to handle it. Slice it, put it on the table and serve as is! If you are having dinner with friends, you won’t even need plates!
Here are some of our pizza recipes.