When it comes to pizza, ordering it is as easy as pie (a pizza pie!), but cooking seems way harder. It doesn’t have to be, though! It’s possible some pizza making mistakes have snuck in your process. But don’t despair! Here are the most common such mistakes and how to avoid them.
Researching pizza making mistakes helped me a lot after my first two sort-of successful tries. I had thought it would be simpler, but a lot of things went wrong and I didn’t understand why. Either the dough was too dry and crumbly, or the toppings would just fall off and my experience was less than satisfying. This considering that I have been in love with pizza ever since I first tried it. And that will come as a surprise to nobody.
When I tried making it at home, I was thinking “It shouldn’t be this hard”. I mean, the history of pizza tells us that it emerged in olden times as a go-to dish, easy to make flatbread with toppings, with ingredients found around the house.
So, let’s see. What could be going wrong with the process of making pizza? Don’t forget that the most important thing is to have fun while making it!
5 pizza making mistakes
1. Not letting the dough rest a little
This was the first mistake I made – both times! I was so excited to roll out the dough and start assembling the pizza, that I didn’t let the dough aside at all after removing it from the fridge. The dough doesn’t respond well to being overworked, and you will overwork it if it’s cold at this point. Plus, it might be annoying for you to work on a dough that’s not that malleable yet. So remember! The dough needs to be at room temperature before you start stretching it out.
2. Rolling the dough too thin
Your dough needs to be able to hold the entire weight of the tomato sauce and all your toppings, so a very thin one might crumble. Been there, done that! Your dough needs to be thick and strong enough. So don’t roll it too thin. How thin should it be, though? If you like a thick crust, you can leave it at about one-quarter of an inch. If you’re more of a thin crust lover, make it half of that (an eighth of an inch).
And don’t forget, if you rely on the rolling pin too much, you might overwork the dough again, which leads to a much too dense crust. And you don’t want to lose the fluffiness, right? Try to shape the pizza using your hands and then roll it a little, near the end. Use the heel of your hand and fingertips for the shaping. If the dough shrinks back, then let it rest for a few minutes more.
3. Not seasoning the dough
Well, the dough seems to pose a lot of problems, right? Right! Well, it is the foundation of your pizza. And do you want your pizza to be built on a bland and flavorless foundation? Of course, you will add salt but then think about incorporating a few classic seasonings like oregano, thyme, or basil. And maybe even some garlic powder, if you’re not a vampire!
4. You’re using too many toppings
The first times I made pizza I couldn’t 'edit' my topping choices, and that can be one of your pizza making mistakes as well. I wanted to throw everything but the kitchen sink on there. But if you do that, then the pizza won’t cook evenly, and the dough might break under pressure. So try to be tempered and just choose 2-3, maximum 4 toppings, and don’t add too much of those either.
Try to keep it simple then and don’t add too much cheese on top. It might melt, but it’s still pretty heavy for that poor dough to carry. And if you drown out your toppings in melted cheese, then you will barely feel their taste anymore!
Also, since we’re on the toppings topic, keep in mind that you should precook some of them. Like meats or sausage, or veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. Saute those ingredients a little bit before adding them to the pizza, or they will be undercooked!
5. Not heating the oven enough
Your pizza needs to get enough heat in the oven to cook fast and furious (in a good way). So you need to preheat your oven to at least 400 degrees F/204 degrees C. Perhaps even go as high as 500 degrees F/260 degrees C. This is how your pizza will cook evenly and quickly! Don’t be afraid to do that, just keep an eye on the oven!
Also, if you want to have the best crispy crust, bake the pizza on a baking sheet that you’ve put a bit of oil on. That is how the crust gets access to as much heat as possible.
And don’t remove it too soon from the oven either, cause that's one of the pizza making mistakes I've been guilty of in the past! When it starts to smell divine, it might not be fully cooked yet! So give not into temptation, or you might bite into raw dough. Leave it in the oven for a few minutes after you think it’s done!
If you want another slice of tips and tricks, find out here how you can improve your homemade pizza.