A great pizza is really a matter of preference. Making a great pizza from scratch starts with knowing what flavours and textures you like. Then, keep them in mind in each step of the pizza making process.
Pizza dough ingredients are basic, and toppings are similar. So knowing that, it is really one’s personal preferences that make a pizza taste awesome. Here are some tips:
The Pizza Dough Basics
Measurements for ingredients can vary, as can the ingredients themselves. Basically however, pizza dough ingredients are the same and here are some tips for the basics:
- Basic pizza dough ingredients include: yeast, flour, sugar, salt, hot water and also oil
- You can add garlic or any favourite herb or spice to the dough
- Be sure to check that the yeast has not expired
- Use hot water. Do not use warm water, or boiling water
- The oil used will alter the flavour. For example, using olive oil will give a different tasting crust, compared to canola oil
- Kneading the dough is important. It’s not just about mixing the ingredients together, but also about preparing the dough to rise. The dough should be kneaded until entirely smooth
- The dough will do best if left to rise in a warm spot
- Cover the dough with a towel
- The dough should be left to rise for about one hour.
Making a Perfect Pizza Crust
Determine how think you want the crust. Some people like a thin crispy crust. Other people prefer a medium crust. And some people like a thick crispy or thick chewy crust. It takes a bit of practice to make a thin crust. Here are some tips to help make the rolling easier:
- Use parchment paper to roll the dough
- Roll from the center of the dough outward
- Hold the rolled out dough and use hands to help stretch the dough thinner
- For a thin crust, the dough should be thin. But it should not be so thin that it will not hold up the toppings
- You can place the dough directly on the pan. Alternatively, you can also bake the dough on the parchment paper
- If not using parchment paper, brush the pan with oil
- For a crispier crust, brush the bottom of thin crust with oil. If making a thicker crust, also brush the bottom and sides.
- Bake the pizza in a preheated, but very hot oven. Place the pizza on the bottom rack, so that the crust bakes through in about the same amount of time it takes the cheese to melt. For example, it takes about 10 – 12 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for a thin crust
The pizza sauce used will affect the overall flavour of the pizza. Some people like a bit of sauce, while others like lots of extra pizza sauce. Experiment with flavours. For example, you might like a pesto sauce, or maybe add in barbeque sauce to the basic tomato sauce for a different flavour. Toppings change the overall flavour as well. For example, different brands of salami, when baked, make the pizza taste differently. Finally, if you are using a wood-fired oven, choose your firewood carefully. This is because your choice of firewood can affect the taste of the pizza.
When the Pizza is Ready
Once the pizza it is important to let the pizza rest for a few minutes.
- When the pizza comes out of the oven, release the crust from the pan with a spatula
- Give the cheese a few minutes to cool down before cutting the pizza. Otherwise, the cheese will slide off
- A knife will work, but a heavy pizza cutter will cut easily through the melting cheese and crust
- Parmesan cheese, red chili peppers and even mustard or ketchup can be added to a baked pizza slice for a bit of a different flavour
Follow these tips for making a great pizza from scratch. Knowing that a great pizza depends on personal taste preferences will help making a great pizza easier.