Published On: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

Pizza Making 101

Pizza pies are a worldwide comfort food that works with nearly any toppings. Whether you enjoy them savory or sweet, topping a freshly baked dough with favorite foods will only bring a smile to your face. The pizza-making business has boomed over the past few decades because many fans don’t know how to make the perfect pie. Explore the intricacies of pizza making 101 so that your next recipe turns out like the professionals.

Dough Choices

You have several choices when it comes to dough types, including homemade, frozen and canned versions. Ideally, make your own pizza dough with all-purpose flour, yeast and water. Don’t forget to add the salt either. Many amateur chefs forget that flour is largely tasteless, and you need some salt to bring out the crusty goodness. The store-bought dough will work in a pinch, but you’ll taste the manufactured ingredients. When you have dietary restrictions, such as gluten sensitivities, buying a store-bought mixture may be your only choice to stay healthy.

Image/Video Screen Shot

Fling or Roll It?

Don’t be tempted to pull out the rolling pin on this recipe because it can ruin your entire crust. When you roll out pizza dough, you force out the air that’s part of the cooking process. You want a light and bubbly crust instead of a hard base. Ideally, stretch the dough out by hand as you cover the pan with it. If you have the talent to fling the pie in the air for stretching purposes, try this strategy out.

Stop Grabbing the Cans

Making a pizza sauce is incredibly easy, and yet many people grab the canned products. Purchase some tomatoes, collect the Italian herbs and cook up a quick sauce. Use your taste buds as a measuring stick for flavor. Add oregano, basil and other herbs as you deem necessary. If you make too much sauce, simply freeze it for another round of pizza-making activities later on. The sauce should have some tomato lumps so that the flavors can explode in your mouth.

Use Ample Olive Oil

Pizza and olive oil are natural matches in Italian cooking. Before you add the dough to the pizza pan, spread olive oil out on the surface. Coat the crust if desired too. The olive oil adds some healthy fat to the meal while offering functional value too. Oil hidden under the crust will actually sizzle as the pizza cooks. In essence, the olive oil sears the crust from below as the toppings melt into the pizza.

photo Brandon Jones

Treat the Crust Separately

Although this cooking strategy may sound unusual, it’s perfectly suited to a homemade dish. Because your household oven can’t get as hot as a pizzeria’s appliance, partially cook the crust before adding any toppings. You’ll avoid any uncooked spots on the crust when you allow it to heat up for a few minutes. The final cooking occurs when you add the toppings and allow everything to melt together. Your resulting crust will be completely cooked and free from any weak points.

Plan the Toppings

Your household might enjoy many different toppings so the pizza becomes a mishmash of a half-dozen ingredients. Try to pare down your ingredient list to three or four items. Olives, sausage and fresh basil might be one suggestion. Pepperoni is always a favorite, but don’t add your entire produce drawer on top of it. You’ll lose many of the tastes that are inherent to the sauce and crust. Pick and choose proper ingredients, and the pizza will come alive.

Turn Up the Heat

Take a look at some pizza recipes, and you’ll find a wide variety of cooking temperatures. From 350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, these recipes take your oven’s limitations into consideration. For the best pizza, turn the baking temperature up to 500 degrees F. You don’t want to turn on the broiler, but a strong heatblast is necessary to properly cook the pie.

A Watchful Eye Wins the Prize

There is no set time that the pizza needs to cook. When you try a 500-degree F. oven, it’s critical to pay attention to the food. You’re looking for uniform melting and browning of the surface. Don’t allow the pie to sit for too long in the oven because burning will occur. If one section isn’t melting as well as the remaining areas, remove the pie and allow it to melt outside of the oven. The pie will continue cooking as it cools outside of the oven.

Every worthwhile skill requires some practice so don’t be surprised if your first pizza seems a little lackluster. Try making a pizza once a week, and you’ll see improvements with each meal. If you needed a little boost, take a pizza making class with Cozymeal and learn a few tricks from professional chefs, or maybe go with your colleagues as a team. Pair your next pizza with a freshly chopped salad too. Being an Italian chef is possible with some attention to detail.

Author: Lolita Di

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