How to Make Pizza
Almost everyone seems to love pizza. Most people always favor the type of pizza that was served in the local pizzeria in the neighborhood where they grew up. Homemade pizza will not duplicate the pizza from professional ovens unless, of course, you have a professional home pizza oven. But where homemade pizza is different it can still be outstanding. Once you have a few guidelines for making pizza, you will realize that the varieties exceed anything that you can get at your local pizzeria.
Here are a few tips for making pizza:
Oven temperature is most important to the success of your pizza. The hotter your oven the better. It takes a hot oven to make a crisp, brown crust without drying out the top. Ideally, you want an oven that reaches 500-degrees F.
If your oven does not go that high just use its highest setting. Preheat your oven to 500-degrees, allowing 30 minutes rather than the usual 10 to insure a good, hot oven.
Special Equipment for Pizza Making
Two pieces of equipment help make excellent pizza: a pizza stone and a peel. A stone provides intense bottom heat that burns off moisture, giving the crust a firm, crisp texture. Place the pizza stone on the bottom shelf in the oven when you turn it on so that it has the full 30 minutes of time to preheat. The pizza peel is a large, flat paddle made of wood or metal. The peel allows you to slide the pizza directly onto the stone. You can use a baking sheet with no sides almost as easily.
Pizza stones are flat pieces of ceramic that help to give homemade pizza a marvelous crustiness, like those prepared in a commercial brick oven. Pizza stones can be use to bake crisp crust pizza, foccacia, calzone and homemade breads. They may be used for fresh or frozen pizzas.
A pizza peel is a baker's tool that is used to slide pizzas, bread, or pastries in and
out of the oven. When making pizza, a peel will allow you to transfer your prepared pizza onto a pizza stone or oven rack while keeping your hands safe from burns. Using a pizza peel eliminates the hassle of picking up and transferring tricky, sticky or delicate dough. Pizza peels can be made of wood or metal.
How to Use a Pizza Peel
First dust the peel with semolina, flour, or fine cornmeal. Place the dough on the peel. Jerk the peel back and forth to make sure the dough is loose. Now add the toppings and open the oven door. When you are transferring your pizza from the peel to the pizza stone on the oven, hold the peel at a
slight angle, toughing the tip of the peel to the back edge of the pizza stone. Give it a jerk and pull the peel back, easing the pizza onto the stone. When the pizza is done, slide the peel back under it and take it out of the oven.
The Pizza Dough
Pizza dough is basically a bread dough enriched with olive oil. There are numerous recipes for pizza dough. Some people like their crust thin and
brittle while others prefer it more thick and spongy. Most people do like a pizza with a crunch to its crust. Go to Pizza Dough Recipes
Be generous with the toppings, but remember that a heavily covered pizza dough will be more difficult to slide into the oven. Our Topping Recipes will provide you with many ideas. Since a pizza cooks very quickly at a high heat, follow the instructions given with each recipe to determine if some of the topping ingredients need to be pre-cooked before baking.
Baking the Pizza
Thin to medium crust pizzas will bake in about 10-12 minutes in a
500-degree F oven. Follow the directions given in each topping recipe. Some cheeses can be baked for the entire time. Other cheeses are better added during the last 2-3 minutes - just long enough to heat them and bring out their flavors. If you are using a specialized pizza baker, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Turn on grill to medium heat. Lightly oil a grill rack. Stretch pizza dough on a flour or cornmeal-coated pizza peel. Let grill rack heat before adding the dough. If you are adding a sauce, be sure that it is warm, as it won't have time to heat on the grill. Close the grill lid. Grill until the bottom of the dough browns, about 5 minutes. Remove dough to pizza peel. Flip the dough over, so that the brown side is up, and add the toppings. Return to grill rack and grill 5-8 minutes, until crust is brown and cheese is melted.
Antimo Caputo 00 pizzeria flour is used by some of the best pizza makers around the world, especially in most Pizza Napoletana restaurants. The Caputo family has been producing the flour in Naples for over three generations. If you are looking for a tasty crisp crust, we recommend Caputo Tipo 00, a finely ground flour with 12.5% gluten.
Pizza cones are the newest way to prepare fun, personalized pizzas for the entire family. Bake the cones, add your favorite toppings, and you have a hand-held, portable snack. These cones are great for parties, game day or just a fun way to make any pizza dinner more awesome!