Homemade Pizza Tips
Every home chef should know great homemade pizza tips. I have been making homemade pizza for years, and through trial and error and some long conversations with my nonna, I have learned a few tricks to make the best homemade pizza. They are simple and easy tricks and will take your pizza from good to great.
Give Pizza Dough a Rest
The number one reason that home chefs are afraid of making homemade pizza is the dough. That’s why there is such a market for prepackaged dough and pre-made crusts, which are ok to use in a pinch, but making your own dough is the best.
You might have to do it a few times to get a feel for it and the right consistency, but you’ll be a pro in no time. The thing with homemade dough, like so many things in life, is timing. When making pizza dough, you need to plan to have time for the dough to rest and give the yeast a chance to work its magic.
There are lots of different dough recipes that you can try, and it comes down to preference. However, you should always make your pizza dough with 00 flour. In Italy, flour comes in sizes, and 00 is the best for getting a good stretchy dough.
I usually make the dough in the morning, so it has the whole day to rest. I cover it with a cloth and put it in a warm spot in the house. Every few hours, I check the dough and punch it down. It will double in size, so you need to punch it down or re-knead it a few times, then let it rest some more.
When I’m ready to cook in the evening, I split the dough into two parts for a perfect crust, not too thick and thin. If you live in a humid climate or high elevation, you might have to play with your dough recipe before you get it, exactly how you like it. Yeast is a living thing, and it’s sensitive to climate. So whichever dough recipe you use, make sure that it gets to rest most of the day. Pizza, like all good things, in life takes time.
Get Saucy with your Homemade Pizza Sauce
Making pizza sauce is so easy that I wonder why everyone doesn’t do it. It is the perfect way to make your pizza shine and your tastebuds sing. And did I mention it’s easy, so easy. Traditionally pizzas were simple, just dough, sauce, and cheese. There weren’t any Hawaiian or meat lovers or *gasp* taco pizzas.
It was pure, simple ingredients, so each one had to shine. I have the perfect recipe for a simple sauce that I learned from my nonna in Italy. And, today is your lucky day. I’m going to share this easy peasy recipe that takes any pizza to another level.
First, take about ten Roma tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Assemble them on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil all over, be generous with the olive oil. Then, sprinkle basil and oregano on the tomatoes. If you have fresh basil and oregano, use that. If not, dried is fine. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Crush fresh garlic and distribute evenly on the pan with the tomatoes. Use as much garlic or as little as you like. I use about six or seven cloves because I love garlic and like a good pungent sauce. But if garlic is a little too much for you, you can use one or two cloves. My Italian nonna believes in the healing powers of garlic. According to her, garlic cleans the body and is good for the immune system. And little did I know there is actual science to back her up.
Next, roast those oily Romas in the oven on 400 for around twenty to thirty minutes. Check them after five minutes and stir them, so they roast evenly. Once roasted, let them cool. They should be soft and gooey. Throw them in the blender with a small can of tomato paste. Make sure to use tomato paste and not tomato sauce. The paste is mostly to thicken the pizza sauce up and give it a red color. If you forget this step, the sauce will be pinkish and too watery.
There you have it, homemade sauce. This recipe makes enough for four pizzas, and since my dough is for two pizzas, I freeze the remaining sauce for the next pizza night. Honestly one of the best homemade pizza tips you need.
Power of the Pizza Stone
Do not underestimate the power of the stone, the pizza stone, to be exact. A pizza stone can elevate homemade pizza to another level. I learned this one fairly recently before I made pizza with a regular old pizza pan.
I would have to bake the dough first, and then after five minutes or so, I would add the sauce, cheese, and toppings. It made a decent pie that I was proud of. But then, the pizza stone came into my life, and I will never make pizza without it again.
Here me now, one of the greatest homemade pizza tips you can follow right now, is buying a pizza stone!
A pizza stone is a flat round baking ceramic stone used for making pizza. It magically turns any oven into a brick pizza oven. The ceramic stone cooks the pizza evenly, and the ceramic can absorb any extra moisture leaving a crisp crust. Pizza stones are worth the money if you regularly make pizza.
The best way to use a pizza stone is to place the stone in the oven and preheat the oven. Once the stone is hot, take it out and add the dough, sauce, cheese, and any toppings. The stone is so hot it will start cooking the dough while you are adding your toppings. When you have all of your toppings in place, slide the stone back in the oven and let it finish cooking. Using a pizza stone takes a step out of the process and makes a delicious pizza that tastes as if it came out of a brick oven.
My simple homemade pizza tips focus on the basics: the dough and the sauce. Once you have those two down, you can get creative and try different toppings and combinations with the confidence that they will turn out great each time. Use my nonna’s tips and up your pizza game. You will love every bite!