Your Guide to Make Homemade Pizza
Making pizza at home is simple. If you have never tried to prepare the dish at home, then you must surely give it a try. Also, if the pizza does not turn out to be as good as expected, do not lose heart, it is advised to keep trying, and surely after a few times, the art of making a fine homemade pizza can be mastered.
However, a few tips may come handy when preparing pizza at home and these are studied in detail below:
Preheat the Oven
You have to preheat the oven for a crispy crust and browning effect. Place a rack at the lowest level of the oven, accompanied by a pizza stone if available. Set the temperature to 450 degrees and allow the oven to become hot for around 10 minutes or so.
If you have stored your pizza dough in the refrigerator, then remove it and place on the kitchen counter for some time. Thereafter, the dough should be thinly rolled.
You can also prepare pizza dough at home. It takes approximately 30 minutes for its preparation. However, you can also purchase readymade pizza bread from the stores if you do not have the time to make the dough at home.
Kneading the Dough
When working on the dough, it should be shaped in the form of a square or circle that should be the size of your vessel. Use your knuckles to flatten the dough and work the rolling pin from the center towards the ends. Cornmeal or flours should be used sufficiently so the pizza does not stick to the surface. Also, the dough should be rolled out evenly. If the dough seems to spring back and does not become flat, then keep it for 5 minutes before working on it again. If you are good at tossing the dough, then it helps to shape the dough into the required size. But, keep in mind that tossing the dough is a bit tricky and you may have to try several times to get it right.
Get your Toppings Ready
Until the dough rises, you have time to keep the toppings ready. If you are adding meats (such as chicken, beef or pork), then they should be precooked beforehand as they take time to soften. However, you can lightly cook vegetables like eggplant, broccoli, and asparagus until the dough rises. Basically, it helps to save time if you prepare the ingredients ahead of time so they can be positioned atop the dough and kept in the oven sooner.
You will need pizza sauce; tomato sauce is also used by many people. Others that you may want to consider are pesto or BBQ sauce.
You can choose the toppings in accordance with your and your family’s preferences. Normally, cheese is, also, added as a pizza topping (believe me, cheese without pizza ain’t no fun at all) - you can opt for ricotta or mozzarella cheese.
In toppings, you have a choice of vegetables between onions, spinach, peppers, pepperoni, black olives, and mushrooms.
Use the Oven
First, put the dough on the pizza stone and follow by adding the toppings. After preheating the pizza stone in the oven, you should remove it and then place the toppings.
Also, there is no need to stuff the toppings in the center as they tend to be undercooked. Instead, they should be evenly spread over the dough’s surface while leaving half-inch border around the edges so they do not drop when inside the oven. Also, make sure that your pizza is not more than an inch in height as there is a possibility that the toppings below will not be sufficiently heated if this is the case.
The dough should be kept in the oven until the cheese has melted and become brownish in color.
Alternatively, if you want a crispy-textured crust, then you can use a regular pan to par-bake the dough. Then, the toppings can be added and put it in the oven.
After putting the dough along with the toppings in the oven, you should keep checking every 3-4 minutes through the window to ensure all the sides are becoming uniformly browned.
After you notice that the cheese is browned, it is a sign that the pizza is ready. Switch-off the oven and remove the ready pizza and place on a wood-based cutting board and let it cool for a couple of minutes; it takes around 10 minutes or so and if it is taking longer, then you can raise the temperature a bit.
Slice the Pizza
A pizza cutter helps in slicing the pizza. You can use the ‘lift and cut’ method that entails firmly pushing down the cutter on the crust and taking it back and forth about an inch and then, you should repeat until the pizza is sliced into few pieces.
Preparing homemade pizza and enjoying the meal can be made a family affair. You can prepare a few pizzas having different toppings whilst keeping the preference of the family members in mind and have a gala time over dinner as you bond with your family and make happy memories.