It's difficult to make pizzeria-style pizzas at home, simply because most of us do not have a wood-fired oven that can reach temperatures of 900 degrees F! But we can make a very good pizza with the equipment we have. Here's how to make the best pizza ever.
Make the Best Pizza
- Make sure the oven is hot. The oven should be at least 425 degrees F. The crust has to bake and brown very quickly. A slow oven will not force the moisture out of the crust, and the toppings will make the crust soggy.
- Use a pizza stone if you can. The stone will hold extra heat for a fiery hot surface that will start cooking and crisping the crust the second it touches the stone.
- When rolling out the crust, dust the pizza pan or work surface with cornmeal for a crisp finish.
- Be judicious with toppings. Many thin crusts simply cannot hold a lot of toppings. For an average 12" pizza, about 1/2 cup of sauce is plenty A cup of vegetables and meats, and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of cheese will make a good thin crust pizza.
- Deep dish pizzas are different. They must bake at a slightly lower temperature for a longer period of time so the pizza bakes evenly throughout.
- A homemade crust is better than refrigerated pizza doughs. Those doughs are usually softer and wetter and almost never bake up crisp.
- When making your own dough, bread flour produces a superior crust. And be sure to knead (or beat, if the recipe is for a wet dough) the dough for a full 8-10 minutes.
- Many doughs are better if you refrigerate them overnight before baking. This is also an excellent way to spread out the work.
- Finally, have fun with your toppings. Experiment and listen to your taste buds. And be sure to write down the instructions for your successes.