The Ultimate Guide To Homemade Pizza 

Pizza remains one of the most popular fast meals in the United States. It is an incredibly easy food to cook, so if you’re looking to host a party with friends, then this guide is here to save the day. The crisp crackling crusts, unique taste, and deliciousness make it a well-loved fast food to quench taste buds. While the conventional way has been to order from stores, you can also prepare homemade pizza. 

baking cheese cooking crust

Making a homemade pizza helps you to save money as the cost of purchasing ingredients is cheaper. It also allows you to control ingredients and taste and tailor the meal to your diet needs. With a good pizza oven, necessary ingredients, and recipe, you and your family can make a delicious pizza that’ll leave a lasting experience. Here is an ultimate guide to homemade pizza.ย 

Prepare Your Ingredients And Equipment 

Making a homemade pizza may sound complicated, but it is easier when you know the ingredients. Get warm water, active dry yeast, bread flour, olive oil, salt and sugar for the dough. Next, prepare minced garlic, sweet onion, dried oregano, basil, and fresh tomatoes for the sauce. For the pizza toppings, get a stick of pepperoni, bulk sausage, mozzarella, sweet bell pepper, and cornmeal for assembly.

It is best to include extra equipment to prepare an excellent homemade pizza. Examples include pizza stone, peel, rolling pin, stand mixer, dough scraper, cast iron skillet, pizza cutter and most importantly, a good pizza oven! 

Your baking oven’s quality will determine the pizza’s outcome. Good heating equipment should have excellent insulation ability to sustain extreme temperatures and make your pizza crispy. It should also have a thermometer to get the ideal meal taste. 

It is essential to use quality pizza ovens like that from Ooni. They have excellent outdoor pizza ovens with many ranges that’ll fit your homemade pizza preparations. Whether wood-fired or gas-powered, you will get the right one from their store. These pizza ovens are portable and can be transported around the garden easily.

Make The Dough 

After ticking all boxes on ingredients, it’s time to make the dough. There are three ways to prepare dough; by hand, by food processor or by a stand mixer. 

When preparing pizza dough by hand, combine the yeast, salt, sugar and water in a big basin. Then, gradually add the flour mixture until the dough forms a shaggy ball. Use your hands, and knead the ball until it is smooth and bounces back when you touch it.

Using a food processor, begin by adding the dry ingredients into the machine. It’s time to mix things up! Slowly pour liquid ingredients through the feed tube while the motor runs until the dough forms a ball and rotates freely in a bowl. Continue the process for about 25 seconds.

Finally, while making the dough with a stand mixer, add the dry ingredients to the bowl, start the device and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms and does not adhere to the edges. After about 5 minutes of kneading on medium-low, add more dry ingredients if required. You can also use an electric beater or dough hook for this purpose.

Proof The Dough 

Firstly, put the dough in an oiled bowl and coat the entire surface. Next, cover with plastic wrap and leave it for 1 hour. After proofing the dough, air bubbles emerge, increasing its size and enhancing the flavor. You can also proof the dough in a refrigerator for a couple of days. 

Cover loosely with cellophane wrap to prevent moisture from developing while proofing in the refrigerator. Over proofing can make the dough sour, so be careful not to let it rise too long. Always proof our dough until it has doubled in size.

Make The Sauce And Toppings 

There are numerous pizza sauce recipes to make your homemade meal delicious. There’s no need to precook the sauce because it cooks in the oven unless you like a more intense tomato taste. For a Neapolitan or New York-style meal, whole canned tomatoes broken up with your hands work well.

Pour less sauce than you think you’ll need into the dough and use the bottom of a spoon to distribute it evenly. The cooking process will be slow because of the pools of sauce and moist places. In this case, relax so that it will be evenly ready. 

Ensure you balance the tastes as much as possible when putting together your pizza crust. If you enjoy a lot of sauce, stick to uncomplicated flavors that won’t compete, such as cheddar and just seasoned veggies. With toppings like a creamy burrata or unique meat like prosciutto, use a little quantity of sauce or any overbearing additives so that the taste focus of the pizza remains.

There are two methods to add toppings to your pizza: raw or cooked. Consider the taste you’re going for when determining whether to include the ingredients before or after cookingโ€”adding the sauce after baking provides more straightforward flavors. In contrast, precooking meat like sausage will make it drier, whereas cooking it on a pizza will make it softer and moister.

Shape The Dough 

When you’re ready to make the pizza, use a wooden peel so you can quickly move it into the oven. Coat the dough with flour to prevent it from sticking to the peel. Some people like the granular texture of semolina or cornmeal, while others prefer all-purpose flour.

Instead of using a rolling pin to form the dough, use your hands to keep it light and airy. Form the crust slightly so it may remain intact while molding the remaining part of the dough, and then press it down in the center. When you’re through, use your fingertips to make a dimple in the center, which will let you add toppings later.

Next, divide your dough into six pieces using a bench scraper and tuck in each corner toward the center. Indent each piece of dough onto an unfloored part of a work surface. Pull the dough over the surface with a bench scraper to make tight balls.

Place the dough balls on an oiled baking sheet coated with plastic wrap and pull the plastic wrap up around the balls. You may also use six greased plastic pint containers for this. Now, refrigerate the dough for 1 to 2 hours until it is cold and you can see your fingers through it.

Put The Pizza In Oven 

The exciting part has come. To prepare homemade pizza, use a good pizza oven, toaster or skillet and finish it on the broiler or the grill. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit before placing your baking iron or stones on the rack. You can use a sheet pan if you don’t have baking steel or stone. 

Next, use a perforated or wooden peel, and move the pizza to the higher oven rack after heating. Before removing, ensure the cheese is even, brown crust and bottom. 

Finishing Your Pizza 

After removing your delicacy from the pizza oven, it’s time to garnish the surface. Sprinkle some spices like dried basil and oregano. Drizzle your pie with the most refined olive oil for a final touch. Slice the pie when it has rested for 3-5 minutes. Cut a slice and enjoy your homemade pizza.  

Krystal | Sunny Sweet Days
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