Pizza, oh pizza! The humble pizza is undoubtedly one of mankind’s favourite foods and has travelled all across the globe, winning the hearts of everyone who is lucky enough to explore the taste sensations of this humble pie. There is a saying that goes, “even when Pizza is bad, it’s pretty good”, and whilst we don’t disagree, we do believe that quality, homemade pizza beats any cheap store-bought option. Are you someone who enjoys making your very own pizzas in the comfort of your own home? If so, you’re in luck — in today’s article, we explore 7 tips that will transform your homemade pizza from mediocre to Michelin star. Read on to find out more!
1. It Starts With A Killer Dough
“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value” — a quote that also applies to pizza! Indeed, your pizza base forms the building blocks of an awesome pizza which is why it is crucial to pay close attention to it. If you really want to pull out all the stops, we highly recommend making your own pizza dough from scratch. Not a fan of kneading? You can always use the help of a stand mixer or food processor to make the job a little easier. A great pizza dough recipe is simple and contains few ingredients, which is why it is important to ensure you buy the highest quality olive oil, “00” flour, yeast and cornmeal when forming the foundations of your perfect pizza pie!
2. Invest In A Pizza Stone
Most of us don’t have the luxury of owning a wood-fired pizza oven as they do at restaurants, but the next best thing you could invest in is a quality pizza stone. A pizza stone will ensure that your base is cooked through, golden and thoroughly crispy even in a standard home oven. The science behind this is relatively simple: a pizza stone helps to conduct and retain heat which in turn keeps your oven at a steady temperature. This helps the pizza cook more evenly and ensures that even the bottom of your pizza is golden and crispy. Say goodbye to the undercooked, pale and chewy dough and hello to perfect, crispy and golden homemade pizza!
3. Think Outside The (Sauce) Box!
When one thinks of pizza, thoughts of basil-infused tomato sauce and cheese come to mind. Whilst there is nothing wrong with your standard Margherita pizza, the beauty of cooking up your own pies is that you get to experiment and think out of the box. Why not use condiments such as Barbecue Sauce, Alfredo, Salsa or even a curry sauce as the base of your pizza? Once you have chosen the sauce you fancy, you can then build upon your pizza’s flavour by adding complementary toppings that will really make your homemade pizza shine.
4. Experiment With Your Cheese
Mozzarella cheese is often the bog standard when it comes to all things pizza, but once again, making it at home means that you get to experiment with different types of cheese and create brand new flavour combinations that you might not be able to find at your local pizzeria. Some alternatives to Mozzarella include Goats Cheese, Buffalo Mozzarella, Feta, Provolone, Aged Cheddar, Havarti and Pecorino Romano. You could even use a mixture of all your favourite varieties of cheese and create a homemade Quattro Formaggi from the ethers!
5. Don’t Overload with Toppings
It may be all too easy to get carried away with pizza toppings when you’re at home and have free reign over all the ingredients your heart could desire, but we always recommend simplicity. Travel to Italy and you’ll notice that some of the best pizza in the world is often simple and gingerly adorned with high-quality toppings that do the work for you. Be mindful of how much cheese, meats and veggies you put on your pizza so that you don’t overpower your delicious homemade pizza dough which you spent so much time on!
6. Don’t Overcook the Proteins
There is nothing worse than dry, rubbery chicken, bacon, shrimp or any other type of meat on a pizza. In order to avoid undercooking your proteins, we highly recommend only partially cooking them prior to topping your pizza. Don’t worry – meat toppings will continue to cook as your pizza bakes and will be perfectly moist instead of hard, dry or singed.
7. A Blast Of Heat
Last but not least, it is important that you give your pizza an ultimate blast of heat by turning your oven up to max temperature. One of the reasons restaurant or pizzeria pizza tastes better than what you make at home is simply because their oven is a lot hotter than yours. Turning your oven up to maximum temperature (at least 250C) will help your dough become crispy, light, airy and fluffy instead of stodgy and undercooked. Delicioso!
And there you have it — everything you need to become your very own master of homemade pizza. We hope that this article has given you a few handy tips on how you can take your homemade pizza to the next level to wow your friends and family. Bon Appetit!