You’ve probably thought about making pizza at home but brushed off the idea because it seems difficult. Actually, it’s not. Making pizza is surprisingly easy. Like with many baked goods like cake, you can’t wing it otherwise your pizza will not come out perfect. Every instruction has to be followed to a T. In addition, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure your pizza is just as good or even better than restaurant pizza. Here are some of them.
- Use A Scale
One of the biggest mistakes people make is failing to measure the ingredients. The process of making pizza is very delicate hence every step should be followed precisely. Make sure you use the correct measurements since you mess up the whole pizza if you mess up the dough. Use a scale and measuring cup to get the exact amount of ingredients you need. You may also need to learn how to read baker’s percentage since some recipes may use terms like 60%water (60% hydration) which refers to 60% of the amount of flour used. So, for instance, if a pizza dough recipe calls for 60% water, 2% salt, and .5% yeast, that means that for every 1,000 grams of flour, you’d add 600 grams of water, 20 grams of salt, and 5 grams of yeast.
2. Use Your Hands
Don’t use a rolling pin to spread the dough as this removes all the gas which prevents your crust from being light and airy. Before stretching it, prepare your surface and hands with olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking. Then, press the dough into a flat shape with your hand and use your fingers to stretch it out. Pick up the dough and by the corners and let the rest hang down to allow it to stretch. Make sure that it doesn’t become too thin in the middle and that it’s evenly stretched out.
- Ditch The Tomato Paste
Tomatoes are a key ingredient in making pizza and they can make a huge difference in taste. Store-bought tomato paste tends to lack flavour and isn’t very healthy due to additives used to preserve it. Therefore, you should try to use fresh tomatoes to make the paste. Making your tomato paste from scratch also allows you to add as much onion and garlic as you want to bring out the flavour. Here’s a video on how to make homemade tomato paste.
- Go Easy On The Toppings
Stick to a maximum of three toppings for your pizza to come out well. Too many toppings can be overwhelming for the dough making it soggy. You also won’t be able to enjoy the flavour of your pizza since there are lots of different tastes. To be on the safe side, you can look at common recipes as a guide on which toppings to put. However, if you want to create your own recipe, keep it simple and use toppings that go well together.
- Get A Pizza Stone/Steel
A normal home oven can cook pizza but it won’t come out perfect. Pizza cooks at very high temperatures that your home oven isn’t technically designed to reach. However, you can enhance the temperatures using a pizza stone or steel. This is a thick platform where you place your pizza then stick it in the oven. The surface hits up to high temperatures which removes moisture from the crust making it crispy.
- Make Your Oven Really Hot
As mentioned, pizza should cook in very high temperatures. This allows the pizza crust to cook properly quickly preventing it from being too dry and brittle. You should set your home oven to a temperature ranging from 400 to 500 degrees (200 -240 Celsius) depending on the thickness of the crust. Please note that if you have a fan-assisted oven, lower the temperature by 20 degrees C (ie if a recipe gives a temperature of 200 C, lower it to 180 C in a fan-assisted oven). The thinner the crust, the higher the temperature. Let it preheat for a while until it’s really hot then place the pizza in. once it starts baking, avoid opening the oven too much as this makes heat escape.