The best way to make your own pizza
If you’re ordering pizza on the regular for the sake of convenience, you’ll soon realize how quickly that habit can become. Everyone loves pizza, though, and making your own from scratch is sure to please a crowd or satiate you on a solo weeknight night in.
Homemade pizza can be made with wholesome ingredients and doesn’t involve any delivery fees. The secret to getting started making your own great pizza from scratch is to learn the basic components that go into making pizza, and then to learn some unique recipes so you can recreate your favorite pizza styles at home.
How to make pizza crust
The crust is the starting point for your pizza — the vehicle for the sauce, cheese and toppings. A great pizza starts with a well-thought-out crust. There are a few ways to handle the crust for your pizza.
The simplest way is to buy a premade crust. You can buy all sorts of crusts online, from a classic thin crust to nutritional options like a whole-wheat pizza crust, keto cauliflower crust and sprouted flatbread crust.
If you have the time, however, making your own crust from scratch will greatly improve the quality of your pizza. You can make your own dough by following a pizza recipe. Once you’ve made your dough, you can allow it to rise and either use it then and there or store it in the freezer for weeknight pizza on the fly.
Choose the right temperature
To make a crispy crust, preheat the oven to at least 450 degrees and pre-bake your crust for 7 minutes before adding your sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Then bake your assembled pizza for another 7 minutes or longer, removing it from the oven when the crust is golden brown and your cheese is melted.
For a softer crust, preheat the oven to at least 400 degrees. Do not pre-bake your dough before adding your toppings, but rather spread your sauce, cheese and toppings directly onto your raw dough and insert into the oven. Bake for about 12 minutes or until your crust is golden brown and your cheese is melted.
How to make pizza sauce
If you’re feeling creative and want to personalize your sauce, the most economical thing to do is buy plain tomato sauce and soup it up with a variety of herbs and spices. Basil, oregano and parsley are great in pizza sauce.
Another excellent gourmet hack is to add a high-quality, highly-flavorful olive oil to a budget-friendly sauce to create something that tastes expensive without breaking the bank.
Regardless of what you add to your sauce, it’s essential that you heat your sauce up in a saucepan and add your spices while it simmers. Adding cold sauce from a jar to your pizza crust will result in a much less flavorful pizza.
Pick the right cheese for your pizza
The standard cheese for a classic pizza is mozzarella cheese. When selecting cheese, look for one with good meltability, like cheddar, gouda or muenster.
What cheese you use will have a drastic impact on the flavor of your pizza overall, so be conscious of this when selecting a cheese.
If you pick a highly flavorful cheese like sharp cheddar, balance this with mild toppings such as tomatoes and fresh basil. A more neutral cheese like mozzarella, on the other hand, can be paired with flavorful toppings such as roast garlic, olives, peppers and anchovies.
Get creative with toppings
Your potential topping options are practically limitless. The classic pizza is, of course, simply tomato sauce and cheese. Second to that is probably pepperoni. Other classic topping favorites include meats like bacon, pepperoni, chicken, sausage and ham; vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and olives; and other flavorful, unexpected toppings like prosciutto, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
Tips to cook the perfect pizza
- Don’t go overboard with toppings. If you pile on lots of toppings, your crust will turn out soggy and won’t cook properly. Less is more.
- Cook any toppings which need to be cooked prior to adding them to your pizza. You should sauté or roast your mushrooms, peppers, onions or any other vegetable you plan to add prior to assembling your pizza. Likewise for meats: be sure to cook all meat to a food-safe temperature prior to adding it to your pizza. No topping will be cooked fully in the amount of time the pizza takes to cook.
- The typical order in which to top your pizza is crust, sauce, cheese, then meats and vegetables. Some people like to add the toppings prior to sprinkling on the cheese to ensure the cheese melts.
- You can also get creative with the sauce on your pizza and swap it for pesto, white sauce or simply forgo sauce altogether and stick to olive oil.
Everything you need to make pizza at home
Pizza stones conduct and hold heat to ensure an even, steady oven temperature guaranteed to cook a variety of foods to perfection. Pizza stones are ideal for pizza crust and create an evenly cooked, crispy crust. You can also use your pizza stone to make perfectly cooked chicken, heating tortillas or even baking perfect cookies.
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Easily transport your pizza in and out of the oven with this food-grade, oil-coated pizza paddle. Lowers the risk of burns by allowing you to slide the pizza onto the oven rack with less proximity to the scalding metal. Also useful for baking other foods like bread.
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Get perfectly portioned, evenly-sliced pizzas with minimal effort with a high-quality, durable pizza cutter. This sharp, stainless steel pizza cutter features a rolling blade to easily cut through crust. Dishwasher safe.
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Want to cook pizzas for outdoor gatherings in the warm months without overheating your kitchen and while entertaining guests on your patio? An outdoor pizza oven is a great option for turning meal prep into a fun, immersive experience. This oven has retractable legs for easy transportation and painless setup. Can be used with gas or wood.
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Evelyn Waugh writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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