I admit to having a massive weakness for pizza. It’s kind of like crack for me, where I think I have control over it, but the moment it’s put in front of me all powers of resistance vanish. Which is why I rarely make it (and why I cross the street when I smell fragrant wafts coming from the pizza-by-the-slice joints). But when I do cook it, I am reminded of how easy it is and why it is universally loved. I’ll make it when friends are coming over and I’m looking for something to cut into bite sized pieces and eat with hands.
Guest contributor Becky Wilcox (a non-food blogger with a passion for food) contributed these tips on how to make a perfect homemade pizza …
1. Use a pizza stone. You can certainly use a baking sheet, but if you’re serious about homemade pizza invest the $15 and get a stone. Not only are the stones perfectly shaped and aesthetically appealing, but they cook more evenly and minimize sticking. They also absorb moisture which gives the crust a crispness that is hard to achieve on a cookie sheet.
2. Be liberal with cornmeal and flour. A common problem reported by first-time pizza makers is that it sticks to the pan. The solution? Use liberal amounts of flour and cornmeal when stretching the dough.
3. Age the dough. You can now easily find frozen pizza dough at many retailers (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods) but to make it act more like artisinal dough, “age” it in the fridge for a few days before using.
4. Put the cheese on last. This sounds like a no-brainer, but making cheese your top layer insures that none of your toppings will get burned. The cheese may get brown, but slightly burned cheese is almost always preferable to slightly burned vegetables.
5. Cook the pizza on the bottom rack. If you put it on the lowest rack the bottom of the pizza cook will cook faster than the top.
6. Check it frequently. There is no exact time that a pizza will take so check on it every 10 mins or so and pull it out the moment the cheese and the crust begin to brown.
Any pizza tips to share? Or your favorite toppings when making it at home?
Photo: Courtesy Recipes.com
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