Pizza is the one thing that I have made over and over again. Not only does my husband want pizza every Friday night, I actually love the simplicity of it( Which sometimes makes the best family dinners ). So, I have learned a few things that I want to share with you that will help you love pizza night at your house too.
Pizza stone- This part of baking the pizza is so important. Why? The stone heats up on the oven so when you slide the pizza on the stone the crust starts baking immediately. This provides a perfect crisp bottom and the top still stays soft and chewy.
Shaping the dough- This step is important because you want to have an even thickness when you roll it out. Lightly grease a piece of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone and place on your pizza peel and sprinkle a little cornmeal on top. Roll out your pizza dough and brush olive oil on the crust lightly. It will come out of the oven with a nice golden sheen.
Toppings- One thing I have learned is not to use pre shredded cheese. Shred the mozzarella yourself. It does take a little more work but the results are amazing. Also, blocks of cheese are cheaper too!
Baking the Pizza- An hour before you want to bake the pizza place the pizza stone on the rack in the in the lowest position and preheat to 475 or 500 ( only preheat to 475 if that is your highest temp ) Don’t be scared to use such a high temp! It won’t burn the house down. I have been there ( remember my husband once a week so I have baked the so-called pizza for 30 minutes on 350 and you come out with more like pizza casserole) So go ahead and heat the oven up high! Top your pizza with sauce and toppings. Take the loaded pizza paddle to the oven and put the paddle about halfway on the stone. Give it a little nudge and it will slide right off. Close the oven and bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Gently remove the pizza by sliding the pizza paddle underneath ( sometimes you might have to grab a corner ). It should be an easy process. Then, you have it! Your amazing pizza from your own kitchen.
Alternatively, it you don’t have a pizza paddle you can use an aluminum baking sheet ( not a nonstick one!) Lightly grease it and use the instructions above. Now, if you do not have a pizza stone or a pizza paddle. Use a rimmed baking sheet upside down and preheat for 30 minutes at 475. You can also still use another baking sheet if you have no pizza paddle to slide in to the oven. It might be a little trickier for you to slide it back out of the oven. You may need someone to help you. All of these tips and tricks will help you in your pizza making and baking.