Pizza has got to be one of the best foods on earth, I mean, have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like pizza?! Pizza is a passion in our house. Ever since my hubby first told me his favorite part of going to college in New York was the pizza, I was on a pursuit to recreate the pizza he fell in love with in our own kitchen. We’ve learned a lot about making pizza at home since I started that journey, so I am going to share some homemade pizza tips along with a very exciting giveaway from Breville!
We have fallen in love with our Breville Smart Oven and use it with a baking stone all of the time to make homemade pizza! So we are so excited to be giving away three top of the line kitchen appliances from Breville! The grand prize is a Smart Oven with a 13″ baking stone ($350 value) and two first prize winners will receive a Countertop Crispy Crust Pizza Maker ($200 value)! To enter, simply fill out the form at the bottom of the post, and leave a comment telling me what your favorite pizza toppings are (difficult decision, I know ;)
When I set out to start making pizza at home my first instinct was to turn to the internet for guidance. With so many different recipes claiming to produce an authentic New York style pizza, I knew the only way we were going to accomplish our goal was going to be through trial and error, and lots of practice.
Here’s a list of our top homemade pizza tips:
1] MAKE YOUR OWN DOUGH | While you can absolutely buy ready made pizza dough from your local grocer, making your own dough is really the best. Nothing compares to the flavor and texture of homemade pizza dough. Most pizza dough recipes consist of some variation of flour, water, salt & yeast – with the real differences being found in how the dough is prepared once these ingredients have come together. Use a high quality flour like King Arthur bread flour or “00” strong bakers flour. Our favorite type of pizza dough recipe is one that utilizes a slow rise time, but that we can make the same day that we decide that we are craving pizza – this is a world winning recipe that has never let us down.
2] SHAPE THE DOUGH BY HAND | We have all marveled at the guy in the pizza parlor who can effortlessly toss & shape a ball of dough into a perfect round crust. Making pizza is an art and to shape pizza dough well, like anything else in life, takes practice. Always use your hands. Never use a rolling pin as this will deflate all of the air out of the dough and leave you with none of those characteristic air bubbles that make an authentic pizza crust so special.
3] MAKE YOUR OWN SAUCE | Yes, this one matters, even more than the dough. After trying every type of “pizza sauce” there is on the market, nothing can come close to the flavor experience of making your own sauce. The key to a great pizza sauce is the quality of the tomatoes that you are using. We have found that canned San Marzano tomatoes or canned Di Napoli tomatoes are faithfully authentic in flavor every time – they literally taste like the summer tomatoes. When you start with the best tasting tomatoes possible your sauce needs very little embellishments. The best canned San Marzano tomatoes typically hail from Italy, but if you are looking for something grown right here in the US, we absolutely love Bianco brand canned Di Napoli tomatoes.
4] INVEST IN PROPER EQUIPMENT | Making authentic style pizza at home requires a few tools to get the job done right:
- Using a kitchen scale to weigh the flour for your pizza dough will give you consistently superior results compared to using a measuring cup
- You’re going to need a pizza peel to move your pizza to and from the oven. There are several different styles of pizza peels out there (we love our Super Peel)
- A baking stone or baking steel is critical for drawing moisture from the dough in order to achieve a beautifully crisp crust
5] LESS IS MORE | When it comes to topping your pizzas, keep the ‘less is more’ principal in mind. For thin crusted pizzas (our favorite style), make sure you don’t use too much sauce, cheese, or heavy toppings in general, as this will make your pizzas soggy.
6] GET YOUR OVEN AS HOT AS POSSIBLE | Unless you have a wood-fired pizza oven, you’re going to want to simulate same the type of cooking environment as a wood fired oven in your kitchen. Whether you are using a toaster oven with a baking stone/steel or a your conventional oven, set the stone within 6-8″ of the broiler and pre-heat your oven to 450-500f for at least 30-45 minutes. Once you’re ready to bake your pizza, slide your pizza onto the stone, turn off the oven & set the broiler to high – the pizza should cook to perfection in 4-7 minutes (the time depends on your preferred doneness)
Once you start making authentic style pizza at home, your feelings for pizza will never be the same – there is just something about making pizza yourself that is not only really delicious, but so, so satisfying. I am excited to report that all of my years of homemade pizza practice paid off when my hubby told me that he no longer feels the need to return to New York to eat pizza – which is a really big deal since he used to tell me that was the only reason he would ever want to go back!
I hope these homemade pizza tips inspire you to turn your kitchen into a proper pizzeria! As always, feel free to ask me any questions that you have because I am happy to help because I could have really used some personal guidance when I first started out making homemade pizza!
We’re so excited to be giving away three incredible kitchen appliances from Breville! The grand prize is a Smart Oven with a 13″ baking stone ($350 value) and two first prize winners will receive a Countertop Crispy Crust Pizza Maker ($200 value)! Your homemade pizza journeys will be off to a great start if you win one of these appliances!
To enter, fill out the form below. Open to US residents only. Good luck! Winner will be drawn randomly on December 15th, 2016 and notified via email.
This giveaway is sponsored by Breville! All opinions expressed are purely my own, as always. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that support this blog!