I continue to learn a lot about making pizza and am mildly obsessed.
As today is a travel day, I thought I`d share a few quick tips that I`ve recently developed that`s helping my homemade pizza reach the next level (pictures and another post on pizza when I get back). These tips are resulting in the bes pizza I`ve ever made at home (and the second-best outside of Italy that I`ve bever had). These tips come from a combination of trial-and-error, reading and talking to some amazing Pizza Chefs:
- `Real`pizza cooks at 1,000 degrees for 90 seconds. I cook mine as hot as possible at home – bake at 550 degrees with a pizza stone near the top of the oven. My thin-crust pizza takes 10 minutes in the oven. It won`t burn. Pinky swear.
- You can let the dough raise as long as it needs. I accidentally let one rise for more than 12 hours last week (the oven was off and the couch was comfy) and it made for a great breakfast pie.
- The best rolling-pin is your fingers. Flatten the pie with your fingers and knuckles, make little dimples in the dough and don`t worry about being perfect.
- Don`t worry about perfect circles – it`s far prettier when not `perfect.`
- The best sauce = diced tomatoes and olive oil blitzed with an immersion blender or food processor.
- Fresh herbs will last in extreme heat for a short duration. 10 minutes is not short. I blend herb flakes into my sauce and am very liberal with them.
- Less ingredients = more. Sauce, cheese and 1 ingredient (I like pickled hot peppers).
- Heat the pizza stone in the oven for a long time.
- Smaller pizzas are easier to handle. I make small pizzas which are about the size of a plate (this is essential to transfer from a cutting board to the hot stone which I do with the help of a spatula).
- Once you put the sauce on the dough, act like it`s a race. Each second longer means that your pizza is getting `soggy-er` and more difficult to transfer.
- Cheese should be applied in chunks – not grated. The bigger the chunks, the longer it takes to melt and the more that you will have individual pools of cheese and not a solid film covering the entire pie.
A few pizza-related articles tht may help you get up to speed if you`re looking for the fundamentals:
- How to make your own pizza dough
- Learning about making pizza (this was my first attempt from scratch)
- How to make calzone (the best home technique ever)
Any other tips out there? I`d love to hear them.