Who doesn't love a good slice of pizza? ( that was a rhetorical question, BTW) There are so many ways to top a pizza, you could literally eat a different one every day for the rest of your life.Whether you're a fan of thin crust, thick crust, veggie only, meat lover's or the much debated pineapple, here are some 6 tips to make sure that your homemade version is as good (or better) than one you'd get at a restaurant.
1) Start with a great pizza dough. A wonderful crust that has great flavour and texture helps to elevate a humble pizza to something extraordinary. For a delicious fool-proof recipe, check out our Ultimate Pizza Dough. If you want to use store bought dough just make sure that you let it rest on your counter for about 20 minutes before you use it.
2) Invest in a pizza pan or pizza stone. Both help to give your pizza crust that amazing crisp texture. You can find pizza pans in virtually every kitchen supply store and it's really worth the investment if you like to make pizza at least once a month. If you're using a pizza pan, make sure you brush it with oil, otherwise your crust will stick. Sprinkling the pan with a bit of cornmeal also gives it a bit of a crunch. I've used a really sturdy rimmed baking sheet in the past - it isn't a perfect substitute, but can work if you're really in a pinch.
3) Don't overload the toppings. It's tempting to add a double helping of the works, but avoid the urge because you run the risk of having the crust cook faster than all the stuff on top. When it comes to pizza, less really is more.
4) Crank up your oven. Heat is your friend, so dial up your oven up as high as it will go and cook your pizza on the bottom rack, closest to the heat source, to get that restaurant-style crust.
5) Stretch out your dough slightly thinner than you want it. Pizza dough rises as it bakes, so if you’re a fan of thin crust, don't be afraid to stretch out your dough as thin as possible before adding your toppings.
6) If you want to add meat, make sure it's already cooked. Cured meat, like pepperoni and salami are fine, but pizza doesn't cook for long enough to cook raw meat all the way through and you need to give it a head start. (Tip: this is a great way to use up that leftover steak or chicken in your fridge!)
7) Check to make sure the crust is done before you take it out of the oven. No one like gummy, underdone crust and the last place to cook on any pizza is the very middle. One way to check for doneness is to use a large spatula to gently lift the pizza to see if it's completely golden underneath. The cheese on top of the pizza should also be completely melted to the point where you'll start to get delicious brown bubbles on top.
What are some of your favourite tips when making pizza?