Secrets to Delicious Homemade Pizza
Homemade Pizza can be simple, easy, fun and more delicious than store bought Pizza. Here are a few tips and tricks that I use to make it perfect every time.
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I make Pizza at home every Thursday! Yes, both my kids love Pizza so much that now it’s become a trend to have homemade Pizza every week. Having said that it’s not a big deal in terms of work or health.
The only reason we can afford to eat Pizza ever week is because it’s homemade. I know exactly what goes into my pizza; I make the dough at home, as well as the homemade tomato sauce plus I can control how much of cheese goes on it.
My kids hate store bought Pizza?
One of the reasons I started making pizza every week was because Aadi and Rhea hate the pizza we get here. When they go to kids birthday parties the snack is usually a Pizza but often the cheese they use on those pizzas are the non dairy cheese which are so greasy and inedible. And of course not healthy.
Secrets to a delicious homemade Pizza?
- My first secret is a good homemade Pizza is a Pizza stone. Believe it or not; you will see a huge difference in your pizza baked on a pizza stone as compared to the baking tray.
- Invest in a pizza trayor a pizza peel. That will help you transfer your pizza to and out of the oven.
- Keep the dough soft and elastic – like the way we do in my soft burger buns.
- Preheat the oven for a good 30 minutes before you bake your first homemade pizza. The pizza stone takes longer to heat so while your preheat indicator may show that your oven has preheated – the stone takes longer to reach that temperature.
- The reason you want your pizza stone hot is so that you get that nice bottom crust while still maintaining the softness of the dough on the inside.
- If you like more crust? Par bake your pizza for 5 to 7 minutes before you add the cheese. That way you will have crusty crust and your cheese won’t get brown.
My kids prefer soft pizza so I add the cheese in all at once. But sometimes I do make a crusty one for Ziv and me.
- Plan your Homemade Pizza so you enjoy the process instead of get stressed. Pizza is a lot more tasty when it’s fun!! Trust me on this. Kids love helping out too. My Rhea has the patience to place each mushroom slice one at a time making sure they are evenly spaced.
- When adding cheese – grate it as it will distribute evenly and you will use less cheese which is much more healthy. Unless of course you want an extra helping of cheese.
Few tips about the ingredients.
- Flour – Use bread flour instead of all purpose flour – you will find that your dough will be a lot more soft and elastic. If you cannot find bread flour all purpose will do as well.
- Yeast – I’m not a slave to any particular brand but I do use Instant dry yeast as compared to fresh or instant yeast. You can add it directly to your flour without testing it. But I’m old school so I still do let my yeast activate first.
- Water – the temperature of the water you use for yeast has to be warm – not hot and not cold. Almost the temperature of milk you give a baby. Approximately 105 to 115 F
- If you use a Pizza peel -use cornmeal on it to help slide the pizza in and out. I use a Pizza tray with holes so it works best with flour.
- Leaves – most often we use basil as topping. Sometimes we use spinach and leeks too.
The Basil is best added as a garnish as it burns in the oven. I prefer to precook my spinach and leaks – that way they are moist just right in the oven.
The Best Pizza tomato Sauce –
I love using homemade Basic tomato sauce and it’s a multi purpose suace tha I use for many of my Pasta recipes. You can double and triple it. You can freeze it and the best of all? I make it with fresh not canned tomatoes. You must try it and I promise you will use it more often then you think.
The secrets to freezing homemade pizza.
- You can freeze homemade pizza dough. Just punch down the dough and remove as much of the air. then place in a freezer approved ziplock bag and place in the freeze for a month or more.
To thaw just place it in the fridge for a couple of hours before you need to use it. Let it come to room temperature for an hour before you use it.
- Alternatively you can bake the pizza, cut the slices, cool them completely before you place the slices in a zip lock bag. You can freeze these for long but mine have never stayed for more than a week. They make great snack for kids during those mid meal snack times. To thaw just place the slice from freeze to the microwave. The condensation thaws into the pizza keeping it fresh. Usually one minute on hight for one slice works great for my microwave.
- I often make mini pizzas and save them for the kids school snacks. I have shown you how I made my mini pizza in the video below too. Freeze and thaw them the same way as the slices above.
Video – Homemade Pizza
I have shown you how I make dough on couple of videos so I skipped the dough and just showed you how I prepare the pizza. The progress pictures for the dough are at the bottom of this post – don’t forget to see them. I hope you find it useful.
Homemade Pizza Recipe
Makes two 12 inch pizzas
Here’s what you will need:
- 1½ cup warm water
- and 1 tbsp sugar
- plus 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Instant dry yeast or 20 grams fresh yeast or 2¼ tsp
- and 1 tsp salt
- Approx 500 grams Bread flour
- Tomato Sauce - try my Basic tomato sauce recipe
- Toppings of your choice - mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives, basil, or nothing at all.
- Parmesan Cheese - about 1 tbsp for each pizza really adds so much flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese - I use approx 100 grams for each pizza but you can use as much as you want.
- Add yeast, sugar and oil to the warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes until it's activated.
- Add ⅔ of the flour and salt.
- Pour in the yeast mixture
- Gently combine the flour and yeast until you have a sticky mess.
- Knead gently for about 3 minutes before you start adding more flour.
- Add flour only as much as you need to make a soft smooth elastic dough.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl with a damp kitchen towel for about an hour until double in volume.
- Punch the dough to remove some of the gasses.
- Divide the dough into two and keep covered with a warm kitchen cloth again while you preheat the oven.
- Place your pizza stone in the oven on the bottom and preheat at 210 C / 420 F for about 30 minutes.
- Roll the pizza on a flour surface as shown in the video.
- Place on a pizza peel dusted with corn meal or a baking tray dusted with flour.
- Add tomato sauce and toppings.
- You can either par bake the pizza if you want a crust or
- Just grate cheeses and place in the hot oven for about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Cool on a cooling rack before you cut into slices.
Progress pictures for my Homemade Pizza –
I know you don’t really need any progress pictures after so many bread recipes I have shared, because it’s super simple but you know just in case I have them here for you.
Here’s making the dough.
Here’s making the pizza – similar to the video above.
and that my friends are a few little secrets to delicious homemade pizza. I do hope you find them useful.