Ask just about anybody what their favorite food is. I can guarantee that one of the top three is likely to be pizza. Everyone loves pizza and everyone has different opinions about pizza. Thin or thick crust? What toppings? New York, California or Chicago style? Small, Medium or Large? Even pick-up or delivery? Now you can have your very own opinion,options and your very own pizza!
This article is intended to give you the basics of pizza preparation, condiments and cooking equipment. Pizza is very forgiving. It really doesn't care what you put on it or where you cook it. I've even made it on a barbecue! So don't worry and just have fun with it.Equipment For Making Pizza
- Food processor - this is probably the most useful (although you can get by without it) piece of equipment.
- Rolling pin - for those who don't want to toss the dough.
- Baking stone or bricks - a heavy duty baking sheet can be used instead.
- Pizza peel - paddle like tool for removing pizza from the oven - a couple of spatulas will work fine too.
- Pizza cutter - don't have one? Use a big knife.
- Cooling rack
The method for making pizza no matter what kind or style you like
1. Make the dough.
Bread flour is what I use, it produces a dough that's a little thicker, lighter and fluffier. If you prefer a thinner and crisper crust, use regular flour.
2. Make the sauce (not always necessary).
Some pizzas have sauces some don't. Not only does a sauce add flavor, it helps keep the cheese on the pizza.
3. Cut the cheese (Not the way you're thinking, Beavis!).
Cheese is probably the single most important ingredient. Don't be cheap when it comes to buying cheese. Buy fresh, whole cheeses. You and your taste buds will be glad you did. It's OK to grate the cheese in advance (I use the food processor for this) and keep refrigerated or frozen for later use.
4. Prepare the toppings.
I like to have all the toppings cut and ready prior to assembly. This makes the assembly fast, which is important.
5. Roll out the dough.
Roll out the dough on a clean dry surface. Use lots of flour so it won't stick. (Click on Page 2 of this article for detailed photo instructions.)
6. Assemble and bake.
Place the dough on a cookie sheet or on your pizza peel. If using a peel, first sprinkle it with a little corn meal. The cornmeal acts like tiny "ball bearings" that helps the pizza to slide off into the oven.
Put the sauce on leaving a quarter to half inch border around the edge. This gives your pizza that pizzeria look. Cover with cheese. Also leaving a quarter to half inch border. Place toppings on top. Put pizza in a 450° F. degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If you are using a pizza stone or bricks, always sprinkle corn meal on stone just before the pizza goes in. This helps the pizza not to stick here too.
Remove and let cool on cooling rack for 10 minutes. If you don't let it cool a bit before cutting the molten hot cheese will flow like lava off your pizza and on to your counter.
7. Slice it up and share with family and friends.
Slice it up any way you like and be sure to have enough people around to tell you how great it is.
Every pizza is pretty much made the same way. Any technique unique to a particular pizza will be described within the recipe.
Click to Page 2 for detailed photo instructions of how to roll out pizza dough.