Pizza pie that is!
We have been on a bit of a pizza kick lately and let’s face it, pizza dough can be scary. Not only do you have to make sure you have combined all of your ingredients properly, but then you have to worry about shaping the dough without tearing it first. Finally, you have to get it into the oven without spilling all of your toppings. But trust me, homemade pizza dough is so worth it. And with my 5 Principles for the Perfect Pie, you’ll be whipping up crispy, chewy homemade pizza that will be sure to have your family asking for more.
Principle #1: Patience
Pizza dough takes time. It will not be perfect the first time around. Nor will it be the perfect circle that you get when you actually go to the pizza parlor. The imperfections just means that it’s made with love. Try not to rush. If your dough springs back a bit after you’ve tried to stretch out the size you want, then it may need to rest for a little bit longer to allow the dough relax and become more pliable. Just cover it with a tea towel for 5 minutes and try again. The first time I made pizza dough, it tore in about 4 places, it was an odd starfish looking shape and it stuck to the pizza peel so I could never get it into the oven. Which brings me to my next tip.
Principle #2: Parchment Paper
This handy baking tool has really helped my pizza making skills. You still want to build you pizza on a pizza peel, but by using parchment paper, you can easily slip the pizza right onto your pizza stone without worrying about your pizza sticking to the peel. You can use cornmeal or flour to transfer your pie to the oven, but I really think parchment paper takes a lot of the guess work out of it. Plus you have no clean up afterwards.
Principle #3: Pizza Stone
If you don’t have a pizza stone already, then go out to the store now and buy one. Seriously, this tool is vital to producing a crispy delicious crust (which you can also use to make delectable artisan breads). Once you have your pizza stone, place it on the very bottom rack of your oven. Always make sure to preheat the stone for at least 30 minutes at 500°F.
Principle #4: Piling up toppings is a bad idea
When it comes to pizza, the notion that less is more works in our favor. I know it may be tempting to pile your pie full of sauce, bacon, sausage, cheese and all other kinds of delicious toppings. But be warned, if you do this then you are more likely to have a soggy pizza crust. In my opinion, your toppings are an accompaniment to the real star; your crust. After all, you’ve put a lot of hard work into making this dough into an appetizing crust, don’t make it droopy because you had to have a mountain of toppings. Keep it simple!
Principle #5: Practice
When all else fails, practice will help. Just like anything you want to become proficient in, you have to practice and making pizza is no different. There are days when my pizzas still have holes in them or are too thick in places. But that’s ok. It’s homemade. If I wanted it to look perfect, I would go up to the pizzeria up the road.
Do whatever you can to make your pizza skills great. Read blogs, watch tutorials, or take a cooking class. Trust me, your tummy will be thanking you at the end.
Make sure to check out my next blog post to get an awesome pizza dough recipe! (modeled after a popular mellow pizzeria)