For Making Pizza At Home
For perfectly crispy crusts, a pizza stone is a must, as is sufficient pre-heating time. Since it’s best to pre-heat your stone for an hour at the highest temperature setting on your oven, pizza-making is the perfect activity for a cold day.
You can use your own dough recipe or purchase pre-made dough in the deli section of many grocery stores. If you’re new to making pizza at home, it may be easier to use a pre-made dough as you get used to handling it. Stretch the dough gently, taking your time to shape it. One ball of dough will yield a few small pizzas, and each family member or guest can create their own custom sauce and topping combinations. Smaller pizzas may also be easier to get on and off the stone quickly.
If you want a thin crust, but lots of sauce and toppings, try par-baking the crust. Once you have the dough stretched and shaped, place it on a well-floured pizza paddle and slide it onto the stone. Bake for about a minute, until it’s firm enough to easily remove with the paddle. Preparing the pizza on a well-floured paddle, combined with par-baking the crust, will make the pizza much easier to slide into the oven without toppings going everywhere. Once the crust is par-baked, add your sauce and toppings, and return to the oven.
Vegetables that need additional seasoning and cooking time (beets, pumpkin, caramelized onions) should be prepared in advance. Roast root vegetables to desired doneness and add them to the pizza with sauce and cheese. Toppings that don’t need any cooking time (like basil leaves) can be added after the pizza is brought out of the oven.
Get creative! Adapt your favorite flavor profiles to a pizza. Scour farmers’ markets for seasonal inspiration. There’s lots of room for fresh herbs, alternative sauces, and unique topping combinations in pizza, so don’t be afraid to experiment.