Many of us love pizza and you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to be Italian to be able to make one. Pizza has long been a favourite for both young and old thanks to its versatility and wide variety of toppings to suit every taste. This is the reason why there are many national chains as well as mom and pop shops that specialise in pizza but as with most dishes sometimes it just tastes better and more fulfilling when you make it on your own.
And so it is with pizza, – a good way to get children involved in cooking while also being a relatively simple dish to master for chefs of all abilities. If you’d like to give this iconic Italian staple a try here are some top tips for making the best homemade pizzas:
Make Your Own Dough
In this age of convenience it’s easy to find readymade dough in artisan shops or even the local supermarket, let alone fully prepared pizzas. But one advantage of cooking at home that many people often overlook is how enjoyable it is to prepare your own food as well as how much money you can also save. Readymade dough will work just as well, but all you need to make your own is some flour, yeast, some olive oil and water. Atop tip is to add a few grams of sugar to activate the yeast and get a good crust.
Knead and Toss by Hand
Kneading your dough by hand is a good way to ensure you give it the best texture and give yourself a free upper body workout too! Once the dough is nice and firm place it in a well oiled bowl and let it rest before tossing it by hand to stretch it. Tossing pizza dough is a tricky skill to learn but also adds to the fun of making your own food.
Get Your Oven Ready and Really Hot
If your pizza dough is now ready for your toppings you will want to get your oven ready by getting it really hot before the pizza goes in. An average heat of 200 degrees is best and if you have a pizza oven then a good choice of pizza oven wood can help give your pizza a nice smoky flavour too. Another top tip for a really crispy and chewy crust is to par-bake your prepared dough over a medium heat for a few minutes so it can hold up to the different toppings without going soggy.
Take it easy With the Toppings
While you may have par-baked your pie it’s still worth going easy on the toppings by choosing a few of your favourite ingredients and opting for quality rather than quantity. Some simple good toppings such as in season tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese are a good start, -you can always make more pizzas if you want other types of toppings too.
There are also other tricks of the trade we can learn from pizza restaurants in the quest for homemade pizzas including poaching your toppings slowly in olive oil to give them a richer, fuller flavour. Once the pizza is cooked finishing it off with torn fresh herbs such as basil will add the finishing touch to your freshly made home style pizza.