What Makes the Perfect Pizza?
Everyone loves pizza, but there’s no universal favorite. Maybe you love thin crust but your friend prefers deep dish. Your favorite toppings might be pepperoni with extra cheese, while your friend goes all-out with a supreme.
If there’s no standard for what makes a pizza taste good, it can be hard to determine what makes it perfect.
Instead of looking at pizza as an entity, you have to break it down into its parts:
A pizza is nothing without its foundation: the crust. On top of that, you need a quality sauce. It shouldn’t overpower the toppings or make the crust soggy, but it needs to have a good flavor.
To make the perfect pizza, you should use the best ingredients. That includes everything that goes into the crust and sauce, along with what you put on top.
Finally, the right cooking style makes all the difference. If you’ve ever heated a frozen pizza that keeps a gummy texture, then you know how vital this step is.
How to Make the Perfect Pizza
Homemade Pizza Crust Recipe
Store-bought crusts don’t come close to the deliciousness of a homemade version. While all-purpose flour can make a nice dough, it won’t get crispy in your oven. Switch to bread flour for your crust to get a satisfying crunch in every bite.
1.5 cups of warm water
1 package of active dry yeast
3.75 cups of bread flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over it and let it dissolve over five minutes. Then stir it until it foams, which tells you the yeast is active.
Add the flour, salt, and sugar and mix the dough together. This works best with a strong stand mixer on medium speed, but you can do it by hand, too. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise over 24 hours in the refrigerator or 1.5 hours in a warm place.
Letting the dough rise over a longer time will add flavor to your crust. If you keep it in the refrigerator, let it sit out for an hour before you work with it. It’s easier to shape if it’s at room temperature.
When you’re shaping the dough, put it on a floured surface. Work from the center of the dough out to shape it into a large circle. If you can’t stretch it enough with your hands, use a floured rolling pin to push it larger.
Mozzarella cheese is the most popular for pizzas because it melts so well. But you can play around with cheese flavors, especially if they’re fresh and grated. Pre-shredded cheese has a cellulose coating to keep it from clumping in the bag, and this also hinders it from melting.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
If you’re already making dough for the crust, you might as well make your own sauce! Once you realize how easy it is to make this sauce, along with how gourmet it tastes, you’ll never buy another jar.
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 can of crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons of garlic
2 tablespoons of basil
1.5 teaspoons of dried oregano
1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: Yes, fresh ingredients are usually the best, but in the case of this sauce, canned tomatoes are more efficient and taste just as great.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic. Add the tomato paste and stir it for one minute. Take it off the heat and stir in the crushed tomatoes and other ingredients. You can spread it on your crust immediately!
At-Home Cooking Style
It can be hard to get your oven to the perfect temperature for pizza. You want the cheese melted without the crust burning. It’s a delicate balance, and no—it’s not a reflection on your cooking skills or lack thereof.
A physicist researched wood-fired pizza ovens and found that they’re truly the best way to cook pizza. The metal parts of an electric oven conduct more heat, causing it to easily burn the crust. But lowering the temperature to save the crust leaves the toppings less cooked.
This hack will allow you to cook pizzas in your electric oven while getting the taste of a wood-fired oven. After preparing your dough and sauce, get your toppings ready.
Move your oven rack so it’s about eight inches below the broiler. Turn it to its hottest temperature, which is 500°F for most ovens. Let it heat up while you put a cast iron pan on a burner set to high. Once the pan is smoking, change the oven from bake to broil.
Put your pizza dough in the cast iron pan and lower the burner’s temperature. Quickly spread the sauce on the pizza and add every topping that isn’t cheese. The cast iron pan is already cooking the bottom of the crust, making it crispy.
Slide the entire pan into the oven and let it sit under the broiler for three minutes. Pull it out to add the cheese, then put it back in for two minutes so the cheese will melt. Bring it out, let it cool slightly, and dig in!
If you want to make the perfect pizza, you can do it in the comfort of your own home and learn how to do it in our platform. Once you master the crust and the sauce, you’ll have a blast playing around with different toppings and flavor profiles.