Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Cook Pizza Crust

There's no getting around it.  We Americans love our pizza.  Thick crust, thin crust, deep dish, whatever...we each have our favorites.  Regional differences abound.  It's fun to check out local pizzerias when traveling and taste pizzas that may be a little outside your box.  It's also fun to experiment at home at making your very own signature pizza, but getting the crust just right can be challenging.



We've been experimenting with pizza for some time at or house.  First, the focus was on making a tasty pizza dough.  While basic pizza dough is relatively simple with flour, yeast, water and maybe a little oil, there can be wide variation in proportions, recommended rising time and methods used.  I've settled on a basic bread machine pizza dough as the signature dough at our house.


After I settled on a favorite pizza dough the next step was cooking it.  "No kidding!"  you say?  Easier said than done, my friends.  Have you tried making pizza from scratch at home?  Has the result been a soggy pizza?  Be honest now; it's not that easy, right?  So, for months and months, we have been experimenting with our pizza baking technique in our home oven.  We've even tried grilling pizza on our gas grill outdoors.  That's a tale for another day, however.

Do you have a pizza stone?  I've had one for years and years that is from Pampered Chef.  You can tell from the picture it has been very well used.


It originally looked like this:

A New Pizza Stone

Serious Eats, a food blog, has an interesting post about which rack in your oven to cook your pizza on when using a pizza stone.  If you are on the quest to make a terrific homemade pizza you'll want to read this pizza making post for ideas as well.

I've been cooking our home pizzas by placing the pizza stone on the bottom rack of my oven.  The bottom crust is browned and crisp and the top crust also crisps up well.  I preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and cook the pizza for approximately 12 minutes.  When using a pizza stone be sure to let the oven preheat for up to one hour.    Placing the pizza stone on the bottom rack of my oven produces the best result for me, but your oven may produce different results.

So, go ahead and experiment at home.  If your experience is anything like mine, you'll have to make many pizzas before you find the right mix of dough, topping and cooking method, but once you do...hurray!  And think of all the fun you, and your whole family, will have in the process...and the tasting!

Other pizza recipes you may enjoy:
Caramelized Onion, Proscuitto and Ricotta Pizza
Pizza Dilema: How To cook Pizza Crust
Italian Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Enjoy!
Donna

7 comments:

  1. Pizza! one of my favorite foods!

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  2. I haven't had pizza in awhile!

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  3. Love pizza. Last summer we had a pizza cookoff on the grill after work but we used pre-made crusts. They were very good but nothing like a fresh dough pizza crust. Can not wait for nice weather. Read David's comment and I think pizza Friday night at the Urso homestead might be a winner!!!

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  4. Every time I use a pizza stone it cracks. I have really bad luck with them.

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  5. Sue-anne, I really do recommend a pizza stone. It seems to make a difference in the quality of our crust in our home oven. Not sure why yours would crack. I've had mine forever!!

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  6. I really think that is is all about the dough. Some of the best pizzas I have ever tasted have been without a sauce. A little olive oil, some salt and delicious toppings...I'll be posting about a favorite pizza made with home made ricotta cheese, caramelized onions and prosciutto-no sauce soon.

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