Your Guide to Homemade Pizza
No more soggy or burned pizzas! These easy-to-follow recipe ideas and solutions will make your next pizza night a delicious success.
1 Start with dough
Pizza dough is the most forgiving bread you could ever make. It’s so easy, even young kids can pitch in. Try our Perfect Pizza Dough recipe paired with this step-by-step guide to get you started. If you’re a visual learner, follow along with our how-to video.
Can’t stretch it out? Your gluten needs to relax. If your dough keeps shrinking every time you roll or stretch it, just give it a rest. Gluten is an elastic-like protein that gives bread its chewiness, but when it’s overworked or too cold it stiffens up. About 15 minutes at room temperature will help relax gluten proteins and make your dough easier to work with.
No Dough? No problem! Naan bread, pitas and English muffins all make fantastic pizza crust alternatives if you’re pressed for time. Even better, they can easily be scaled up or down for an individual or a crowd.
2 Get saucy
Tomato sauce is the pizza go-to because its acidity balances out heavy cheeses and salty toppings. But don’t let that stop you from experimenting. Slather on pesto for a sweet, nutty sauce. Barbecue sauce adds a smoky and unexpected flavour. Like it hot? Add a splash of hot sauce to your tomato sauce before you spread it on your pizza. Looking for something completely different? Swap the red stuff for olive oil, aioli or hummus and you’ve got yourself a white pizza! Craving something sweet and spicy? Try using Thai chili sauce.
3 Top it off
Homemade pizza means your creation can be completely customized. Stick with traditional toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and spinach or come up with unusual flavour combos. Toss walnuts onto veggie pizzas for great flavour and crunch. Match salty bacon with sweet red grapes for an irresistible twist. Or give the kids both pizza and hamburgers in one awesome dinner with our Turkey Burger Pizza. Try different combinations – the options are endless!
|Caramelized onions||Sopressata||Marinated artichokes||Tandoori chicken|
|Roasted pumpkin||Chili flakes||Prosciutto||Adobo peppers|
|Sundried tomatoes||Spicy sausage||Bacon||Pickled ginger|
|Roasted garlic||Wasabi peas||Pickled eggplant||Kimchi|
Burned dough and raw toppings? You reached topping overload. Evenly distribute the toppings to avoid overcrowding and don’t pile the toppings too high as this makes it hard for your oven to heat all the ingredients (while the crust underneath continues to cook). Try multiple small pizzas with fewer toppings on each if you’re looking for variety.
4 Say cheese
Shredded mozzarella goes with everything and blends well with stronger cheeses such as cheddar, smoked Gouda or provolone. Try slices of fresh mozzarella for creamy mounds with every bite or place dots of goat chèvre between toppings. Crumbly, salty cheeses such as feta or blue cheese are perfect with grilled veggies, and hard cheeses such as Grana Padano or Parmesan are best added after you pull the pizza from the oven to ensure they retain their complex flavours.
Less is more. We know it sounds impossible, but there’s such a thing as too much cheese. Shredded cheese should just cover the sauce so your crust has a chance to cook through. Add hunks of heavy cheese sparingly so your slices don’t fall apart.
5 Cook to perfection
A pizza stone is a great kitchen tool because it delivers that crispy-yet-chewy pizzeria crust, right from your own oven! The trick is to heat it up for about 45 minutes so the crust immediately sears at the bottom and around the edges. If you don’t have a pizza stone, heat up a baking sheet for 10 minutes in the oven to achieve similar results – simply flip it over and use the bottom surface as a mock pizza stone.
Soggy crust? Your oven isn’t hot enough. Professional pizza ovens are fiery infernos, so your home oven should be preheated to at least 400˚F (205˚C). Just keep your eyes on the pies to avoid overcooking.