Friday, December 20, 2013

Tips for Making Great Homemade Pizza

Tips for Making Great Homemade Pizza
By Anders Abadie 

If you're thinking of trying your hand at making a homemade pizza pie, there are a few simple tips you should keep in mind to ensure that you end up with a delicious end result. Making pizza at home is not as easy as it looks, but a few simple tricks and adjustments can make all the difference. 

First, preheat your oven as soon as you begin cooking. You will want your oven to be as hot as possible when you bake the pizza to ensure that the crust is as crispy as possible. Additionally, the best place to put the rack is as low as possible, close to the heat source. This will provide the best browning and cook the pie more thoroughly. 

You should also thaw out your dough while you prepare the other ingredients. Dough that is too cold is harder to roll out, so letting it sit on your kitchen counter while you cut vegetables and prepare the sauce can make things easier once you're ready to roll it out and add toppings. Additionally, it is a good idea to wet the dough before you start rolling it. This will make the crust crispier once you're done baking the pie. 

When you're ready to roll the dough, you should work a rolling pin from the center of the dough to the edges. If you have the time and patience to do so, you might want to consider skipping the rolling pin and kneading the dough by hand, which generally produces better results. Roll or knead it as thoroughly as possible to ensure an even thickness, and be sure to cover both the dough and your hands with flour. This will make it easier to shape the dough into a crust. If the dough springs back and refuses to flatten, it may be too cold to shape. If this occurs, you should wait five minutes and try again. 

In addition to properly rolling out the dough, it's also important to pick the right pan. Not all pans conduct heat effectively. You will want to use a round pan or baking sheet, because these conduct heat evenly. Additionally, spread cornstarch on the pan before you place the dough on top of it. This will prevent the pizza from sticking to the pan and will make things easier once you take it out of the oven. 

You should also leave a half-inch border of dough around the edges of the pizza. This will keep the toppings inside of the crust and prevent them from dripping over the edges. With small border, you'll avoid making a mess on your baking pan and make it easier to clean the pan once you're done cooking.

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