5 Pizza Making Secrets You Can Use at Home

We have never lived where we could get pizza delivered.

We love pizza, therefore I make pizza.

To be honest, I used to make it completely from scratch but I have found a very good pizza crust here so I no longer make the dough. It’s ‘ready to use’ but I stretch is out a bit to make it larger and thinner.

I never thought about seasoning it, though. I will next time.

I like the idea of some fresh Parmesan under the tomato sauce.

I may even get a pizza stone….

Read on for all the tips:

Few things are as satisfying as a pizza delivered hot and fresh to your door, straight from the oven of a local pizzeria. Unless of course you make your own pizza! Yet, it can be difficult to get that classic brick oven taste: the smokiness from an open flame or the hint of char on crispy crust that’s done to perfection. Forget about frozen pizzas, too—there’s no match for a fresh-made pie.

The next time you’re craving a pizza but don’t want to indulge in delivery, give these five at-home tips a try. You’ll be surprised at how much your pizza tastes like an authentic brick oven pie.

1. Use a pizza stone

A pizza stone is the perfect kitchen utensil for anyone who wants an authentic-tasting pizza at home. It provides immediate high heat transfer—similar to that of a brick oven—to mimic the conditions that crisp up a perfect crust, without burning the toppings. To use a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack of your oven and preheat for half an hour. Slide the pizza on top and cook for around 10 minutes. While nothing can perfectly recreate the texture and flavor of a brick oven pizza, cooking with a pizza stone is the next best thing.

2. Season your pizza dough

No matter what kind of pizza you’re preparing, good seasoning is essential. When it comes to pizza crust, seasonings should always include garlic powder, salt, parsley, parmesan cheese and olive oil. These ingredients aren’t the only ones you can use, but they’re definitely a good start. The amount of each seasoning you add to a pizza crust can vary based on personal taste.

Pour several tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl. Sprinkle in your seasonings, then mix together. Use a brush to lightly brush your crust with the seasoning mixture. For an extra bit of texture and crunch, sprinkle a bit of cornmeal on the pan before placing your pizza on top.

3. ALWAYS use fresh-made sauce

Store-bought sauce just can’t mimic the flavor of fresh-made pizza sauce. Most pizza sauce recipes only take a few minutes to make, and it’s always worth the extra effort.

Start with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, basil, oregano and sugar. Heat your olive oil in a pot for a few minutes before adding garlic. Let this cook for a few minutes, then add your tomatoes, salt, basil, sugar and oregano. Use a hand blender to mix the ingredients.

Again, you can riff a little based on your own taste preferences. Once you’ve found the perfect pizza sauce recipe, consider making extra, then properly storing the rest for later.

4. Cook at extremely high temperatures

There’s a reason your pizza is still piping hot when the delivery guy pulls it out of an insulated pizza delivery bag and hands it over. The best pizzas are made in a brick oven, which can reach temperatures of 900 degrees Fahrenheit! The problem is, most home ovens usually only reach around 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The solution to creating your own at-home masterpiece? Cook your pizza at the highest temperature possible for about 8-12 minutes, checking every 1-2 minutes after that point if it’s not quite done. It’s also wise to cook thicker crust pizzas at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, to prevent the toppings from burning.  

5. Choose complementary toppings

Toppings can make or break a pizza, so be sure you choose the right ones. The right pizza toppings complement each other’s flavors. For example, spinach, feta, mushroom and sausage offer the perfect mixture of bitter and savory flavors. If you’re a fan of sweeter, juicier flavors, try a combination of roasted red peppers, goat cheese, roasted pear and caramelized onions. Even if you love the classics, there’s plenty of opportunity to mix and match.

With these tips in mind, make sure you take the time to craft your pizza. The reason it tastes so good coming from your local pizzeria is because the person making it sees their work as an art. They’re not just tossing dough: they’re creating a masterpiece! Use these pizza-making secrets at home to create (and devour) your own masterpiece.

Note: Our favorite is the classic Pizza Margherita – tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil. We eat pizza often in the summer when the tomatoes and basil are at their best.

4 thoughts on “5 Pizza Making Secrets You Can Use at Home”

  1. We have a couple of very good basic frozen pizzas here that I dress up a lot for a quick meal on a lazy weeknight. I’ve thought about a pizza stone in the past, but found if I put the pizza directly on parchment using high heat and a really low rack in the oven, the dough will bake nicely. People usually make the mistake of raising the rack high in the oven which is fine to bake the top of the pizza since heat rises, but it leaves the bottom underside only partially baked. Since I load the pizza with extra cheese and toppings, I need the bottom to bake as well. Putting the rack near the bottom gives a nicer balance and then, if I want it browned on top, I move the pizza to the top rack for a few. I have a rimless baking sheet so I just pull the parchment onto the sheet and then slip it on the top rack for a couple minutes. Works nicely.

    We do have some ‘artisan’ doughs here in the grocery as well which I suppose is a fancy term for pizza dough, but if I want to buy just the dough, I’m lucky enough to have a couple pizza places that will sell it to me.

    • I have a pizza pan – with dime-size holes all over the bottom which seems to work pretty well. My oven is so small I don’t think I could find a stone lol.
      We’re happy with what we get.

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