Tips and tools for homemade pizza
- Coat the dough lightly with olive oil before putting it in a bowl to rise. This prevents the surface from drying out
- Use fresh ingredients, especially the cheese, meat and peppers
- We like meat on pizza, but it can make it too greasy. To avoid this, precook the meat and drain well on paper towels before adding to your pizza
- Use double potholders or thick oven mitts to handle the hot pizza, especially if you’re using a ceramic baking stone
- Bake in a hot oven, 500 degrees or hotter if your oven goes that high
Those lucky enough to have an outdoor, wood-burning oven, trying baking your pizza there. Be sure to turn the pizza during baking for even cooking.
If you cook much, you probably have most of the tools in your kitchen to make a pizza already. In addition to measuring cups (liquid and dry) and measuring spoons, here are tools that will help if you’re just starting with homemade pizza:
- Bowl – Use a heavy Pyrex glass or ceramic bowl to retain warmth and allow your crust to rise evenly
- Cover – A clean cloth or dish towel keeps out cool drafts, and prevents the dough from drying out on the surface
- Ceramic pizza stone – best for even baking
- Metal baking sheet – light weight and easy to store
- Pizza cutter – Choose a model with guarding between the handle and the blade to prevent cuts
Armed with a few tools and easy techniques, you’ll be making great pizza at home in no time!
How to choose and use a baking stone
High-fired, unglazed pizza stones that are dishwasher safe are available, and we’ve liked the ones we’ve tried. A bit more expensive, but far easier to clean that those that cannot be exposed to soap.
High-fired stones are also safe to cut on and use metal spatulas.
Some stones need seasoning, some do not.
How to season a baking stone
- Wash and dry stone thoroughly
- Apply thin coating of food-grade mineral oil (from the pharmacy) This won’t go rancid like cooking oils
- Bake at 250° for one hour
- Allow to cool and it’s ready to use. You won’t need to season again
We like the pizza stones made by Hartstone Pottery in Ohio. They’re handcrafted from a mixture of American clays, and fired at very high temperatures.