How to Make Pizza and Sauce at Home; Confessions of a Pizza Freak!
"Life is not about finding yourself. It's about finding how to cook pizza." - Anonymous
It does not require a master mind to learn how to make pizza at home, however, it is a risky job! In fact, I remember my dad always called it a lame-gray situation when we asked him how to cook pizza at home. He was right! Learning how to bake pizza at home will mostly end in a safe but very average pizza. But, the truth is you can make one of the best pizzas of the whole world in your oven, at your kitchen, despite trying for the first time! Here is an article to help you understand how to make pizza and it’s sauce at home.
Prior to the steps to learn how to cook pizza
Before you start to figure out the ingredients and instructions on how to cook pizza and the sauce at home, you definitely need to do these 3 steps:
- Know thy plan!
It’s easy to suddenly crave for a slice of Pepperoni and end up making a half lasagna, half calzone that tastes like cheese rather than pizza. Even worse, if you do not have a plan for a home-baked pizza party, you and some of your guests may sleep on an empty stomach. So, know when, where, for how many, and how you want to make pizza at home.
- Do thy shopping!
What a chore! No, it’s not! Make sure you go shopping for all you need 1 day ahead of making the best pizza at home. Otherwise, you will not have a good time preparing your favourite pizza at home.
- Prepare thy tools!
Making pizza and the sauce at home lies somewhere between a battle scene and a love scene; you will lose either if you do not show up prepared with the right gadgets if you know what I mean.
How to make pizza at home in the oven?
Making a pizza at home basically includes 3 phases:
- Making the dough
- Preparing the sauce
- Baking the pizza
Let me introduce you to phase one and then talk about the next two essential steps in the next paragraphs. There is nothing wrong with store-bought dough. However, if you pick a solid dough recipe, you are showing control over your pizza. In fact, this is the actual magic that makes your pizza amazing.
According to Laura Meyer, Administrator and Instructor at the International School of Pizza and one of the presenters on Breville’s “Meet the Makers: A Virtual Pizza Tour,” when shopping for flour, go for a mix and variety, this will give you a very fine texture.
You can use either a mixer or mix the ingredients of desire by hand. A wooden stir is preferable. Once you have mixed everything, transfer your dough to a larger bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or dish towels so it can proof. As the dough proofs, it will form air bubbles, pretty much like the pancakes in your pan.
Make the dough at least a day before you plan to make pizza so that it has enough time to rise.
How to make pizza sauce at home?
If you ask me, what makes your pizza unique is it’s sauce! Wait, what makes a pizza delicious lies in the ingredients of it’s home-made sauce. I mean, sure, you can buy canned sauce and add some paper powder to the mix but come on, you can make art here, don’t settle down for canned tomatoes!
Try crushed tomatoes seasoned with dried Italian seasoning. Or, you can hald cook the tomatoes, and then peel them, and mix them with some thyme and pepper if you favour hot sauces. Keep in mind not to soak your dough into sauce. A very thin layer of your sauce will do a better job than a soup of watery tomatoes dripping all over the place!
One important clue, though, is the fact that you need a thick and rich New York sauce if you have made up your mind about thick and heavy toppings.
Pick a sauce pot and add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 clove of minced garlic to the pot and cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat.
Then, add1 6oz. Can tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to the pot, followed by 1/2 Tbsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano and some freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Then stir the mixture over the heat.
You need to cover your pot and leave it on a low heat for about 20 mins till it simmer.
Then let it cool a little bit so it doesn't break your dough.
How to top my pizza at home?
As kids, we used to stand close to the kitchen so that we could be involved in the Pizza making process at home. My mom would never let us take part in the dough-making or the heating, but topping was our thing. My cousin and I would top the pizzas with anything we found and the result was our toppings toppling! So, don’t do that.
When learning how to top your pizza, after layering the sauce, go with a very thin layer of cheese. After that, stick to simple ideas. It is tricky when you are making your pizza at home because you might want to pretty much cover it with everything. But it won’t be a pizza.
Choose smart. If you are a veggie, try to know what flavour you desire before and prepare your spinach or basil, or mushroom. If you are a meat-lover, know your stuff and do not over do your steaks before you put your pizza in the oven.
How long does it take to cook a pizza?
When learning about how to make a good pizza at home, timing matters. The length is almost the same though no matter the means of your baking. You can choose to cook your pizzas in the oven, on top of a stove or steel, or you can make it in a sheet pan.
Bake your best pizza in the almost 500°F oven, just one for each time. You should leave it in or on the heat (in case you use a frying pan) until you see the slightly brownish and puffy crust and the golden melted cheese. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
Done learning how to bake pizza at home? Not yet!
Once your pizza is ready, do not burn yourself trying to remove it from the pan or oven without gloves. Please peel your pizza from the dish with a proper pizza peeler so that it stays the same. Although, do it after it cools down a little bit. Voila, you now know how to cook pizza at home!