Thursday, January 31, 2013

Perfect Pizza Crust

Besides my little sister, I don't know anyone that doesn't love pizza. But it can get pricey if you buy it from restaurants, and making pizza at home usually doesn't taste as good. Sometimes the crust turns out hard and flavorless, and other times the middle of the pizza is under cooked. After some trial and error, I think Jeff finally figured out how to make the best pizza crust at home.

To start, make your dough a few days in advance. We mix our dough in our kitchen aid, put it in a ziplock bag, and set it in the fridge. When the weekend rolls around our dough has developed more of a complex  malty flavor by letting it sit. Just set it on the counter and form it into a bun a couple hours before you plan on cooking it so the dough can come to room temperature. Doing this step in advance also makes the process seem almost effortless when you actually make your pizza.

The next trick is how you cook the pizza in your oven. In traditional brick ovens, pizza cooks in a matter of minutes at 800-900 degrees. When you make it at home you want to get your oven super hot and place your pizza on a surface that is already preheated. We use a pizza stone and let it heat up for a good half hour before putting our assembled pizza on it. But be careful, I've heard some brands of pizza stones that will crack if you use this method.

Assemble your pizza on a floured pizza peel. We don't have one, but a flat pan works nicely. This way you can slide it off onto a surface that is already preheated.

Once it's done you can pull it off with the pizza peel. 

And always test your ingredients to make sure they are fresh! :)

Read this article for the best crust recipes. 


Byron said...

Now I'm curious. At what temperature do you cook your pizza?

Beth said...

Darn. My pizza stone did that :( It was a sad moment.

I'm excited. I'll have to try this, since we make pizza every week and it would be really nice to finally have the perfect crust. ;D Did you use the bread dough recipe you sent me for this?

Jeff said...

@Byron. For a New York style dough (or most standard doughs), put the stone on the middle rack and set the oven to 500 degrees. Cook for 12-15 minutes. For a Neapolitan style dough, I put the stone on the top rack, heat the oven to 550, and then turn the broiler on a few minutes before I put the pizza in so it is as hot as possible. Cook for 3-5 minutes.

Jamie Clark said...

Beth, we have used the bread recipe I sent you, but we also tried the Neapolitan and New York style recipes in the link and they were great!

Jamie Clark said...

Also, Jeff says you can use an unglazed 1/2 inch quarry tile instead of a pizza stone. You can find them at a hardware store and they cost just a couple of bucks.

Beth said...


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