You Can Make Good Pizza, Or You Can Make GREAT Pizza

Thursday, January 30th, 2020
kneading dough to make great pizza

Anyone can make a pizza. All you need are the basic ingredients, cooking supplies, and an oven. However, making a great pizza is a different story. Great pizza is what friends and family talk about and drop sly hints that you should make it again soon. Great pizza is what the taste buds remember, long after the last bite. So, what exactly goes into great pizza?

Let’s take a look at the steps that gourmand pizza chefs swear are the key to making great pizza.

Measure the dry ingredients the right way

Do you use measuring cups for the dry ingredients? If you do, ditch the cup and reach for a scale instead. You might be surprised to find out that a measuring cup is the worst way to measure dry ingredients. Why? If you notice, flour is compressible. As a result, packing it into a cup can yield a totally different amount than what you would get just dipping the cup into a bag of flour and leveling it. That being said, put the cup aside and opt for a kitchen scale. This will guarantee that you measure out the correct quantity of flour the recipe calls for when making the dough.

Choose the right flour for pizza dough

The main ingredient in dough is flour and the type of flour that you use can determine how the final product will taste. While all-purpose flour works for most dough recipes, there is a whole world of flour varieties out there. Some types of flour are better suited for certain types of dough. For example, if you are making a Neapolitan style pizza, select a finely-milled Italian flour. If you are making a New York style pizza, bread flour is often a better option than all-purpose flour.

Avoid soggy, tasteless pizza crust

A homemade crust is the foundation for a great pizza. You can develop a recipe that compliments your sauces and toppings, working together to create a unique overall flavor. While preferences vary from one person to the next, there is a general consensus that any crust should not be soggy or tasteless. There are several key ways to prevent soggy crust. The first way is to add sauce in moderation, spreading a thin layer than just covers the dough. You should also saute vegetable toppings before placing them to avoid leaking excess water during baking. Finally, use a pizza stone or a Baking Steel and sprinkle a light layer of cornmeal before placing the pizza on it.

Use high quality cheese and toppings on your pizza

Making a pizza with cheap pre-grated mozzarella cheese, canned mushrooms, and bulk sausage results in food that tastes pretty cheap. As a restaurant owner, you want to maximize your ingredient spending so that you get the highest quality ingredients without blowing your margins.

One of the best parts about pizza is that there are so many potential combinations for cheese and toppings. The possibilities are virtually endless. Do not be afraid to experiment with different options until you settle on combinations that taste delicious and are a good fit for your restaurant. Typically, it is best to limit yourself to two or three toppings, avoiding the temptation to use more. A good pizza with a dozen toppings is not likely to taste any better than a great one with three carefully selected toppings.

Bake your pizza at a high temperature

Arguably the biggest reason that a restaurant style pizza often tastes different from one that is homemade is the cooking temperature. Most residential ovens have a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while a specialized oven can easily exceed 500 degrees. Generally, you want to cook pizza in the 550 degree range. Other popular methods for achieving a higher level of heat are broilers and grills.

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Originally published October 20, 2015