Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Perfect Home Made Pizza

By following just a few simple and basic rules of thumb, anyone can make delicious pizza at home.
  • Use a good pizza dough - some folks use the refrigerated dough that comes in a roll, some use Bisquick or some other powdered mix. But why not make your own?
  • Use a pizza stone - This is essential. A good crust is half the battle in making a good pizza. There's no other way to make a great pizza crust in the home kitchen without using some sort of pizza stone.
  • Use a simple sauce - If using a stone and a good crust are only half the battle, what else is there? The sauce. If you're using a plain tomato sauce, don't use too much. Too much sauce and even a pizza cooked on a stone can come out pretty sloppy and the crust gooey. A little canned tomato sauce can be used. I actually use tomato paste thinned with a little dry sherry for flavor. Add oregano, basil, garlic powder and onion powder to the sauce for that Italian flavor. But spread it on thin.
  • Less is more - A great crust baked on a pizza stone with just the right amount of sauce on it can't cure a pizza that is overloaded. Stick to a few toppings. If you use pepperoni (the #1 pizza topping in the U.S.)remember that it has a lot of fat in it, and the fat will cook out and settle on your pizza. A little of this is great, too much of it and you've got a sloppy, greasy mess. Experiment with limiting yourself to no more than three toppings besides the cheese. Toppings can affect the time it takes to cook the pizza. Too many toppings and you may have to leave the pizza in the oven longer than usual and the crust will be burnt. Not a good thing! After you learn about how toppings and the amount of them affect the cooking time of the pizza, you'll be able to load the pizza up!
  • Use REAL cheese - Mozzarella is the standard. A little parmesan, scamorza, even cheddar and swiss can be used. Again, experiment and see what works and what you like. But by all means use REAL cheese. The plasticized, artificial cheese 'product' that you can buy in the cheese section of the grocery store may look like cheese, even smell like cheese. But it sure doesn't cook and taste like real mozzarella!
So experiment! Don't worry if you make a few boo-boos along the way. They will most likely still be edible. And if you really want to celebrate pizza, make a simple pie with sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese. Red, green and white are the colors of the Italian flag! Buon appetito!

My Zimbio