I really do enjoy a good pizza. And it is for that reason that I hardly ever make pizza at home. The reason is that in order to create the perfect pizza base, you really need a lot of heat…in actual fact you need around 450°C – yep, that hot. In a proper pizza oven a pizza should not be in the oven for more than 60 seconds. At this temperature the pizza cooks because of the heat and the design of the pizza oven’s ability to distribute the heat evenly.
Most home ovens rarely go over 220°C, so it is really difficult to get this kind of heat! In a previous life we did have a pizza oven on our kitchen so we did it quite often, but now we are reliant on a home-oven. But sometimes you just cannot do without pizza, and today is one of those days!
And coupled with the tricks below and this dough recipe, nothing can be better!
In this recipe I just use all purpose flour because I do not always carry different kinds of flour, but you can substitute it for a strong bread flour (Doppio Zero in Italian). The only difference is that Doppio Zero base will be a bit crispier.
So there are a few tricks:
- Pre-heat your oven to the max it can go, and make sure you do not add your pizza to the oven before it is at temperature. Once done, wait for it to get back up to heat before doing the next.
- Pre-bake, or blind bake your crust. So if your oven does not go higher than 250°C the I recommend blind baking it first. So what does this mean – well you basically pre-bake the crust before adding the toppings and then baking it again (making sure your oven is back up to heat before adding the pizza).
- To blind bake, roll out your dough, and place it on your baking tray (lined with baking paper). Always prick the dough with a pizza dough roller or fork, and then bake for about 5 minutes (until lightly golden brown). You will have to test this as each oven does have its own quirks.
- LESS IS MORE – I have a rule – no more than 4 toppings (including the tomato base and cheese). If you add too many toppings then it takes longer to cook and the base goes limp.
- Pre-cook your ingredients – If you want to bake the pizza with any kind of vegetable (except onions) pre-cook the vegetables. The reason for this is that vegetables usually release a lot of water during the cooking process and this will make your pizza base limp.