Making pizza at home is easier than you think, and it can yield surprisingly good results. The key is to use a hot oven and high-quality ingredients. Let’s give you a clear idea of how to make gourmet pizza at home effortlessly.
Rather than searching for gourmet pizza near me, why don’t you give it a try?
How To Make Gourmet Pizza At Home?
Bringing the magic of Naples is not that hard if you know which things are essential for a great pizza. Here we have rounded up the most important four for you.
Pick The Right Sized Pan
If all you want is a basic cheese pizza, then the biggest challenge may be finding the right pan. Pizzerias usually bake their pies on steel pans with dimpled bottoms that conduct heat rapidly and evenly.
A suitable substitute for this type of pan can be found at most hardware stores: Buy an aluminum sheet pan that has been perforated with a hexagonal net of holes (if such a thing exists). Any other kind of baking sheet will do just fine as well.
It’s All About The Crust
After choosing a skillet or baking sheet, the next step is deciding how thick to make the crust. Pizzeria operators like to roll out their doughs into paper-thin rounds, which are easier to manage and bake quickly.
But at home, you can follow your taste for how thick the crust should be—thick enough to give somebody, but thin enough that it will cook through in time with the toppings. And this is the secret behind any best gourmet crust pizza.
The sauce is the Key To Success
The next challenge is how much tomato sauce to use. The typical pizza sold in a chain restaurant has too much sauce on top; this leads to soggy crust and floppy cheese.
The old New York pizzerias of yore had none of these problems: My great uncle Salvatore ran Naples Pizza in Queens back in 1947, and he made pies as well as any I have tasted in the intervening years.
The trick was to put just a few drops of sauce on top—and in the case of his white pizzas, no sauce at all. As for cheese, it should be shredded finely enough that every bite has plenty but not so much that the slice breaks apart when lifted.
Now, How to Bake
The final step is how to bake it: Set an oven rack to its lowest position and place one or two steel pans inside. Warm them up for about 20 minutes; then crank up the heat as high as possible and slide your pizzas onto the hot steel.
Depending on how fast you like your pies done, give them 5 to 10 minutes; more than 10, and they will start to burn.
While pizza baked at home will never achieve the perfection of a pie served by your favorite neighborhood pizzeria, it can be very good—and you'll save yourself some serious money.
Some Topping Ideas
Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce, Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Caramelized Onions and Sliced Oranges, Creamy Potato Gratin, Cheesy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms.
How to Make Pizza Dough
Making the perfect dough will be the initial part of how to make gourmet pizza at home. So, let’s take a look at it with caution so that you can end up with flying colors.
- 2 1/3 cups bread flour, plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast (see Note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil spray (optional)
- Cornmeal, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Pulse flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor until combined. With the machine running, slowly add 1 cup of warm water through the food chute; process 30 seconds more to form a dough ball. If it appears dry and crumbly, add up to 2 tablespoons more water as needed.
2. Process additional 10 seconds after all liquid is incorporated to form a smooth dough ball; remove from bowl and knead by hand on lightly floured board just until smooth but still tacky, adding remaining flour if needed.
3. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. The dough can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch round; transfer to a 17-by-12-inch baking sheet dusted with cornmeal if desired (see Note). If dough resists stretching or rips, rest it until no longer sticky. Press the dough gently into corners of the pan and dimples created by holes in the pan; cover loosely with plastic wrap that touches the surface, then wraps tightly with foil.
5. Refrigerate no more than 6 hours but preferably 2–3 hours (refrigeration will help keep edges from rising too much). Leave oven rack at lowest position and place pizza stone on a rack before preheating oven as directed below in Step 3.
6. Position a rack in the lowest position and place the baking stone on the rack. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (or as high as it will go). Lightly spray dough with oil; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, if using, then dimple tops of dough by poking holes all over the surface with fingertips or the tines of a wooden spoon.
7. Slide dough onto the pizza stone and bake until the crust is blistered and browned on top but not burned, about 5 minutes. If edges are puffy during the first few minutes of baking, press them down gently with the back of a metal spatula. Bake additional 2–5 minutes for thin-crust style; bake 10–12 minutes if you like the crispier crust that somebody provides (see Note). Cool on a wire rack to get a nice gourmet crust pizza.
Note: You can substitute active dry yeast for an instant; omit the water and let it dissolve in a bowl with flour before adding the rest of the liquid ingredients.
Homemade Pizza Sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
- 8 ounces whole fresh mushrooms, sliced thin (about 2 cups) or 1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced cremini or white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped. Reserve liquid from a canning jar with mushrooms.
- 14.5 ounces can crushed tomatoes in juice
- Fresh oregano leaves (optional)
- Fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces (optional)
This how-to recipe uses fresh mushrooms in place of canned. It’s designed for medium to large caps on the bottom and a mix of small and large ones on top. If you like smaller mushroom caps, add more; if you like larger ones, substitute fewer for a total of 2 cups sliced. (And they can be any combination of cremini/brown button/portobello.).
The sauce is also finely made with pre-sliced mushrooms—in which case do not try to use the juices from what’s leftover in the jar as called for in this how-to recipe; simply puree them all together in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Just how much you puree will depend on how large the pieces are. But it’s for sure a good idea to reserve some sliced mushrooms just in case they don’t blend well with the rest; then use them as a finishing touch, as here.
As for how many cups of sauce you end up with from this how-to recipe, I have no idea how that varies unless you make it using the same amounts of each ingredient.
Heat oil and garlic over low heat in a heavy medium skillet until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes.
Add white mushrooms along with reserved juice from a can or jar of cremini/brown button/portobello mushrooms (if using), then sauté until they have released their liquid and are just cooked through 3 to 5 minutes.
Sometimes I will let the liquid evaporate until it’s about half gone; sometimes I’ll leave most of it behind in the pan.
Stir in crushed tomatoes (with juice from can or jar), then simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed—both ingredients depend on how salty your canned tomatoes were (and how much you added yourself).
If the sauce is thicker than you like, stir in a little pasta cooking water to thin out as desired before using. Serve at once or let cool completely; cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Before serving, if you like, stir in fresh oregano and basil leaves (if using).
How To Shape Pizza Dough Without Rolling Pin
1. Pinch off a walnut-size piece of dough; hold it between your hands with thumbs on the outside edge and fingers on the inside edge. Lightly press all over the surface of the ball as shown here until slightly larger than roughly 4 inches in diameter—not much more or it will not fit into your pan. (You’ll end up with about 14 balls from the recipe.)
2. Stretch the dough by pressing fingers of both hands in opposite directions, starting at the center and working outward to edges as shown here. Press gently but firmly; stop when you reach a diameter of about 6 inches (or use how-to for how-to make golf ball–size pizza). If the dough resists being stretched, let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
3. After stretching each piece of dough, lay it on a lightly floured board or countertop and cover with a kitchen towel; repeat step 3 with remaining pieces while first are rolling out (note how how-to recipe below rolls out the dough from center to edge).
4. As each how-to recipe sheet of rolled-out dough is ready, lightly oil how-to recipe parchment paper; lay how-to recipe pizza crust atop it and shake gently but firmly to remove air bubbles. Starting at how-to recipe edges, use how-to recipe fingers of both hands to manipulate dough while gently pulling toward the center as shown here.
5. Continue until the entire how-to recipe pizza crust is evenly shaped with a how-to recipe lip meeting the how-to sheet’s edge at about 3 inches in from all sides. (If needed, you can set the how-website piece aside on how-to parchment paper for up to 20 minutes.) At this point, how website how-to pizza crust how-to recipe how-website how to make gourmet pizza at home how to shape pizza dough.
‘Gourmet Pizza Near Me’ Is In Your Kitchen Now
You can stop looking for any gourmet frozen pizza and make it on your own. Your simple kitchen gadgets will do the magic. All you have to do is to stick to the basics we have compiled here. But after you become a pro, the sky will be your limit.
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