edited by Lauren Sheller
Copyright, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking, 2008, Maria Liberati
Few foods have the mass appeal of pizza; in fact, American’s eat over 300 acres of it in a day. Make your pizza a family favorite with these 10 steps and keep them coming back for more.
Step 1- Plan and Prepare
If you are making your own dough it will take time to rise, so start early! Know what you are topping your pizza with beforehand so you don’t put the sauce on your pizza and realize you have no cheese.
Step 2- Stone or Screen?
Stones work great for wood oven pizzas, but can often be a hassle in the kitchen. For a cheaper and easier method, try a pizza screen which is a tin circle with holes in the bottom. These holes allow for quicker cooking time and crisper crust, what’s not to love about that!
Step 3- Dough
Pre-made pizza dough can be found at your local grocery store, but if you are going to be authentic and make your own remember these few things. Make sure the water you combine the yeast with is warm, not cold or hot. It’s also important to give the yeast enough time to become active so let it stand for ten minutes after you add it to the water.
Step 4- Cheese Please!
Experts agree that the cheese makes the pizza, so splurge! Make sure to pick a cheese with low moisture, this allows for less chance of brunt cheese. From mozzarella to provolone, it doesn’t matter what you top your pizza with as long as you remember strong cheese should be used sparingly.
Step 5- Toppings
There are literally a million different things to top your pie with, so find what works for you. Fresh veggies give your pizza that homemade taste, but never underestimate the power of plain, old cheese pizza. Everybody loves it!
Step 6- Sauce
What sauce to use on your pizza is totally a preference issue; some of the best pizza sauce comes in a can-go ahead and take a short cut on this one. Just remember that the sauce holds the cheese on your pizza, so don’t spread it too thin.
Step 7- Roll-out the Dough
We’ve all seen professional pizza makers throw their dough high in the air to achieve the perfect circle, but that is truly a skill that must be developed. Do your best, no one cares if the pizza is not exactly round as long as it is the same thickness throughout.
Step 8- Adding it all together
Place your crust on the pan and then add the sauce, cheese, and toppings. It’s too hard to transport the pizza with all that stuff on it, make sure the topping mounds are even too.
Step 9- Watch Closely
Preheat the oven to about 425 degrees. Once your pizza goes inside don’t walk away, watch the pizza closely and rotate accordingly-cooking time will vary.
Step 10- Enjoy!
For more great tips and recipes and stories about life in a small village in Italy get your copy of the bestselling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at http://www.marialiberati.com and receive $5 off retail price and get free shipping.
Ciao for now!