10 Secrets to Making Perfect Pizza (Slideshow)

Staff Writer
There are many tips and tricks to help pull off the perfect homemade pizza

Use Cornmeal

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Dust your pan with cornmeal to prevent the dough from sticking. Not only is this trick helpful, but it also adds a deliciously crunchy texture to the bottom of the crust.

Use Fresh Yeast

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To kick the pizza dough flavor up a notch, opt for fresh yeast in cake-form instead of out of a packet.  

Use A Dough Hook

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If kneading by hand doesn’t appeal to you, a dough hook or food processor is a great alternative. Make sure not to overwork the dough, as a machine is much more powerful than kneading by hand. Over mixing can make for a gummy crust.

Toppings

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Be careful not to pack on too many toppings, as this will make the crust take longer to cook. If the ingredients are crowded, the crust can become soggy. If you like arugula or other fresh greens on your pizza, wait until the pizza is fully cooked and out of the oven to prevent from wilting.

Freeze Dough

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Pizza dough keeps well in the freezer. Wrap a round in plastic, and store in the freezer. It will taste best if consumed within three months of making. Bake it immediately after thawing.

Sticky Dough

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A great way to deal with sticky pizza dough is to roll it out onto a piece of parchment paper. Leave it on until midway through baking in the oven — the liner should easily release from the pizza dough.

Use A Pizza Stone

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Baking a pizza in a 500 degree oven will help achieve the best crust. For optimum cooking, use a pizza stone, which can get much hotter than a pan or baking sheet. The stone helps the oven reach the right temperature, and spreads the heat out evenly. Make sure to position the pizza stone on the center rack before turning on the oven, and preheat for at 

Buy Dough

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To expedite pizza-making at home, you can always ask your favorite pizza parlor to sell you a round of dough. Alternatively, there are plenty of good pre-made dough options available in the frozen section of your grocery store. All you’ll need to do at home is add a pizza sauce and toppings.

Knead By Hand

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If you’re new to pizza-dough making, knead the dough by hand to make sure that it’s not over-kneaded. The more it is kneaded by hand, the chewier the consistency will be. 

Use Different Flours

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When making whole wheat pizza crust, try to use half whole-wheat flour combined with half bread flour for a fluffy and chewy texture. All whole-wheat flour crusts can become tough and dense, so adding some regular flour will help improve the final consistency.