Making homemade pizza (from pre-made dough) - share your tips
I want to experiment making homemade pizza.
I don't want to make the effort to make my own dough.
I would prefer to use supermarket refrigerated dough.
I prefer thin crust - should I just use less of the packaged dough
to get a thinner crust?
Do some of you actually buy your dough from a pizzeria rather than get
it from the supermarket. Is there a big difference in taste?
At times I may try making my own pizza sauce.
However is their a canned or jarred pizza sauce that any of you can
Please recommend a high quality pre-shredded or in-tact mozerella
To get a crispy crust, can I just use a metal pizza pan or do I need a pizza stone?
i've bought it from a pizza place. usually about 2 bucks. never used store-bought dough.
if you want thin crust then make a thinner pizza. this would likely entail using less dough.
there's no such thing as "pizza sauce" in my world. I use canned or strained tomatoes, and add some oregano, s/p, maybe fresh thyme. canned tomatoes are cooked once. if you cook them again to make sauce, they will cook then a third time on the pizza. this destroys any brightness that the tomatoes once had.
don't buy pre-shredded cheese, unless you like the additives.
use a pizza stone and heat your oven to the highest temp for at least an hour.
you will get other conflicting opinions, but mine are right.
I make my own dough, but if you buy it, the baking techniques are the same:
use a pizza stone (I line my bottom oven rack with unglazed red quarry tiles and bake directly on that)
Like tommy said, heat your oven to the highest temp for a long preheat to really heat the stone/tiles.
Use a pizzal peel with cornmeal. If you don't have a peel, use a large cutting board or the bottom of a sheet pan sprinkled heavily with cornmeal so you pizza will slide from it to the oven. The cornmeal prevents sticking and adds a nice crunch to your pizza.
Use great ingredients and less is more. Also like Tommy, I don't use a "suace". A few chopped San Marzano canned tomatoes, a few slices from a ball of fresh mozzarella from your local deli, and some fresh basil, and maybe some procuitto makes a great pizza.
Another winner at my house is a grating of Gruyere, some sliced roasted chicken, and some caramelized onions.
http://www.pennmac.com/page/27 If you don't mind doing the online ordering thing this place has it all. I've ordered from them a few times and they have a great selection. They have several commercial pizza sauces in #10 cans (gallon), that i put in freezer bags and freeze enought for 2 or 3 pizzas per bag. The Mozzerella cheese is some of the best you can get. As far at pizza dough, one day you will want to make your own. When you do find a source for All Trumps flour. I make sevearl doughs and freeze them so I always have some on hand. It's a learning process, so don't give up.
Good advice so far. I make my own dough, but in a pinch I go by Whole Foods pizza counter and they sell their dough for 2.50 a ball (one huge pizza or two nice mediums). I was at a local restaurant this past weekend that makes pizzas and the guy said if I ever needed dough he would just give me some.
I personally like making the pizza on the grill. Makes for a light, wood burned oven taste. Very crisp. It is easy to do. I made 5 pizzas tonight in no time at all. I was at a friends that has a sparce kitchen and had to use a wine bottle for a rolling pin. (ha)
Think outside the box a bit and make some unique pizzas. Among the regular pizzas, I also made a chicken tikka masala pizza, using a handmade masala sauce (always use sparingly) along with some nice grilled chicken. It took to a fresh mozzarella devinely, along with sprigs of cilantro.
Attached is a meat pizza with pepperoni, hot Italian sausage and cilantro. My favorite is an alfredo sauce and shrimp. Also like bbq sauce and chicken, red onion and cilantro.
Notice the picture, I couldnt get it quite thin enough with a wine bottle roller (ha again), but did achieve a nice heart shape.
I keep the Pillsbury pizza dough in the fridge for a quick pizza. Get the regular one and use a BIG cookie sheet to make a nice thin-crust pizza (they sell a'thin-crust' version but why pay more for less?) Ignore the cooking directions on the packet - fire the oven up to 450 and bake the pizza for 15 minutes. Yummy!
For sauce I use plain canned tomato paste. No additives except a light sprinkle of herbs... crushed tomatoes work too but they're goopier. No comments on the cheese.
you know one thing that really bothers me about trying to use a piel to put the pizza onto a stone? how the dough seems to become slightly misshapen with the force of the transfer.
maybe i'm just a control freak, but when i get the pizza to the shape i like--nice and round and even, with all the ingredients evenly distributed--i like it to STAY that way. i've taken to performing a bit of blasphemy and now use parchment on the piel, build the pizza on that, then just pull the parchment onto the stone. my pizza keeps its shape and comes out looking and tasting beautiful.
take a gander at some of my handy work
Make sure you get real dough (not the stuff in the can).
Take the dough ball out of the fridge an hour or so before you're ready to start baking - it will be much easier to roll it out.
Don't be afraid to cut the dough into smaller, more manageable pieces and make 2 smaller pizzas instead of one big one....or if you want a thinner crust.
The dough from the pizzeria will be similar to the pizza you get from them, so it might not be better or worse than the dough in the store - but if there is a pizzeria that has crust that you particularly like, you might like to get dough from them if possible. For me it's easier to just get frozen dough balls when they are on sale for $1 at the supermarket.
I usually buy a couple of balls from Trader Joe's, also get some sauce there. I use a peel to build my pies on with cornmeal and then transfer them to my BGE running around 600 degrees. Great pies.