So you want to learn how to make pizza yourself? Making pizzas is quite easy when you know the steps involved. Follow this step by step guide to making your own pizzas at home, and delight everyone with the flavor of your hands.
Step 1. Preparing your tomato pizza sauce
Melt the butter with the olive oil and slowly but completely sauté the garlic and onion in a skillet.
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and puree. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for two hours. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes with a potato masher.
Continue to mash, stir, and simmer partially covered until the sauce reaches the consistency of a rich soup.
Step 2 Making Pizza Dough
Making your own pizza dough by hand is both challenging and satisfying. Home made pizza dough, "from scratch," is without a doubt the single most defining factor that differentiates a great pizza from any other pizza that you will ever have. And, the personal gratification that comes of successfully making pizza at home for yourself, your loved-ones and your friends makes it all the more worthwhile.
Step 3 Panning the Prepared Pizza Dough
Panning the dough is the step where you use a rolling pin or machines to create the pizza base with your dough. There are machines that help you sheet and pan the pizza dough, or you can use the hand tossing method or the rolling pin if you want to do it yourself.
Depending on the style, size, composition and number of pizzas you choose to make, the methods of sizing, shaping, trimming, and ultimately, panning the pizza dough, will vary.
step 4 Topping the Pizza
First, spread the pizza sauce evenly over the surface of the dough. Spoon the sauce out to the edge of the dough sheet, leaving "un-sauced" about 3/4" to 1" of the dough crust.
Next, layer the shredded cheese creating an evenly distributed bed of cheese on which to arrange your toppings. (You will use another cup of cheese for finishing off the top of the pizza.)
From this point on, let your eyes, nose, creativity and taste buds take over to add other toppings to your pizza.
Some toppings, (fresh vegetables, certain cheeses and fatty meats), are higher in moisture and fat content and you have to take this into account when you use them, to ensure your pizza doesn't turn out soggy.
Step 5 Baking the Pizza
The final step is to bake to pizza. When you oven is at the right temperature place a prepped pizza in the center of the middle rack to allow for maximum air circulation around the pan.
Make adjustments to your baking process one at a time until you've found the perfect balance of rack position, temperature and baking time to suit your oven.
Signs to look for that the pizza is ready are:
- The cheese has melted on top and is beginning to brown,
- The crust edge has browned, from a medium to a golden brown, and,
- Carefully lift the edge of the pizza to inspect its bottom. The bottom dough should be evenly browned.
If these signs are evident, your pizza is done!