Do you love the pizza at your favorite Italian restaurant, but struggle to make anything comparable at home? While you may not be able to exactly replicate pizzas made in professional ovens by professional chefs, there are some tips and tricks you can use to create pizza that is restaurant-quality (or close to it) at home.
1. Make sure your dough has risen enough.
Whether you buy or make your dough, you want to make sure it is fully risen before you shape it into a crust. Otherwise, it will contract back into a smaller circle rather than holding its shape. Most recipes will tell you to let the dough rise for an hour, but this is only enough time on a warm summer day. If your house is cooler than 75 degrees, you'll need to let your dough rise for at least 90 minutes, if not 2 hours.
2. Crank up the heat.
Professional pizza ovens can top 800 degrees F. Your home oven won't get that hot, but by turning it up all the way, you can get results closer to a restaurant pizza. Most ovens will go up to 500 degrees. Some will go up to 550 degrees. Make sure the oven and your pizza stone are fully preheated before you put the pizza on the stone. (And do use a pizza stone, not a baking sheet.)
3. Don't overdo the sauce.
Sauce is good, so you should really load it on, right? Wrong. One of the biggest reasons why people make soggy pizzas is that they use too much sauce! You only need a thin layer. A half cup of sauce is enough for the average-size pizza.
4. Pre-cook any moist toppings.
If you use any moist toppings on your pizza, such as mushrooms, olives, or onions, pre-cook them gently before putting them on top of the pie. This will remove some of the moisture so your crust does not end up soggy.
5. Use a blend of cheeses.
You often hear about mozzarella being the ultimate pizza cheese, but the truth is, most restaurants use a blend of cheeses for a more complex flavor. Using equal parts mozzarella and provolone is a nice start. Another option is to one one third mozzarella, one third cheddar, and one third provolone.
With the tips above, your homemade pizza should taste a lot more similar to restaurant pizza. To learn more checkout a website such as Original Italian Pizza Pa. Bon apetit!