How to Bake Pizza in a Regular Kitchen Oven

Making homemade pizza in your regular kitchen oven may seem challenging, but fear not! We're here to guide you through each step, ensuring your pizza-making experience is both enjoyable and delicious.

The beauty of pizza is in its simplicity. Simple ingredients, simple process, simple and delicious final product. The only problem is that none of it seems that simple or easy when you are the one making it!

For 15 years we have been baking pizzas in our regular kitchen ovens. We started our pizza business baking our first crusts in that same oven. It only goes up to 230°C, and I usually don’t use a pizza stone or a steel, or any kind of special gadgets, just making pizzas in the way we made them in my childhood home. 

Of course, you can’t expect to have a very high cornicione (the raised edge of the pizza), but you can make an amazing homemade pizza in a regular oven. Using the right process and the ingredients will make it better than in 90% of the delivery places. The fact you made it yourself will make it just that much more delicious. So, here we go!

With our handy instructions and a little bit of practice, you will be making amazing pizzas in any type of oven. For tips on baking pizzas in a pizza oven, head over to: Baking Pizzas In a Pizza Oven

With just a few ingredients and some expert tips, you’ll soon be creating irresistible pizzas right in your own kitchen.

Essential Tools and Ingredients

Before you begin your homemade pizza adventure, make sure you have the following tools and ingredients on hand:

  1. Pizza Dough: Whether you make your own or use our pizza dough, ensure it’s thawed and at room temperature before starting.
  2. Toppings: Gather your favorite pizza toppings, such as tomato sauce, mozzarella, any cured meats, and herbs.
  3. Baking Surface: Choose a baking surface such as a pizza stone, pizza steel, or baking tray.
  4. Oven: A regular kitchen oven with the capability to reach high temperatures is essential. Ensure your oven is clean and preheat it to the highest temperature possible, running it at max temperature least 30 minutes before baking.
  5. Dusting flour: Make sure to have plenty of semolina (or a regular flour) for dusting – it will be essential for the shaping and to avoid the dough sticking

Step 1: Making Sure the Dough is Ready

Make sure your dough is thawed (if using frozen dough) and at room temperature for optimal stretchiness. We ‘ve prepared some expert tips on how to defrost the dough, so give that a look: Defrosting The Pizza Dough: Essential Tips & Tricks

Step 2: Preparing the Oven

Fire up your oven to its maximum temperature. If your oven has a pizza setting, that’s your ticket to pizza perfection. Ideally, bottom heaters and the fan are turned on so that the crust bakes from below and the hot air makes the top of the pizza nice and crispy. Place the baking surface (baking tray, pizza stone, pizza steel…) on the lowest shelf and leave it in the running oven so it gets nice and hot, giving it at least 30-40 minutes – even after the oven says the target temperature has been reached. Remember, a piping hot oven is key to achieving that crispy crust we all love!

Step 3: Shaping the Dough

picture of pizza dough in semolina flour
This is what a ready-to-shape ball of pizza dough looks like
  1. Prepare Your Working Surface: Sprinkle plenty of semolina or flour onto your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.
  2. Cover the Dough: Coat the dough with a layer of semolina or flour to ensure it doesn’t adhere to your hands or the surface.
  3. Start Shaping: Begin by gently pressing down on the dough with the tips of your fingers, focusing on the flat part next to the first knuckle. This technique allows you to distribute pressure evenly, creating a thin, evenly stretched crust, and avoid tearing the dough.
  4. Leave an Edge: As you press out the dough, leave a thin, unpressed edge around the perimeter, approximately 1-2 cm wide. This edge will form the crust of your pizza.
  5. Rotate and Stretch: Once you’ve pressed the dough out to an open hand sized disc, begin stretching it while rotating the entire dough in a circular motion. This technique helps create a uniformly thin base for your pizza. We prefer to do this step by just placing the stretched dough over the top of our hands, gently pulling it apart.

Step 4: Par-baking the Dough

When using a kitchen oven, par-baking the dough ensures that the crust cooks through properly, especially since most home ovens can’t reach very high temperatures. Par-baking involves partially baking the dough before adding the toppings. This step is crucial because the toppings, particularly the wet ones like tomato sauce and vegetables, can cool down the dough and prevent the base from becoming as crunchy as desired. Additionally, since we’ll be baking the pizza for a longer period, there’s a risk of the toppings overcooking.

What is par-baking? Essentially, it means to partially bake the dough – the dough is baked internally, but can still benefit from additional baking, development of color and flavor.

How to Par-bake the Dough:

  1. Move the shaped dough onto your pizza peel or baking paper, depending on what you are using – remebret to dust off some of the semolina, still keeping the dough not sticky.
  2. Spread a small quantity of your tomato sauce, just enough to lightly cover the surface that is going to be topped fully later, leaving whatever edge thickness you prefer (we usually go for about two centimeters).
  3. Do some final shaping, getting the pizza to the desired shape and size.
  4. Slide the pizza into the oven, with the baking paper if using, onto the hot surface. Bake for about 5-6 minutes. Do not open the oven door during that first bake.

Step 5: Topping Your Pizza

You”l know par-baking is completed when the crust is nice and puffed, and first light-brown spots have started to appear on it. Remove the pizza from the oven and add your desired toppings. Whether it’s more tomato sauce, cheese, salami, or any other ingredients you fancy, now is the time to place them on the pizza. Once you’ve topped your pizza to your heart’s content, return it to the oven for another 5-8 minutes, depending on your oven’s max temperature. There’s no need to use the baking paper this time; simply slide the pizza back onto the hot surface and let it finish baking to golden perfection.

How to Tell When Your Pizza Is Fully Baked

You’ll know your pizza is ready when the crust takes on a delightful golden-brown color, and the cheese becomes perfectly melted and starts to bubble. Additionally, check the bottom of the pizza—it should be dry, not soggy, with appealing browned spots.

For an extra touch of perfection, turn on the grill function during the last minute of baking. Place the pizza directly under the grill on the top shelf for about a minute or two, but be vigilant to avoid burning.

Step 6: Time to Digg-in

We know it’s difficult to exercise that much restraint with a hot pizza right there in front of you, but don’t start slicing it as soon as it comes out of the oven. Give it a couple of minutes, this way the toppings will have time to settle and they won’t slide from the pizza when cut.

Nothing more to do than to enjoy your handiwork, take some pictures of it and share it making sure you tag @truepizza_co and use our hashtag #truepizza

People Also Ask

Can I use a different type of flour for dusting the dough, or does it have to be semolina?

Semolina is the go-to solution, but you can also use any flour that you have at hand. Semolina, or semola, will help absorb additional humidity of the dough, but it will also offer some of its texture to the baked product – some bakers prefer to use regular flour for the same reason, to avoid changing the texture. In the end, it’s all about personal preference.

How long does pizza take to cook at 250 C?

Of course, cooking times will vary based on the temperature of your oven. You should always aim for the highest temperature.
When the oven temperature is at 250 degrees Celsius (°C), your pizza will need to bake for about 10-14 minutes – 5 minutes par-baking + 6 minutes baking with all the toppings. Add or remove about a minute for every 10°C.
At 220°C, you will need to bake your pizza for a total time of 14-16 minutes – 6 minutes par-baking, 8 minutes fully topped.

What is the best oven setting for pizza?

If your oven has it, use the pizza setting. This setting usually involves your bottom element and the fan function. If your oven doesn’t have that setting, use whatever is most like it – bottom heating element will ensure your crust is nicely baked, fan function will make sure it is properly dried and evenly baked. You should always finish the pizza under the broiler to caramelize the toppings and get some more color on your crust’s edge.

How can I adjust the baking time if I prefer a crispier or softer crust?

For a crispier crust, bake the pizza for a few minutes longer. For a softer crust, go for the highest temperature and reduce the baking time slightly and monitor the pizza closely to prevent overcooking.

How do I store leftover pizza dough for future use?

Leftover pizza dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The best way to reheat it is to blast it in your oven at the highest temperature for about 5 minutes. 

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