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!
However, times are a-changin’, and it was never this simple (or easy) to make a proper pizza in your own home. With regular home ovens being very powerful and economic, and pizza ovens being so easy to operate and quite affordable, now the only challenge is the dough, the baking and the ingredients.
Luckily for you, we have two of those things covered! Our pizza kits bring the finest pizza dough and the best ingredients straight to your door. But what about the baking, you ask. No problem at all! With our handy instructions and a little bit of practice, you will be making amazing pizzas in any type of oven, from the regular kitchen oven, to the grill, or in one of those amazing gas, wood or electric pizza ovens.
Making Pizzas in a Regular Kitchen Oven
For 15 years I have been baking pizzas in my regular kitchen oven. 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!
Before you start, make sure your dough is thawed and at room temperature, and that all your toppings are ready and at hand.
TIP: Our Classic Pizza Dough is created to be baked in pizza ovens with lower temperatures. It is easy to shape, and it is perfect for new pizza bakers.
Turn on your oven, set it to the maximum temperature your oven reaches, in most cases that will be around 230°C.
NOTE: If your oven goes higher than 280°C, you might want to skip this method and go for the Pizza Oven method of baking. Temperatures that high will cook your pizza in under 5 minutes.
Use the pizza setting on your oven if you have it. 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. The longer, the better.
Make sure your pizza dough has reached room temperature and it’s nice and relaxed. Use the poke-test to check: poke the dough with your finger and if the dough springs right back, it needs more time, but if your finger leaves an indentation, that dough is ready to bake!
Spread your dough on a floured surface. Spread the dough with your fingers, gently pressing down and out, leaving a thin (1-2 cm) unpressed edge all around. Once you’ve pressed it out as far as you can, stretch it while rotating the whole dough until you have a nice thin base.
Carefully transfer the dough onto a pizza peel or a piece of baking paper. For beginners, it’s best to use baking paper as it will make it easy for you to slide the pizza into the oven.
Take about two tablespoons of the tomato sauce and spread it evenly on the pizza surface, covering all but the edge (depending on personal preference). We are not going to use all the toppings at this point. Because we are baking in a regular oven, we want to make sure the base bakes all the way, and toppings would hinder that. Also, we don’t want toppings like cheese and salami to be in the oven for too long and overbake.
Slide the pizza in the oven, with the baking paper if using, onto the hot surface. Bake for about 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, take the pizza out of the oven and top it up to taste. More tomato sauce, cheese, salami… all the ingredients you want baked can go on the pizza now. Once you’re happy with your pizza toppings being all in place, return the pizza to the oven for another 5-8 minutes, no need for the baking paper to go back in.
You want a nice golden-brown color on your pizza crust, and you want the cheese to be melted and bubbling. For the last minute of the bake, you might want to turn on the grill function and place the pizza directly under (on the top shelf) for about a minute, but keep an eye on it.
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
How to Make Pizza in a Pizza Oven
So many pizza ovens are available on the market these days! Just a few years ago there were no good options at all, but in the last couple of years reaching temperatures of over 350°C is becoming the norm for home pizza ovens, and some go as high as 500°C!
Most people use outdoor ovens such as Ooni, Gozney and the like. There are also some amazing electrical indoor ovens around, we are more than impressed with the Sage/Beville Pizzaiolo and the Ooni Volt.
Depending on the temperature your oven operates on, you might want to adjust the following process. At around 300°C the pizza will bake for about 4-5 minutes, and at 400°C it will take 3 minutes tops. Adjust for style also, thicker crust = lower temp = longer baking time.
Again, make sure your pizza dough has reached room temperature and it’s nice and relaxed. Use the poke-test to check – poke the dough with your finger and if the dough springs right back, it needs more time, but if your finger leaves an indentation, that dough is ready to bake!
TIP: If baking in a pizza oven, you can use any of our doughs. The Classic Pizza Dough is easy to work with if you are a novice and it bakes a perfect classic pizza. The Neapolitan Pizza Dough is your sure way to an authentic Neapolitan pizza experience – high hydration, sourdough and a unique blend of Italian flour will make an amazing pizza!
First thing to do, turn the oven on, crank it up to the highest setting and let it heat up nicely. You know your oven and how long it takes for it to get to max temperatures.
Spread your dough on a floured surface – we find it best to use semolina flour for the shaping – it will not burn as much and it will give a lovely texture to the crust. Spread the dough with your fingers, gently pressing down and out, leaving a thin (1-2 cm) unpressed edge all around. Once you’ve pressed it out as far as you can, get rid of the flour (toss the dough from hand to hand), and then stretch it while rotating the whole dough until you have a nice thin base.
Spread the tomato sauce evenly across the dough using the back of a spoon or a lapel. Sprinkle the cheese all over, and whatever toppings you want baked. If you’re baking a thin crust pizza, make sure not to use too much of the toppings. You will have a hard time sliding it from the pizza peel into the oven if the toppings are too heavy.
Carefully transfer the pizza onto a pizza peel. This will require some practice, just make sure to keep it simple and move confidently. The flour that is still sticking to the bottom of the pizza should be enough for it not to stick to your peel, so don’t add more. Don’t worry about the shape being perfectly round, no one will complain about that.
TIP: If you’re working with a lower hydration dough, you can bring the peel to the pizza, but if you’re working with a higher hydration dough, or your pizza is a bit heavy on the toppings – make sure to bring the pizza to the peel! Otherwise you might break the dough.
Slide the pizza into the oven, directly on the stone. Depending on your oven, you might need to rotate the pizza from time to time, but don’t rush it. Depending on the temperature of the oven, your pizza will be done in 3 – 5 minutes. Always look for that golden crust spotted with the occasional dark spot.
Once you’re happy with the bake, take the pizza out of the oven, place it on a rack and let it settle for a couple of minutes. Add fresh ingredients, grate some Grana Padano on top and finish it off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Nothing else 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