Making homemade pizza is nowhere near as difficult as you might think it is. In fact, anyone can do it. You whack some sauce and toppings on some dough and put it in the oven for a few minutes. The true challenge is making amazing pizza that ensures people keep bugging you to make some more.

If you want to become a master at cooking pizza and not just somebody that is mediocre, then you will want to read our three most important tips. Although simple, they will give you the foundation needed to continuously deliver the tastiest, crispiest, and most addictive pizzas around. 

Preparing the dough

When it comes to preparing the dough for homemade pizza, you have many options. You can make it by hand or you can use a bread machine. If you have the latter, you can simply throw the ingredients into the machine and let it do the work for you. Of course, some of you prefer doing it all by hand and we have no problem with that at all. 

Just remember, for best results, you should always make the dough well in advance of cooking your pizza. This is because you will want to let it sit and rise – which also enables it to develop tastier flavours. The longer you can leave it, the better it will taste. Why ruin a good pizza by hurrying?

Next, you can begin to roll out the dough. It should be about a half-inch thick. Make sure you have a sheet pan or a rimmed baking sheet. A pizza can be made on a thin sheet pan, but if you choose to use a rimmed baking sheet, make sure it is lined with parchment paper.

Once you have rolled out the dough, use your fingertips to press it into a circle. Then, lightly dust the surface with flour to prevent sticking. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and set it in a warm place to rise. 

Select the Right Pan

The type of pan you use to cook your pizza can make a huge difference to the end product. Of course, ideally, you would own a brick pizza oven meaning you do not need a pan at all. However, for those of you that are unfortunate not to own one, you do have other options available to you. 

A baking stone is a decent alternative as it they are designed to simulate brick ovens. They also ensure that you get a fantastic crispy crust. Another option is a pizza round which is great if you prefer a softer finish to your pizza. If you prefer deep pan pizzas, then you can get away with using just about any cast iron skillet. 

You can even make pizza without a pan or brick pizza oven. Simply place the pizza on parchment paper before placing it on your oven rack. 

Pick Your Toppings Carefully

Adding finishing toppings to homemade pizza is a great way to use up leftovers or a few ingredients you have on hand. You could use some of the fresh stuff from your garden or a few of the spiciest leftovers from your latest dinner party. As with anything, there are many different combinations you could use.

While it is great to experiment, sometimes it is safer to stick to popular combinations. This goes for both the cheeses and the toppings. For cheese, you could stick to classics such as mozzarella, pecorino and parmesan or experiment with other flavours such as ricotta and Monterey Jack.

As for the toppings, it depends on the flavours you like. Sticking to the classics is a good idea for beginners. You can always experiment further down the line. Perhaps start with pepperoni, Hawaiian, and Margherita pizzas until you have mastered making the dough, sauce, and cooking the pizzas themselves. 

The Takeaway

With those simple but highly effective tips, it will not be long before you are creating the most imaginable pizzas known to man. Although basics, they will give you a base to start experimenting with new combinations and flavours and before long you will stumble upon some absolute masterpieces.