Who doesn’t LOVE pizza? Come on… raise your hand? Anyone?
No one? That’s right. Everybody loves pizza! With 5 billion pizza pies sold world-wide every year it would be hard to find someone who didn’t enjoy eating it.
Fact is that you can eat pizza so many different ways there’s bound to be one that will please even the pickiest eater. And the best, most nutritious and super inexpensive way to enjoy pizza is at home with friends and family – via DIY.
The problem? Most people, have no clue how to bake a good pizza pie at home. Or they have tried and failed to see the resulting deliciousness of a properly baked pie.
Today that is going to change because with these 10 pizza hacks are awesome and believe me, you’ll thank me later… after you’ve created your first amazing pizza pie.
10 PIZZA HACKS THAT WILL RAISE YOUR BAKING SKILL TO NEW LEVELS
#1. Gluten Flour: Pizza dough is easy to make. However, for that extra stretchy dough you want to include some gluten flour. My husband and I were thrilled when we started making our own pizza. It was beyond describing in tastiness.
However, while we are totally fine with the thick crust, I was not happy that I couldn’t stretch the dough into more than 10 inches. :/ So, I did a little research and discovered that adding in a little gluten flour makes the dough very pliable or stretchy.
No need to buy a specific brand. The best way to get it is in a bulk bin where you can scoop out what you need and get it for a lot less over the packaged bags.
There are many factors that affect the dough so I would suggest you test out how much of the gluten flour you need. It gets a bit complicated when you start doing the math. Rather than write it out, which would take about 2 pages to explain.
So, try adding in just 1 Tbs (tablespoon) to a pound of flour (3 1/2 cups). If that’s not stretchy enough for you, add another Tbs. If you really want the math and all the grueling details, visit pizzatoday.com and the Pizza dough expert Mr. Tom, will tweak your brain with his pizza dough algorithmic ratios.
#2. 10 Minute Rest: For those of you who only have access to all purpose flour try this; Roll out your dough until it starts springing back beyond your ability to get it resists stretching and or begins to tear, once this happens, top and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Come back and try again. After the dough has rested the gluten should relax a bit and allow you to stretch it further. You may need to do this several times to get it to the size you want. I’ve tried this one and it works great!
The temperature and humidity within your home will affect how your dough behaves as you roll it out.
Side Point – Gluten Free Dough: Today many people are going “gluten free”. Yep, me too. I did that for a while. But then I learned that a lot of the gluten issues are actually not really caused by gluten.
Your reactions to wheat may be a reaction to possible non-food items in processed foods like carrageenan which comes from seaweed. We’re still waiting for the FDA to figure out if it’s toxic or not but studies show it causes inflammation and gut issues in some people. There are other things that create issues in the gut such as synthetic sweeteners, artificial coloring and food additives.
The thing is, even some fruits can create health problems that mimic issues associated with gluten intolerance or ciliac disease. You may want to do a bit of research before you decide to include or exclude it from your diet. Dr. Oz has quite a few videos and articles on his site that are very helpful.
You may be interested in knowing that just because you are sensitive to gluten today, doesn’t mean you’ll always be sensitive to it. Check it out on Dr. OZ’s site. Simply type in his search box for Gluten and you’ll get a listing of articles on the subject.
#3. 00 Flour: The 00 flour most of us never heard of. This flour can be traced back to Italy. The flour is lower in protein and will produce a lighter more airy dough. If you love a crispier crust 00 flour is one you’ll want to try.
I think what I love the most about working with any type of flour is how forgiving it is. Experimentation is AWESOME because you can still eat your failures. Most of the time they are still pretty tasty.
I like to call this flour the 007 of flours because it seems like a pretty big secret here in the US. I’ve watched many video’s and read lots more recipes on how to make a great home pizza and only 1… yes, that’s right, just ONE recipe did the guy reveal he used 00 flour.
Thing is… he did NOT say how much he used, (grumbles). I am working it in a little at a time. The ratio I’ve read about was just about a 1 to 1 ratio. So, if you’re going to use 3 cups of flour, add 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose and 1 and 1/2 cup of 00 flour. Or if you’re like me you’ll want to go all “experimentee” and try it one cup at a time. 😉
Because you can simply add a few tablespoons of this flour to your mix, I see no need to buy a big bag of it. However, I live near a store that has a wide selection of flours, including the 00 flour. If you don’t have access to it, you may want to try the other hack, “resting your dough” before resorting to buying a big bag of 00 flour.
#4. Pizza Grilling Stone: These are awesome! The key here is to actually preheat the stone in your oven “before” you place your pizza dough on it. I had no idea how to properly use these stones. When I went to buy one at Bed Bath and Beyond they had them for sale, but no instructions were included.
Well, if that’s the case for you… now you know. The stones start to bake the dough immediately which will give you that crispy crust without burning your ingredients on top.
Once your pizza has cooked you can remove it from the stone using the peel as well. Both the stone and the peel are on my to-buy list.
#6. The Cheese: Most of us think only of mozzarella on pizza. However, you’ll be missing out big time if you don’t try adding in a few more cheeses. Try adding provolone and fresh, not powdered, Parmesan cheese to your pizza.
If you’re feeling you need even more cheesiness, add in some Romano and cheddar. The flavors that these added cheeses bring to your pizza are delicious.
- Add in a teaspoon or so of baking soda. I use a pinch or no more than 1/4th teaspoon in a pot with a single can of tomato paste.
- Add in a tablespoon of sugar. You may want to try just a teaspoon at a time. It will slightly sweeten your sauce but it really isn’t too noticeable unless you add in too much so try a little bit at a time to suit your taste buds.
- Try a tablespoon or two of white vinegar. The baking soda in combination with the sugar works so well that I have yet to try this one.
That’s the main hack, but there’s a really important factor when using any recipe; nothing is written in stone! The most important part of any recipe is adding in what makes YOU and those enjoying it with you happy.
Personally, I find that the amount of herbs most recipes call for such as oregano and garlic are not enough for my taste buds. So I add in more. You may want less.
Here’s the basics of what must be included in your sauce; oregano, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil. You can use tomato paste, tomato sauce, a combination of the two, and or home grown tomatoes.
Those are the Ho-Hum basics. Now then, if you really want the sauce HACK, here’s some added ingredients you can try.
Roasted Tomatoes: If you want to give your sauce a boost, roast some of your tomatoes in the oven first. Roasted tomatoes have a unique flavor and they will give your pizza sauce an authentic aroma. I have no idea if it there is real authenticity to it, but it sure does taste yummy!
Basil: It’s seems like every recipe would include this herb but surprisingly enough most do not. We added it in and we both agree, it’s pizza-sauce worthy.
Anchovies: EWE!!! OK, I have yet to try this one, but from what I have read it’s a good one. I’m willing to try it, but if you ask me when… I’ll change the subject so let’s not go there just yet.
The thing about pizza sauce is it’s really a personal thing. Your taste buds and mine may agree on the awesomeness of a recipe, but you may find you like your sauce with a little thicker, your pizza crust thinner, or your cheese, cheesier than I do. What you do is 100% up to you.
I DO have an awesome recipe for sauce that will give your taste buds a thrilling kick, but until I reveal it via YouTube, I’m not posting it on my blog. I will only confess to leaving out ONE secret ingredient out of this section (coughs and clear throat) I uh… well, I promise to reveal it soon. 🙂
#8. Flip The Dough: If you really want to get your crust crispy, but you don’t have a grilling stone, no worries, you can achieve pretty close to the same result by flipping your dough before you add the sauce and toppings.
You may have a bit of a challenge trying this hack without a pizza peel so I’d recommend you simply place your rolled out dough on your pizza pan or cooking sheet in the oven on the upper rack and let it bake for about 3 or 4 minutes.
You may have to test this a few times in order to achieve the crispiness you and your family prefer. Stoves behave like people; they just do their own thang.
#9. Preheat 30 to 60 Minutes: The hotter the better. Most ovens highest temperature is set to 500 degrees which is perfect. If yours can go higher, do it. If not, just have it set to the highest it will go. The important thing here is that your entire oven is 100% preheated. So, you’ll want to have an oven thermometer that will confirm the degrees has reached 500. If you don’t have a thermometer, give it a good 30 minutes to an hour if your stove is on the slow side of heating up.
What this hack is about is KNOWING your oven as much as it is about understanding how all ovens behave a little different from the oven that the recipe was intended for.
I’m not a chef, nor do I claim to be one. I am in fact a total noob, novice, rookie… whatever you want to call it, I am at the early stages of my cooking and baking journey which is why I obsess over the details.
rules and recipes
are not set in stone
I’ve watched a lot of videos, read tons of comments, and what I have figured out is that ovens, grills, stove tops, and our taste buds will vary just enough to turn the prefect recipe into a total disaster; not because the recipe is bad, but because of all the other uncontrollable elements.
This is why these hacks are so important. YOU are the pizza master in your kitchen. If you like cheddar cheese more than provolone or mozzarella, by all means, use it. If you hate red sauce, go ahead and find one that appeals to your taste buds.
#10. Pizza Sponsored Vacations: This is by far one of the most eye-opening recipe’s I’ve found. Baking pizza at home is now saving us about $600 per year! We were spending about $8.00 (frozen organic store bought) to as much as $25.00 on pizza (Round Table order, home delivery).
Now our pizzas cost us about $1.50 each. That’s a pretty steep savings!
Try this: Every pizza you bake at home saves you money. Put the money you save into a Pizza Vacation fund. At the end of the year you can take that money and go on a gilt-free vacation!
We have been buying Amy’s Organic Cheese-less pizza for a few years now and these baby’s cost about $7.79 each. We now only spend $1.50 to $1.75 per pie.
So, consider the savings and you’ll be thrilled not only by the delicious results of a home baked pizza, but you can start setting that money aside for an awesome vacation sponsored by money saved from baking and cooking from scratch.
Bonus PIZZA solutions & possibilities
When it comes to pizza there are a few other ways you can bake it.
1. No peel, no grilling stone, no problem. Just use a cookie sheet. It does a great job with home-baked pizzas. Our pizzas come out perfectly; crunchy crust bottom, chewy goodness, and fully cooked in 13 minutes at 500 degrees.
2. Deep dish pizza baked in a skillet. Plop that dough into a skillet, add toppings, and bake away. This one has is a bit tricky getting out so we prefer the cooking sheet until we get our own grilling stone.
3. Pouring Pizza Dough. This one was just plane weird. Yep, it is possible, but I personally think it rates more along the lines of a pancake pizza. And well, can you really call that a pizza? You decide. We decided to pass for now and experiment with it later.
If you’ve found these hacks give you some sort of eye-opening pizza thrill, please do comment, LIKE and or share. 😀