ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Prepare and Cook Your Homemade Pizza

Updated on December 15, 2014
How to make homemade pizza with pesto sauce
How to make homemade pizza with pesto sauce | Source

In a previous hub, I detailed a recipe for An Excellent Homemade Pizza Dough. This hub assumes you have made your dough (if you used a different recipe, it’s OK to keep reading!) and are ready to put the pizza together. It's time to make homemade pizza.

Take your dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 45 - 60 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured large cutting board or the counter. Use your hand to press down the dough down and begin to press and stretch it out into a large circle. A video example may help you refine your technique.

COOKING HOMEMADE PIZZA

The pizza can be cooked on one of several items, such as a pizza stone, a screen or a pan. I have had good luck with the Wilton pan. The most authentic way is to use a pizza peel (a wooden paddle) to transfer the pizza to a pizza stone that’s preheated in the oven (or to a wood-fired oven, which most of us don’t have at home!). Transfer the dough to your pan or screen and quickly finish prepping your pizza. Be sure to prepare your sauce, cheese and toppings before you stretch out the pizza dough.

How to make your own restaurant style pizza dough

THE SAUCE
I’ve used three different approaches for homemade pizza sauce; all are simple and delicious.

Option one is to use fresh Roma (plum) tomatoes or an heirloom tomato variety. Use 4 medium tomatoes. Deseed, roughly chop, and then use an immersion blender until reaching a sauce-like consistency. Lightly season with a pinch of sugar and salt, black pepper and some oregano or basil.

Option two is to use canned Italian plum tomatoes. They should be whole tomatoes, peeled and canned in Italy. Drain the juice (or save for something else) and again use an immersion blender to turn them into sauce.

Option three is to use pesto as your sauce. Use your favorite pesto recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Spinach and/or arugula pesto are interesting alternatives to basil.

When you spread the sauce, it may be quicker, easier and more fun to use your hands. Do it quickly and keep the sauce thickness fairly thin. If it’s too thick, you may end up with a soggy crust.

CHEESE
Use fresh mozzarella; as fresh as possible. The authentic choice is fresh Bufala mozzarella, but it may be difficult to track down. Our household is vegan and we use Daiya vegan "cheese," mozzarella-style. Don’t overdo the cheese. Let a fair amount of the sauce show through.

TOPPINGS
Choose your own, but remember that less is more. You don’t want to weight down the pizza or hide the flavor of the cheese, sauce and crust. If at all possible, use some fresh basil. Mushrooms and kalamata olives are great topping choices for the pesto pie.

PIZZA COOKING TIME
This is a critical step in producing great pizza. You want to maximize the heat, which will shorten the cooking time. I use a gas grill and crank it up all the way for 20 - 30 minutes ahead of time. If you can get the temp to 600 or higher, you are doing well. I have a pizza stone on the grill (heat it up with the grill) and place the pan on top of the stone. Put the pizza on the grill quickly! Every second the grill top is open, the grill loses a lot of heat. Cooking on the grill takes around 7 - 8 minutes. Some black on the bottom of the crust is fine, but a minute too long can burn the entire crust. I usually turn the pan after 3-4 minutes as the grill heat is sometimes uneven.

Oven cooking will also produce a nice pizza, though the texture of the crust will be a little different. Preheat the oven to maximum (500). Cooking time should be about 12 minutes.

You’re done! I’ve found that each pizza turns out a little different due to different factors such as how long the dough has risen, cooking temperature and time, etc., but every one has been delicious.

© 2011 chet thomas

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Act 3 profile imageAUTHOR

      chet thomas 

      6 years ago from Athens, GA

      Thanks sparkley! We find these are as good as most restaurant pizzas.

    • Act 3 profile imageAUTHOR

      chet thomas 

      6 years ago from Athens, GA

      Thanks sparkley! We find these are as good as most restaurant pizzas.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Hart 

      6 years ago from Lanarkshire

      This is a great idea to make your own pizzas at home! I will be trying it soon, and I love the simple recipes for sauces and toppings! Voted up and useful!!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)