Crisp, flavorful, with just enough bubbles to enjoy that delicious texture. Creating the perfect pizza dough can take your homemade efforts at pizza making and turn them into gourmet, restaurant-worthy pizza pies.
So what’s the secret to getting that ever-elusive, perfect pizza dough at home?
A few things actually.
Not to worry. Here are 5 key secrets to producing that perfect dough so tasty your friends will be begging you for the recipe. Enjoy!
Perfect Pizza Dough: 101
Before we delve into the secrets of creating supremely delicious pizza dough, let’s get one thing straight. You can’t have scrumptious pizza without fresh ingredients and the right tools.
So, throw out that 6-month-old yeast, forget the oven, and get ready for the best dang pizza you’ve ever had outside of a 5-star restaurant.
1. Water Temperature
Weren’t quite expecting this as the first tip? It’s true. When you’re following a recipe that calls for “warm water” to help your yeast rise, there is way too much room for personal interpretation as to what exactly “warm” is.
Too often this vague instruction leads to an improperly risen dough. You don’t have to be Paul Hollywood to know the rise is probably the single most important aspect of a perfect dough.
You also can’t expect a recipe that tells you to heat or microwave the water to do the trick either. There’s too much variance in microwave power, tap water temperature, etc. to get the right amount of rise.
The best way to make sure your water is perfect for maximizing the yeast’s capabilities is to use a baking thermometer. If the water is too hot, your yeast is dead. Too cool, it won’t rise.
For the ideal rise, you want your water temperature to hit somewhere between 110 degrees Fahrenheit and 115.
2. Seasoning and Salt
Sure, there are plenty of delicious keto recipes out there, but let’s be real, people love bread for a reason. It’s satisfying and as the British might say, simply “scrummy.”
Still, as delicious as bread is, the simple flavor of flour and water won’t quite do it if you’re shooting for gourmet pizza.
To add some interest and flavor to your pizza dough, salt and seasoning go hand in hand.
One key to consider when deciding how much salt and seasoning to add to your dough is your intended pizza toppings. If you’re planning to add anchovies or sliced olives, you can afford to cut back a bit on the salt in your dough.
A good rule of thumb is to use the old baker’s percentage.
Basically, what this means is that you’ll use a percentage of your flour’s weight to determine how much salt to add to your mixture.
In most dough recipes, you add 3% of your flour weight in salt. If you’re making a dough that calls for 300g of flour and 3% salt, you simply add 9 grams of salt.
If you’re sticking with more simple toppings, try adding in a dash of garlic powder, some dried oregano or basil. This gives an Italian flair to your scrumptious dough.
Just be sure you add these extra seasonings before you add the oil and water to your mixture. This way, your seasonings are more likely to be evenly incorporated.
3. Dump the Rolling Pin
Maybe you thought the cliche Italian guy standing the pizza shop, tossing dough was something only to be seen in movies. Wrong!
This cliche is really one of the top secrets for getting just the right amount of air into your ideal pizza dough.
Rolling pins are for amateurs. They effectively flatten out all those beautiful, naturally occurring, air pockets in your dough. This leaves you with dense, flat, unsatisfying pizza.
When it comes to making perfect dough, most professionals rank taste and texture about shape. You don’t need a perfect circle. Really good tasting pizza dough is often an irregular shape.
The ideal dough is tossed.
If you find your dough to be slightly too tough to work with in this way, leave it out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. This allows the gluten in the dough to soften before you give it another go.
This secret makes us proud as many pizza-pros aren’t even aware of this nifty trick. This tip depends on what toppings you are including.
If you’re looking to add rather moist toppings, say fresh mozzarella, sometimes your dough may struggle to hold up under the added moisture. No one likes soggy pizza. So what’s to be done?
It’s simple but effective. All you do is partially bake your crust before adding these toppings. This helps the dough hold up better once you add them and finish your bake.
You’re welcome, you pizza-genius-to-be.
5. Bake Hot and Quick
Mmm, that extra-crispy base and perfectly melted cheese. Feeling hungry yet? We hate to break it to you, but this is hard to achieve with a regular oven.
The best method for getting supremely divine pizza dough is by using a pizza stone for grill or brick ovens. The idea is to cook your pizza very hot and for a shorter amount of time.
Makes sense when you really think about it. So many pizza recipes call for a typical 350-degree temperature and somewhere like 20-25 minute bake time. This sounds more like how you might bake a birthday cake than a crispy-crust artisan pizza.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to own a grill, you can still try for this ideal by boosting your oven temperature up to 500 degrees. Get it as high as you can without using the broiling setting.
Then, watch your pizza. You know it’s done and perfect once your cheese starts to bubble and your crust is a golden-brown.
More Delectable Cooking Tips
Now that you’re mouth is watering at the idea of the perfect pizza dough, it’s time to start cooking!
Trying to cut back a little on the carbs? Don’t sweat it. Check out our post on 8 incredible low carb snacks today and get munching.