Sunday, June 21, 2009

In the Kitchen: Pizza Party!

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It was a day in the kitchen with friends where we had some fun making homemade pizzas! I was inspired to do this kitchen session with friends because I love how easy, healthier and versatile it is to make homemade pizzas. We learned how to make 3 kinds of pizza doughs and had a blast topping them with a whole assortment of ingredients.

Some pizza basics I learned from Cook's Illustrated and shared on homemade pizza making included:

  • Use tiles or a pizza stone - They provide the crispiest crust with a slight chew. They also retain heat and lessen the effects of temperature fluctations in home ovens.
  • Preheat the oven - An oven temperature of 500 degrees is best. If it's any lower, the crust won't be as crisp. Aim to heat your oven for at least 30 minutes.
  • Use a peel - A pizza peel is the best tool for getting topped pizza dough onto a heated stone. The long handle makes it easy to slide the dough in. Look for an aluminum peel with heat-resistant handles. Wooden ones can mildew when washed. An ideal peel size is at least 16 inches aross.
  • Prevent the dough from sticking - Semolina flour or cornmeal not only prevents the dough from sticking but it adds crunch and flavor.
  • Bake completely - Pizzas should be done within 6-12 minutes depending on your oven and toppings. Bake until the edge of the crust is golden brown and the toppings are sizzling.
Slide 4
Below are some candid pictures of us making the following menu:
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