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Pizza Perfection: Secret Tips for Crafting Your Best Pie Yet

Pizza is one of the world’s most popular foods. It’s simplicity, versatility, and of course fantastic taste, have seen it stand the test of time and established it as a staple across age groups, nations, and cultures. 

You would be forgiven for assuming that the only way to satisfy your pizza cravings is to visit a local pizzeria or order a delivery from a popular chain franchise.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

pizza making tips feat

More and more people are beginning to realize just how easily you can make your own pizzas at home, with products like the Outdoor Pizza Oven Ooni Koda 16 the perfect solution for baking your carefully crafted pizza.

If you’re a fan of cooking and want to test your skills by making this classic Italian dish, we’ve put together a guide just for you. Check it out below. 

It Starts with the Dough

All pizzas start with dough, it’s perhaps the most crucial part of the pizza making process.

A well-made dough will give you the perfect foundation to build upon and will serve as a blank canvas upon which you can create your pizza masterpiece. 

First, let’s discuss the ingredients.

Thankfully, pizza dough is incredibly simple, only containing four ingredients. 

If you want to make enough dough for four pizzas, you’re going to need:

  • Around 13 ounces or 380 ml of cold water
  • 18 grams of salt
  • 600 grams of flour
  • 7 grams-20 grams of yeast

The amount of Yeast will depend on the particular type of yeast you are using.

pizza dough ingredients

If it’s fresh yeast, you’ll need 20 grams, 9.2 grams if it’s active dried yeast, and 7 grams if it’s instant dried yeast. 

Here’s a tip – always keep a little extra flour to hand, this will be important later on. 

Dough Instructions

Now it’s time to start making the dough. 

  1. Separate the water, putting two-thirds into a bowl and setting aside, then bring the remainder up to a boil on the stove. 
  2. Next, mix the cold and hot water together and stir in the yeast and salt. The heat of the water will activate the yeast
  3. Next, it’s time to add the flour and form the dough. This can be done with an automatic mixer, but we recommend sticking to the traditional method and doing it by hand. 
  4. Pour the flour into the water, salt, and yeast mixture, and then stir with a wooden spoon until a doughy mixture begins to form. 
  5. Start mixing by hand now and form the dough into a ball. 
  6. Now, take the ball out of the dough and place onto a flat, floured covered surface (this is why we recommend keeping some extra flour aside) and knead it by hand until it’s smooth, firm, and springy. 
  7. Now, return the dough to the bowl, cover with clingfilm, and leave it sitting at room temperature for around two hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled in size. 
  8. Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and used a edged tool to divide the ball into four pieces. 
  9. Place each piece into its own separate bowl, cover, and wait until they have all doubled in size again. 
  10. Once all your dough balls have doubled in size, it’s now time to start forming them into pizza bases. 
  11. Lay each ball on a flat, floured surface and begin to knead. 
  12. Start from the center and use your fingers to push out towards the edges, forming the ball into a circle until you have reached your desired size. 
  13. Pinch around the edges to form a crust, and the main circular surface is as thin as possible to create an authentic pizza base. 

Add the Sauce

pizza sauce ingredients

Now that your pizza bases are ready to go, it’s time to cover them in a delicious tomato sauce. 

While you can readily get pizza sauces out of a jar, you’re going to have to make the sauce yourself if you want a truly authentic pizza. 

Thankfully, making pizza sauce is quick and easy, you’ll only need a few ingredients. 

To make enough sauce for four pizzas, you’ll need:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Two finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 400 grams of canned plum tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Oregano (dried is fine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar 

Sauce Instructions

  1. In a large pot or saucepan, lightly fry the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until softened. You can also fry some chopped basil stems at the stage for extra flavor. 
  2. Next, add the tomatoes and crush them to form a sauce. 
  3. Add the basil, a pinch of sugar and oregano, and the season for salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes. 
  5. Keep a close eye on it, stir occasionally, and taste regularly to make any necessary adjustments for seasoning. 
  6. If you notice thick red tomato residue forming up the sides of the pot, scrape this back down and stir it into the sauce, it’s packed full of concentrated tomato flavor and will make your pizza even more delicious.  
  7. Using a ladle, spoon the sauce out onto your pizza bases, using the base of the ladle to completely cover the dough.

Choose Your Toppings 

Next it’s time to choose your toppings, and this is where you can get really creative and experiment with different things. 

Cheese is obviously the most popular choice, buffalo mozzarella is the best option, but you can use other cheeses if you want, or go totally cheese free.

 If you’re using mozzarella, roughly tear it up by hand into chunks and spread these evenly across the base. 

If you want to stick with just cheese and tomato, that’s totally fine, a margarita pizza is a classic for a reason. 

However, toppings are where you can have fun and try out different combinations, just about any kind of meat or vegetable will work well on a pizza. 

For meats, spicy sausage like pepperoni or spianata or cured meats like prosciutto are always a good choice, while vegetables like onions, red peppers, broccoli, and artichokes can taste fantastic on a pizza. 

If you’re a seafood fan, why not try the traditional Italian combination of tuna and red onion on your pizza, or the classic anchovy.

If you want the ultimate seafood pizza, try your hand at making a pizza ai frutta di mare, which is topped with delicious seafood options like prawns, squid, and mussels. 

Cook and Enjoy! 

Once you’ve added your favorite toppings, it’s finally time to cook your pizza. 

If you’re using an Ooni outdoor pizza oven, slide your pizza in using a peel onto the heated pizza stone. 

Your pizza will be cooked in around 90 seconds, so keep a close eye on it and turn it regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn and that it cooks evenly. 

Once it’s ready, slide your pizza back out and place it on a plate.

How you cut your pizza will depend on how you like to eat it, but the traditional Italian way is to divide it into four large quarters, which are then folded up and eaten to prevent any sauce or toppings from falling off.

Whatever toppings you choose and whichever way you eat your pizza, follow this guide to make the perfect homemade Italian pizza.

pizza making tips feat

Dough Instructions

How to make the dough
Ingredients
  
  • Around 13 ounces or 380 ml of cold water
  • 18 grams of salt
  • 600 grams of flour
  • 7 grams-20 grams of yeast
Instructions
 
  • Separate the water, putting two-thirds into a bowl and setting aside, then bring the remainder up to a boil on the stove.
  • Next, mix the cold and hot water together and stir in the yeast and salt. The heat of the water will activate the yeast.
  • Next, it’s time to add the flour and form the dough. This can be done with an automatic mixer, but we recommend sticking to the traditional method and doing it by hand.
  • Pour the flour into the water, salt, and yeast mixture, and then stir with a wooden spoon until a doughy mixture begins to form.
  • Start mixing by hand now and form the dough into a ball.
  • Now, take the ball out of the dough and place onto a flat, floured covered surface (this is why we recommend keeping some extra flour aside) and knead it by hand until it’s smooth, firm, and springy.
  • Now, return the dough to the bowl, cover with clingfilm, and leave it sitting at room temperature for around two hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and used a edged tool to divide the ball into four pieces.
  • Place each piece into its own separate bowl, cover, and wait until they have all doubled in size again.
  • Once all your dough balls have doubled in size, it’s now time to start forming them into pizza bases.
  • Lay each ball on a flat, floured surface and begin to knead.
  • Start from the centre and use your fingers to push out towards the edges, forming the ball into a circle until you have reached your desired size.
  • Pinch around the edges to form a crust, and the main circular surface is as thin as possible to create an authentic pizza base.

 

pizza making tips feat

Sauce Instruction

How to make the sauce.
Ingredients
  
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Two finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 400 grams of canned plum tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Oregano (dried is fine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
Instructions
 
  • In a large pot or saucepan, lightly fry the garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until softened. You can also fry some chopped basil stems at the stage for extra flavour.
  • Next, add the tomatoes and crush them to form a sauce.
  • Add the basil, a pinch of sugar and oregano, and the season for salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer the sauce for 20 minutes.
  • Keep a close eye on it, stir occasionally, and taste regularly to make any necessary adjustments for seasoning.
  • If you notice thick red tomato residue forming up the sides of the pot, scrape this back down and stir it into the sauce, it’s packed full of concentrated tomato flavour and will make your pizza even more delicious.
  • Using a ladle, spoon the sauce out onto your pizza bases, using the base of the ladle to completely cover the dough.

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