Here are a few Pizza Tricks!
- You can still make a great pizza without having to make the dough from scratch. Stop in your local bakery and ask them to sell you a pound or two of bread dough. You can also buy frozen dough and pizza shells from your local supermarket. Now you can’t expect the same flavor as pizza made from scratch, but the taste will be OK.
- You can easily make a calzone instead of a pizza. It is kind of an “inside out pizza”. Or maybe you could call it an “Italian Burrito”! Roll the dough out to a thin circle. Drizzle olive oil on top of the dough near one edge. Place the toppings along the same end of the dough.
- Fold the calzone and pinch the ends with a fork. You can use ricotta cheese, cooked egg plant, fresh spinach or zucchini. Put in garlic, tomatoes, and spices. Place on a pizza stone or cookie sheet dusted with corn meal. Slit the top of the calzone in several places or stick with a fork to let the gases escape.
- If your pizza sticks to the surface as you try to move it to your cookie sheet or Pizza Stone !, slide a knife underneath to loosen it. Remember next time to use enough corn meal or flour underneath so it will slide. Another trick to loosen dough is to use a piece of dental floss (wider than the pizza), and slide it under the dough. The “dental floss trick” has saved many “sticky” pizzas!
- A Pizza Stone will greatly improve the quality of your pizza. I recommend an Old Stone Oven 4467 14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone Pizza Pans & Stones).
- Assemble your pizza on your peel and make sure you have enough cornmeal underneath so it won’t stick. Liberally use cornmeal so your pizza will be easy to move. My friend Ron calls cornmeal, the “ball bearings of pizza making”.
Fresh tomato is a great topping for pizza!
- The trick to moving the pizza on a peel requires a quick jerky motion to get the pizza to slide. As with anything else, practice, practice, practice. I have almost ruined more than one pizza because a part of it stuck to the peel.
Make sure you use enough corn meal or flour so your pizza will slide!
I think the most important pizza trick is to make sure your oven is:
HOT, HOT, HOT!
Pre–heat up your oven for at least an hour.
The temperature should be at least 500°F + (260 C) or higher!
This is essential if you are using a Pizza Stone !
A hot oven will cook your pizza quickly and completely!
I have had my pizza stone for over 20 years and have found it to be
practically maintenance free. With repeated use it has turned almost black and continues to work well!
I always let my stone cool down before cleaning it. For every day cleaning, I just wipe the stone, with a slightly damp cloth. This will remove all of the cornmeal or flour that has stuck to the stone. If I have something baked on the stone, like cheese or a piece of dough, I will gently scrape all the residue I can get off with a spatula.
If I am unable to get it clean, I will heat the stone in the oven for at 500°F+ (260 C) degrees for an hour or more, let the stone cool and then try again to gently scrape the stone. Heating up the stone will burn off anything that has stuck to it.
Then just wipe down with a cloth. For more Pizza Stone Tips go here. Or gently scrape any residue off with a knife or spatuala.
Do not immerse your stone in soapy water,
as the taste of the soap will get into the stone!!!
Take your pizza to the next level,
invest in a Pizza Stone !
(Make sure your pizza stone has a life-time guarantee against defects!)