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The Best Way to Make Pizza
If you think the best way to make a pizza is by consulting a takeout menu and picking up the phone, then think again. The best pizzas are made rustic style, and they taste delicious.
What's the best way to make a pizza? Millions of Italians agree that great results rely on a brick-built pizza oven. However, we don't all have the funds, time or space to install one of those bad boys in our homes, so what can the rest of us do?
The perfect pizza has a crispy base and a perfectly cooked and melted topping. There are simple ways to achieve this at home in your own kitchen.
While most of us focus on the toppings as what makes a pizza so delicious, the key is really in the base. If you don't have time to make your dough from scratch, use a packet of bread mix where all the exact measuring has been done for you – or Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust.
If you can't find a pizza dough bread mix specifically, then a ciabatta bread mix works just as well. Using a bread mix takes the strain out of the whole affair while still giving knock-out results — and giving you the pleasure of kneading that lovely dough.
If you want to make your own dough, try our Basic Pizza Crust recipe.
The topping ingredients are entirely of your choosing, but the basic order when creating your masterpiece should be sauce, cheese, and toppings — in that order. Start with a ladle of sauce in the middle of the pizza, and using the back of a spoon work in circular motions outwards, until you've covered the dough evenly. Sprinkle over a generous helping of cheese and arrange your toppings over the top.
Check out this recipe for Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce.
Creating a Perfect Bottom
The biggest dilemma for the home chef when making pizza is how to get the base crispy and the topping cooked through and melted at the same time. Often the topping may be cooked but the base is soggy—ugh. Or the base is overcooked and singed as you wait for the cheese to melt. So how do you get them both to cook evenly? There are three methods you can try.
Pizza Stone - These are inexpensive large round stones that you preheat in your oven for the pizza to cook on top. The beauty of them is that they cook the base evenly, and take the moisture out of the dough to make it crispy, too. It's as close to a pizza oven experience as you're going to get in the kitchen.
Pizza Tin - These are round, shallow tins with holes in the bottom that act to crisp up the base by letting moisture escape. They are cheap as chips, and produce good results but not in the same league as the pizza stone. They also can be difficult to clean.
Frying Pan - One celebrity chef came up with the solution of crisping up the base using a frying pan, and then switching the whole thing to a regular grill to cook the topping—ingenious but not authentic.
So what's the best way to make a pizza crispy on the bottom and deliciously melty on top? The pizza stone gives as close to authentic results as you're going to get, but you have to make sure your oven is hot, hot, hot. However, if you don't have a pizza stone, the other two methods work well, too.
Here are a few easy pizza recipes that feature fun toppings:
Pesto Chicken Pizzas
Hawaiian Pizza (http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/easy-hawaiian-pizza-recipe/2/)
Stuffed Crust Pizza with Pepperoni
If you have any more tips on getting a crispy pizza base, let us know below!