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Tips on Making Pizza

Pizza can be a fun, easy way to entertain your family and guests. Whether you make made-to-order pizzas for each person or let them join in and make their own, it's a great way to involve people in the cooking process. Here are some tips to follow for a good dough, and to have a great cooking experience making pizza!!!

Pizza parties are great, especially when you have all the toppings laid out nicely to have your guests or family choose their own and build their own pizza. They get a personalized experience, and end up with restaurant quality pizza in the end to enjoy.

The great thing about making mistakes with pizza, is that it's fairly cheap to mess up, so its ok to have to start back from scratch and perfect your technique or tweak the recipe to fit your taste and texture. I've followed "professional" pizza dough recipes and they weren't for me, so i took the best of all the recipes I have tried and put them together into an easier, simpler recipe and I have always had great results since!

To get flavorful dough with a nice texture will require an overnight proofing in the fridge. This allows the glutens to develop slowly in a cold environment and builds that signature pizzaria flavor dough.

Use 00 flour or bread flour if you cannot find 00 flour. 00 flour has the highest level of protein content, second is flour, and regular flour has the smallest. High protein is necessary to develop the gluten you want in a good pizza, and is usually why regular flour dough never tastes quite right.

Always use plenty of flour to cover your surface to avoid the dough from sticking.

When you are rolling out your dough, you want it to be thin enough to see light come through the center. If you get a hole, just patch it up by folding a little bit of the dough next it over the hole and mush it all back together.

Try to get a pizza peel with a handle to make easier to transfer the pie to and from the oven. This will save your hand from getting burned, and gives you better control to turn the pizza when its in the oven.

Heavily sprinkle semolina or corn meal on the peel before you put the pizza on the peel. Give the peel a good shaking to make sure the pizza is sliding around well. If it is not, lift up that side and sprinkle more flour until it moves around freely.

Do not let your pizza sit with toppings on the peel for more than a couple of minutes tops. The longer it sits, the more the dough hydrates and will get sticky again, making a mess in the oven or on the pizza stone (I know all too well from experience)!

You want your pizza stone to be around 500-600 degrees in the center before you place the pizza on the stone for cooking. This is the optimal temperature to get a great crust and prevents the dough from being undercooked while the toppings may start overcooking or burning.

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