Friday, August 20, 2010
Homemade Pizza- Tools You May Need
I know the thought of making a pizza from scratch might sound like a lot of work to some but it's really a lot easier than it seems. I believe once you find the right recipe for the dough, the process of making it is totally worth the effort.
I don't usually do step by step instructions on this blog but I think this time it might be really helpful. Since there are a lot of pictures and info here, I've divided the topic into three posts:
1. Tools you need to make the dough and bake the pizza.
2. How to make the dough.
3. How to assembly and bake your pizza.
OK, let's get started...
TOOLS YOU MAY NEED
Heavy Duty Stand Mixer ( with a dough attachment)
You can certainly make a pizza dough by hand but a heavy duty stand mixer makes the job much, much, much easier. A dough hook is essential for properly kneading the dough.
A pizza stone is a flat stone (either round or square) that gets heated at a very high tempoerture (500 degrees for 30-45 min). This allows for the pizza crust to get nice and crispy. Over time the stone will become seasoned and stained like mine. This is because the stones are porous and absorb any fluid with which it comes into contact. For this reason, you should also never wash the stone with a dish detergent. They should only be cleaned with a dry brush or plain water.
You can find pizza stones almost anywhere that sells kitchen appliances. Prices for these range from about $9 to high end stones. I bought mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $25.
Pizza Peel and Parchment Paper
A pizza peel is a large flat wooden utensil with a long handle that is used to place and remove pizzas from the oven.
You need to sprinkle semolina or cornmeal on the peel so the dough does not stick to it and you can transfer your pizza to the stone. Now, I've had problems in the past with my pizza not transferring easily (even after sprinkling extra cornmeal) and find it much, much easier to just have a piece of parchment paper under the assembled pizza.
Wooden Rolling Pin
My son always wants me to flip the pizza dough in the air and stretch it out that way....this I have not yet mastered and that is why I use a rolling pin. The rolling pin lets me evenly stretch out the dough.
I think we all already know this one. A pizza cutter makes cutting slices easy once the pizza is cooked.