Pizza Shaping, Topping, and Baking

Hi all! Today we had our first free Zoom mini-class. The topic was Pizza making! It was a lot of fun, and pretty tasty too 🙂

Here are some tips that we discussed in the class and that might be useful for you as well.

  • Pizza-making is REALLY easy! Beginning to end can be less than 30 minutes, and, with the right dough, almost any topping will taste good. Even my husband can do it 🙂

  • Good pizza dough from wild yeast (like LSB’s) will have the right balance of flavor and texture.

  • Get a pizza stone and peel. The pizza stone shouldn’t be too thin (or else it will crack in the high oven heat). You can also use a pizza pan.

  • Preheat your oven as high as it will go — 500F works well — for at least 10-15 minutes. To make great pizza, get the oven and the pizza stone itself really hot.

  • Relaxation: The key to easy shaping (without holes and uneveness) is to let your dough relax. Just after dividing the dough into a ball, let it sit on your counter for about 20 minutes. It will go from being a round ball to more like a thick pancake mound.

  • Shaping: Don’t be too ambitious, at least to start with — make a small pizza, and try to get the dough pretty thin (like 3 mms).

  • Topping: Flour your peel generously, set the stretched dough right on the peel and top it there. Just try not to overdo it or make it too wet. Aside from this, anything goes!

  • Baking: Try to get your pizza into the oven as soon as you’ve topped it. Don’t let it sit out too long or else the dough will get sticky.

  • Into the oven: Slide the pizza into the oven with a gentle but firm “pull” action. Bake for 7-10 minutes (7 for thin-crust pizzas, 10 for calzones).

  • Retrieval: Slide the peel under the baked pizza with a confident “push” action.

  • If anything has fallen off during slide-in or take-out process, take a moment to clean your peel, or the oven might get pretty smoky!