Pizza is so famous and beloved that in 2018, a group of scientists from Rome and the US teamed up to analyze and compare how to bake a pizza in wood-based (brick) and modern steel (electric) home ovens.
The study described how to cook the perfect pizza using the principles of thermodynamics.
A pizzaiolo, or chef who’s specialized and trained in making Italian-style pizzas, confirmed the results, which were also turned into a pizza baking calculator you can use!
The optimal temperature for pizza was found to be 330 degrees Celsius or 626 degrees Fahrenheit when baked in a wood-fired brick oven, and it would be done in two minutes. Higher temperatures can reduce this to one and a half minutes if you’re really hungry.
The types of oven you use, heat, ingredients, kinds of toppings, the inches of your pizza, and how you want your pizza to be cooked can influence baking times, but it won’t be a big difference.
It won’t take much time to whip up a delicious pizza for the kids or impress your friends and family with your baking skills using a steel electric oven.
In this article, you’ll learn the best and easiest way to cook pizza at home in 15 to 20 minutes, the materials and ingredients to use, and some tips and mistakes to avoid to ensure the perfect crispy crust.
Homemade pizza has its own unique advantages, and the recipe is so easy that you can crank out pizzas all night long, making your pizza night easier, cheaper, and more fun!
Basic Ingredients For Homemade Pizza
The following top-rated homemade pizza recipe is excellent for beginners and pizza cooks with experience. It’s super easy to throw together on a whim and is guaranteed to put store-bought pizza to shame. Here’s what you’ll need:
You can use all-purpose flour, but bread flour makes a superior crust. Bread flour creates the perfect pizza crust and produces chewier results than all-purpose flour. Crust elasticity comes from gluten, and bread flour contains more protein, which helps produce lots of gluten.
Active dry yeast is a leavening agent, and it’s the ingredient that causes your pizza dough to rise and be light.
Olive oil serves various purposes for your homemade pizza. It adds color and flavor and also acts as a barrier between oil and water. The oily barrier helps prevent fogginess.
You can’t just put yeast in dough. You have to activate it first. Sugar gives the yeast something to eat and speeds up the activation process. To activate the yeast, dissolve it in hot water with a teaspoon of sugar. You’ll know the yeast is activated when it gets bubbly and frothy at the top.
Salt is one of the essential ingredients that goes a long way. It adds flavor, slows down fermentation for a better rise, and strengthens the gluten for a chewier pizza crust.
Disclaimer: The crust is usually the trickiest part for most people, and it can become soggy or doughy if you don’t cook it at the right temperature. Oven temperatures can be different. Lower temperatures can mean the crust doesn’t get done, while higher temperatures or maximum temperatures can mean your toppings start burning before the crust is done.
Some pizza cooks use different methods to avoid this, such as increasing baking time to hours with lower temperatures or cooking the crust alone for 7 to 10 minutes before adding the sauce and toppings and putting it back in.
The method below makes the cooking process easy, and you can bake pizza with everything together, including the sauce and toppings.
Recipe For One Pizza Crust
- 1 cup warm water (45 degrees Celsius/ 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1 packet, or 0.25 ounces, of active dry yeast.
- 1 teaspoon of white sugar.
- 2 ½ cups of bread flour.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 1 teaspoon of salt.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Celsius and lightly greasing a pizza pan.
Pour a cup of warm water into a bowl and add the yeast and sugar. Stir and let it sit for around five to ten minutes until it gets nice and foamy at the top.
Add the flour, oil, and salt to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. You can use a mixer fitted with a dough hook to make it easier. No mixer? No problem. You can also do it by hand. Once the dough is nice and stretchy, let it relax and rest for about five minutes.
This step involves rolling out the pizza dough, the most hands-on part of the pizza-making process. It soon becomes as easy as pie with a little bit of practice.
To shape your dough:
- Let it come to room temperature.
Once you’ve finished mixing the ingredients, allow the dough to rest and reach room temperature. It makes the dough easier to shape and stretch and allows the gluten to relax.
- Prepare the surface with oil.
Instead of prepping the flat surface with a handful of flour to prevent sticking, rub the surface and your hands with some olive oil. It prevents too much flour, which can make your pizza crust tough. The oil prevents sticking, encourages a crispy texture, and ensures a crisp golden crust.
- Shape the dough.
You can shape the dough in various ways. You can use a rolling pin, stretch it in the air, or pat it with your hands. Whichever method you choose, ensure you don’t overwork the dough to prevent a tough texture. Place the dough on parchment paper and create an even circle around 10 to 12 inches wide and a 1/3 inches thick.
The parchment paper makes it easier to transfer the dough to a preheated surface like a hot oven or hot pizza stone. Avoid making the dough too thin because it may not be able to support the extra weight of the sauce and toppings.
Top the prepared dough however you want. Spread your pizza sauce and the pizza toppings of your choice, like mushrooms, meat, onions, and mozzarella cheese.
You can make your own tomato sauce like tomato puree or buy it from your local store. Roll in the edges to keep the ingredients and sauce in place.
Simply slide the parchment paper onto the hot stone, oven rack, or baking tray of the hot, preheated oven.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for five minutes before serving.
Tricks For Perfection In An Electric Oven
For the best results and a delicious pie in your home oven, follow these simple tricks:
- The ideal temperature of the boundary between the baking surface and the bottom of the pizza should be 210 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, set the baking temperature between 230 and 350 degrees Celsius. Your pizza is cooked perfectly if the crust is golden brown and some bits of cheese are overcooked.
- Use the convection mode if your oven has it. A convection oven has fans that help blow hot air over the top surface of the pizza to ensure the toppings cook evenly.
- Ensure you put the dough in the middle position in the oven to cook it evenly. Different ovens may need different kinds of attention, but the important thing is to ensure they can reach the best temperature and allow the appropriate amount of time to cook.
- Use a fork to create little pricks all over your pizza to prevent dough bubbles from forming when the pizza is in the oven.
- Never forget to prepare your baking sheet by sprinkling it with cornmeal or flour.
- If you don’t have a baking stone, ensure you preheat your oven at the highest temperature possible. Maintain the high temperature until you’re ready to put the pizza in the oven, then reduce the heat to a low temperature, but not below 350 degrees.
Mistakes To Avoid For The Best Pizza
- Avoid stretching the dough too thin as you chase that crispier crust. There’s a limit to how thin the dough can get; if you overdo it, the crust won’t support the sauce, cheese, and toppings.
- Add toppings depending on the type of crust on your pizza. A thin crust can’t hold too many toppings, but a thick crust can. In addition, you’ll need a longer period of time to cook the pizza with a thicker crust or more toppings depending on the type of oven and oven temps.
- Don’t forget to precook some toppings. While you can chop up and toss some toppings before baking, some need to be precooked, especially meat. The pizza baking time is not enough to cook the meat thoroughly. Greens like broccoli can also benefit from a little blanching before being added to your pizza.
- Forgetting to prepare your baking sheet or pizza stone is another mistake. Before you build your pizza and slide it into the oven, make sure your pizza stone or sheet is clean. Preheating also ensures you get a perfect crust with a glorious crispy bottom.
- Avoid setting low temperatures. Low temperatures may work for other foods, but not pizza. Good pizza needs a hot oven if you don’t want to end up with a limp, soggy crust with over or undercooked toppings.