Want to know how to make the perfect pizza?
At 11 Inch Pizza, we have the process of making pizza down to a fine art. We have years of experience and practice to draw upon but if you’re attempting to make pizza from scratch for the first time, the task can seem a bit intimidating.
Luckily for you, we’ve made all the pizza-related mistakes possible so that you don’t have to. Here are our top tips and tricks on how to make the perfect pizza every single time.
Undoubtedly the hardest part about making pizza from scratch is the dough. But while it may seem difficult and fiddly, it’s nowhere near as hard as it seems. In fact, basic pizza dough it is made with just four ingredients: flour, yeast, water and olive oil.
Use Good Quality Ingredients
It may seem insignificant but using good quality ingredients can make a huge difference to the taste and texture of your dough. For example, using strong bread flour rather than regular plain flour can help you achieve the iconic Neapolitan chewy texture. This is because strong bread flour contains more protein than plain flour, and this protein turns into gluten when kneaded, which is what gives pizza dough that texture. Using good quality and fresh olive oil will also add flavour to your pizza.
Knead, Knead, Knead
One of the most common shortcomings of many people’s pizza dough is not kneading it enough. Kneading the dough helps the gluten to form – the elastic, stretchy quality of the dough – which will give your dough the perfect texture when cooked. Most people don’t realise the importance of kneading and how it actually changes the structural bonds that make up the dough; instead, they think it’s just about bringing all the ingredients together. That means a lot of people will only knead their dough for a minute or two when you should really
be kneading your dough for at least ten minutes. If you think you’ve kneaded your dough for long enough, you probably haven’t. If your arms don’t ache by the end, you’re doing it wrong.
Once you’ve kneaded your dough, you need to allow your dough to proof overnight. Ideally, it should be in a bowl covered in plastic wrap and placed in a warm, draught-free area. Many people skip this step or cut it short because they’re hungry and want their delicious pizza as soon as possible, but if you do this, you’ll be sorely disappointed by the quality of the pizza. The dough should at least double in size before rolling it out into your desired pizza base shape. Proofing is made possible because of the active yeast and is a form of fermentation. It is essential to creating a dough that is light and fluffy rather than dense and cardboard-like.
You’ve probably seen professional pizza chefs on TV expertly tossing pizza in order to form a perfect circle. However, this technique, while effective, takes a lot of practice and attempting it the first time you make pizza dough may result in tears in your dough or, worse, a pizza base on your ceiling fan or on the floor. Don’t be ashamed to just roll it out with a rolling pin. This technique is fool proof and will allow you to get a perfectly round pizza dough in minutes. Unlike pastry dough, pizza dough is pretty forgiving, so you don’t even have to worry about it tearing or cracking.
While the dough is the basis of a good pizza, toppings are just as important.
Don’t Go Overboard
As tempting as it is to just pile on more and more ingredients when presented with a blank canvas, with pizza the golden rule is generally that less is more. Think of a margherita and how it only consists of three topping ingredients – tomato, cheese and basil – and how it is probably the most universally-loved pizza. Instead of trying to fit everything possible onto your pizza, just pick a handful of in-season ingredients the complement each other for a tasteful and tasty pizza.
Try Poaching Ingredients in Olive Oil
If you really want to take your pizza to the next level, then do what the professional chefs do and poach some of your toppings in olive oil. Just put some (good quality) olive oil in a pan – making sure it doesn’t get too hot and start to smoke – and place your ingredients in for a few minutes. Our favourites include garlic and chilis, but feel free to add whatever you like. The best part is, not only do you get flavour-infused ingredients for your pizza, you’re also left with flavoured oil for future cooking.
Visit 11 Inch Pizza
If you can’t be bothered with the hassle of making your own pizza, just visit or call 11 Inch Pizza and we can provide you with the best Italian-style pizza in Melbourne.