Pizza is always a popular choice for take-out or delivery food. But what about making it at home? You can easily elevate your pizza game by using fresh ingredients and fun toppings. Pizza night could get a whole lot better.
1- Add Your Favorite Toppings
Fresh vegetables go well on just about any pizza. While pepperoni, sausage, and other meat toppings are sure to please your palate, veggies offer great taste and nutrition. Try making a white or pesto pizza with broccoli florets, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach leaves, chopped red onion, sliced artichoke hearts, and fresh basil. Incorporate some prosciutto or bacon bits to boost the flavor if you like meat.
Toppings will change depending on the type of pizza you are making. Still, some versatile options that can be used regardless include sliced olives, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, fresh tomatoes (don’t forget to roast them first), shredded Brussels sprouts, roasted garlic cloves, and artichoke hearts.
2- Invest in a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
If you want to give your pizza a professional finish, invest in a wood-fired pizza oven. They are not cheap, but they allow you to cook pizzas at high temperatures for short periods, giving the crust a crispy exterior and a moist center. If this is out of your price range or isn’t practical for your situation, you can always use a regular oven and grill the pizza.
Such an oven will allow you to do more than make pizza. You can also use it for cooking pizzas, quesadillas, s’mores, and even meat or vegetables in the summertime. Ensure that the oven has ventilation and a heatproof exterior, and you will have all of the cooking power you need. This way, you can cook a meal for family and friends without having to go out.
3- Experiment with Sauces
Sticking to traditional marinara or pesto is fine, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other types of sauces. It’s easy to make your sauce by using fresh ingredients like pureed tomatoes, garlic, basil, onions, oregano, and olive oil. Try combining tomato paste with honey, brown sugar, and hot sauce for a sweeter taste that compliments salty accompaniments.
Sauces that will add some kick include chipotle and jalapeño. A creamy sauce can be made by whisking together yogurt, milk, and cheese in a 1:1:1 ratio and adding seasoning to taste. Remember to experiment with herbs like garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
4- Use a Pizza Stone or Baking Sheet
Using a pizza stone to cook your pie will give it a crispy crust and ensure even cooking. A baking sheet can also be used, but because it is typically made of metal or ceramic, they don’t hold and distribute heat as effectively as a stone.
To maintain the temperature of the stone or baking sheet, preheat them for at least 20 minutes. Also, make sure to place the baking sheet or stone on the middle rack of your oven before cooking so that it gets enough heat from above and below.
Whether you’re a beginner cook looking for an easy weeknight meal or a seasoned chef hoping to get more creative in the kitchen, making pizza at home is always a good idea. Use these tips to elevate your pizza-making experience and enjoy a fun family activity or a great meal with friends.