After breaking out that family pizza dough recipe and carefully collecting your ingredients, you might be ready to roll up your sleeves and make an incredible pie. Unfortunately, if you aren't familiar with the pizza-making rules, you might be disappointed when that timer finally dings. Here are two common pizza-making mistakes you might be making, and how you can avoid trouble:
1: Using Too Many Toppings
You carefully scoured those mushrooms and took special care to chop those peppers, so why wouldn't you smother that dough with toppings? Although it might seem like the rational thing to do, using too many toppings can be your pizza's kiss of death. Here are a few reasons you should practice restraint when placing cheese, sauce, and vegetables:
- Cheese: When properly applied, the right cheese can add a melted, tasty base for those toppings. Unfortunately, because cheese is high in fat, adding too much of the good stuff might create a greasy mess.
- Sauce: If you love sauce, it might be hard not to ladle on a few extra scoops of the red stuff. Unfortunately, too much sauce can soak the dough with extra moisture, causing a soggy middle.
- Veggies: Fresh vegetables can create a well-rounded, satisfying pizza. Unfortunately, as those veggies heat up, they can release water and create steam. Unless you want a pizza with puddles of water in the middle, use vegetables in moderation.
As you apply toppings to your pizza, try to think of how much of each ingredient would go in each bite. If you wouldn't want an entire mouthful of green peppers, try to spread them out a little more.
2: Not Turning Up The Heat
Because you might be worried about burning your pizza, you might be tempted to bake it at 350°F, just like you do those chocolate chip cookies. Unfortunately, baking your pizza at a low temperature might mean that it needs to stay in the oven longer—leading to a dried-out crust and rubbery toppings. In fact, to bake pizzas quickly and caramelize the toppings, most professional pizzerias like Nitza's Pizza - The Original Pizza cook their pies between 700-800°F.
Although your oven might not go quite that high, some experts recommend turning the heat between 450 and 500°F. To ensure that your oven is piping hot before you put in your pie, give your oven enough time to preheat beforehand. It might take a little extra time, but by turning up the heat, your pizza will bake properly.
By knowing how to avoid common pizza-making errors, you can create delicious dinners for your family.