I am far from an expert (or pizzaiola), but there are a few tips and tricks I stumbled upon during my adventures in homemade pizza making that I wish I'd known beforehand. What follows is a running list of pizza basics, including essential and nice-to-have supplies (equipment and pantry items), books, and techniques that have helped me streamline the process. I suppose you could call it a kitchen notebook of sorts. As I learn more and experiment with different recipes and toppings, I'll transcribe my notes here—at least the ones that aren't too obscured by sauce splatters.*
- Baking stone or steel or heavy duty baking sheet(s)
- Box grater
- Large cutting board
- Giant bowl with lid (for mixing and proofing dough)
- Dough whisk (for mixing dough by hand)
- Pizza cutter (Click here for my YouTube video about choosing the right pizza cutter for you)
- Pizza peel (if you're using a pizza stone or steel)
- Oil stopper/pourer (for drizzling olive oil on dough and over finished pizzas)
- Food processor
- Stand Mixer
- Mortar and pestle
- Outdoor pizza oven (Yes, there are affordable options now! I am a brand ambassador for Ooni Pizza Ovens, and I truly recommend their products, which range in price from $275 to $600.)
PANTRY ITEMS TO KEEP ON HAND
- Good-tasting crushed tomatoes (28-ounce cans) — I prefer Jersey Fresh
- Whole peeled tomatoes (28-ounce cans)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fine sea salt
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Jarred pizza sauce (for when you're too busy to make homemade marinara)
- Bread flour
- Instant or rapid-rise dry yeast (Jar or ¼-ounce envelopes)
- Fresh garlic
- Dried herbs and spices (basil, oregano, Italian seasoning blend, herbes de Provence, crushed red pepper flakes)
- To thinly slice mozzarella: Stick it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes, then use a thin, sharp knife, making the slices as uniform as possible.
- Keep the pizza cutter sharp: It's easy to forget about sharpening this tool, but a dull one will make for messy slices.
- Get the oven really hot: Once the oven has preheated, let it continue to heat for 30 minutes before you bake your pizza. If you're using a baking stone or steel, preheat your oven to 550°F, then turn the oven to broil about 10 minutes or so before you bake.
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