Pizza is one of the most well-rounded meal choices for many reasons, including its convenience, customizability, and of course, who could forget its delicious taste? For these reasons, many people will naturally desire to make their own pizzas from the comfort of home. So the question now becomes, how long do you keep a homemade pizza in the oven?
You should keep a homemade pizza in the oven between 10 and 20 minutes. This will allow the dough enough time to bake and prevent it from becoming mushy. Personal preference also plays a role. The longer you cook it, the crispier your pizza. Always cool a pizza for 5 minutes before cutting.
In this article, we will discuss the different styling options when it comes to making homemade pizzas, including hand-tossed, deep-dish, and thin-crust. We will also explain what temperature to bake your pizza at and for how long. Lastly, we will go over topping preparations and recommend some possible combinations which are sure to be a hit.
Hand-Tossed vs. Deep-Dish vs. Thin-Crust
When it comes to making a pizza, getting the dough right is the first and most important step of the whole operation. The dough of a pizza is the very foundation from which all deliciousness will be built upon, so always take great care, and make sure you get it right.
When preparing the dough of a pizza, it is important you have the right tools for the job and an adequate workspace. A rolling pin is highly effective for spreading out a ball of dough to the desired shape. If you do not already possess a rolling pin, pick up the Farberware Wooden Rolling Pin. It is durable, inexpensive, and easy to work with.
When it comes to preparing the dough, different styles may be employed, and each one will produce a vastly different end result. The three types of pizzas we will be discussing in this article are hand-tossed, deep-dish, and thin-crust.
Before you begin, know which one you are going for, and proceed accordingly.
Hand tossing is a process wherein the chef begins to stretch the pizza dough and toss it around in their hands until the shape and form are consistent throughout. From there, the toppings are added, and the pizza is placed in the oven to cook.
The finished product will appear to have a flat, natural-looking crust surrounding the entirety of the pizza. Hand-tossed pizzas are the most common style and what most people are likely accustomed to.
Also sometimes referred to as a Chicago style pizza, this iconic pizza has found fame across the entire globe.
In order to produce a deep-dish pizza, the dough is first fitted to a deep pan, topped to your desire, and cooked inside the pan. This results in a thick, fluffy pizza, which is sure to fill your stomach.
The advantage of a deep-dish pizza is that it can be stuffed and loaded full with a lot of toppings and sauces, not unlike a traditional pie, making for an especially flavorful experience.
As the name would imply, a thin-crust pizza is a pizza rolled in such a way that the dough is very thinly spread. The appeal of a thin-crust allows the tasty toppings to be accentuated in the absence of an overly bready bite.
Thin-crust pizzas are ideal for those looking for a lighter meal option, as thin-crust pizzas tend to be less filling than the formerly mentioned two. For this reason, thin-crust may also make a great cheat meal for individuals who are currently dieting.
What Temperature to Bake At?
Before you put your pizza in the oven to bake, it is important that you first preheat your oven to the appropriate temperature.
As a rule, you will want to bake the pizza at the maximum temperature that your oven can accommodate. For most ovens, this will be around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This will provide enough heat to cook the pizza all the way through.
A commercial pizza oven can reach temperatures upwards of 700 degrees Fahrenheit, so trying to get your home oven as close to that as possible will pay dividends.
Failure to bake the pizza at the maximum temperature will result in your pizza becoming soggy, inconsistent, and texturally unpleasant.
Cooking your pizza at the maximum temperature will also reduce the time which is required for completion.
Be Sure to Preheat the Pizza Stone or Pan
Another important step that is often overlooked is preheating the stone or pan itself, in the absence of the pizza, before baking. This speeds up the pizza’s cooking process, reduces excessive moisture which may form between the dough and the pan or stone during baking, and ensures a nice crispy crust.
To do this properly, insert the pan or stone into the oven and allow it to remain inside until the oven is sufficiently preheated to its maximum allowance. From there, you will carefully remove the pan or stone with the help of oven mitts. Once it has been removed from the oven, place your ready-to-go pizza on the pan or stone, and insert it back into the oven.
To complete this stage of the cooking process, a proper pair of oven mitts is absolutely necessary. Never attempt to substitute oven mitts with a towel or cloth. This will greatly increase the chance of an accident or serious injury occurring. For a quality pair of mitts you can trust, the Cuisinart Silicone Oven Mitts are, without a doubt, a worthwhile investment.
How Long to Cook Your Homemade Pizza
When we talk of cook time regarding homemade pizzas, the most important thing to keep in mind is that a pizza does not require as much cooking as some may think. The goal is to crisp the dough and melt the cheese and toppings without compromising the taste and flavor.
If the cooking time is insufficient, your pizza will be soggy and the toppings raw. If the cooking time is excessive, your pizza will be crunchy and tasteless; so striking a balance between these two extremes will be the deciding factor in making a quality pizza.
Generally speaking, the ideal cook time for a pizza is between 10-20 minutes. This will allow the pizza dough time to harden and form while also allowing the cheese and toppings enough time to cook properly.
- Pizzas with a thicker crust, such as a deep-dish pan pizza, will require more time to cook and will likely remain in the oven for the full 20 minutes.
- Conversely, a thin-crust pizza will cook much faster and will probably only require around 10 minutes.
- Since a hand-tossed pizza is in the middle between the formerly mentioned two in terms of crust thickness, 15 minutes in the oven should suffice.
Always keep an eye on your pizza throughout the cooking process. If you notice that your pizza is becoming gold and browned around the crust, it is a sign that it is finished cooking and can be removed from the oven.
If your pizza has reached the time allotted and still appears to be overly raw, doughy, or the cheese unmelted, it is recommended that you allow the pizza to remain in the oven longer until fully cooked regardless of the timer. If this is the case, monitor your pizza closely for the remainder of the process.
Does Dough Temperature Matter?
When it comes to the temperature of the dough, whether it is cold or warm, will make a very large difference in the overall process.
The cold dough will be less malleable, harder to form, and mold, resulting in mistakes and inconsistencies when it is rolled. Warm pizza dough is much easier to work with and creates a much nicer crust.
Many individuals who decide to make homemade pizzas will likely purchase dough premade from the supermarket. In order to preserve the freshness of the dough, it is stored in the refrigerator.
While this is a great option, which we highly recommend for those who prefer not to embark on the complex process of making dough from scratch, it is always crucial to allow the dough time to thaw before attempting to form it.
Pro Tip: Do not attempt to warm the dough in the microwave as this can cause it to become stringy and gooey, rendering it useless. Instead, the proper way to warm the dough is to leave it out on the counter for one full hour prior to beginning.
Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough
A common misconception about pizza is that it is unhealthy. The reality is that pizza can provide a great deal of important nutrients needed to function. To further capitalize on these health benefits, some even prefer to make pizzas from a whole-wheat dough.
The benefit of using a whole-wheat dough is it provides a great source of fiber, which can help to regulate your digestion and increase your metabolic health. For this reason, many dieters have turned to this alternative.
When cooking a whole-wheat pizza, all the same styling options mentioned above are still available, and the same rules and cook times still apply.
Some pizzas can be purchased from the supermarket entirely premade. These are commonly referred to as frozen pizzas.
Frozen pizzas come already formed and topped with all the fixings. Frozen pizzas are intended to be put into the oven in a frozen state. Due to this, longer cook times will be required to bake them. 20-30 minutes is the general recommendation.
Homemade pizzas are highly preferable to premade pizzas because of the superior taste that comes from using all your own fresh toppings. Frozen pizzas also rob you of the prideful feeling you will undoubtedly experience when you have successfully built your very own pizza from the ground up.
However, they can provide a convenient option for those with strict time constraints, who can not dedicate the effort required for making a homemade pizza.
Preparing the Toppings
One of the reasons why pizza is such a universally popular dish is its unique ability to be customized to just about anyone’s taste. The greatest contributing factor to customizing your pizza is the topping selection that you choose.
Designing a pizza is an art form in the truest sense. It is a direct extension of a person’s personality, and the limits are only determined by one’s imagination. However, some of the most commonly used pizza toppings include:
- Tomato Sauce
- Alfredo Sauce
As you can see, the combinations are virtually infinite.
Once you have prepared your dough, it is time to begin preparing the toppings. Begin by spreading the sauce evenly on the pizza dough using a spoon or ladle. Then on a cutting board, begin chopping the various toppings to the size of your preference, and spread them thoroughly around the pizza. Lastly, sprinkle your cheese on top, and it is ready to go.
Note: Some toppings, such as chicken, will need to be pre-cooked separately ahead of time. Placing raw meat on a pizza and then baking will not be enough to ensure that it is cooked adequately. Doing this can result in serious illness, such as botulism.
Another reason why pizzas are so versatile is that a single pizza may be topped in two different ways at the same time. This is great for those who are sharing a pizza but who have different taste preferences.
Simply draw an imaginary line down the center of the pizza, and top the two separate halves individually.
Popular Pizza Styles
Although a pizza is tailorable to any possibility, some of the most noteworthy pizza templates include:
- Pepperoni and Cheese, the most classic of all
- The ever-controversial, Hawaiian
- Meat lovers
Some pizza restaurants offer their own unique specialty gourmet pizzas, which can not be found anywhere else. This is why you should never be afraid to experiment because you never know when you might come up with the next hit trend.
Cooling the Pizza
The final step of making your perfect pizza at home may also be one of the single most important. Allowing your pizza time to cool down once it has finished cooking can often require a great deal of self-discipline. It is always tempting to begin devouring your freshly made pizza as soon as it comes out of the oven, but this is never advisable.
To let the pizza settle and solidify, a minimum of five minutes should be given to cool.
When a pizza first comes out of the oven, it is extremely hot, and the cheese and sauce are nearly liquified. If not left to cool, this can ruin the pizza’s integrity, which you worked so hard to make, by dripping all the toppings off. It can also result in serious burns, especially to the mouth or face. When it comes to making pizzas, patience is definitely a virtue.
How to Cut Your Pizza
Cutting a pizza will largely depend on how many people will be eating, but a pizza should be cut into a minimum of eight pieces. Anything less will make the pieces too large to handle and will more than likely result in a mess.
The best tool for cutting a pizza is a blade which has been specifically designed for the job. Many different styles of pizza cutters exist, but as long as it is sharp, you can not go wrong.
Anyone who will be frequently baking homemade pizzas would be wise to invest in a quality pizza cutter because using a knife does not always work out. This Zooron Pizza Cutter will have no problem cutting through even the thickest of crusts and will certainly make a fine addition to your kitchen.
A pizza cutter which is dull and inadequately sharpened will not cut your pizza all the way through, which can cause it to rip when you attempt to take a slide. Always make sure you slide the pizza all the way through to completely free each piece.
Always wait until a pizza has been left to cool before cutting it. Attempting to cut a pizza prematurely will result in it being mashed and the toppings being pulled off.
In this article, we set out to answer how long to keep a homemade pizza in the oven. The ideal time to bake a pizza in the oven is between 10 and 20 minutes. The oven should be preheated to the maximum of its limitation, which is roughly 500 degrees Fahrenheit for most ovens.
The type of pizza you are making, and the individual preference of the chef will play a slight role in how long it is required to cook. Some of the thicker crust styles require a little more time to bake.
The important thing to remember is to preheat your pan or stone ahead of time and allow the pizza to cool before serving.
Always be cautious when working with hot ovens, but most importantly, enjoy!
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