Just Dough for It: Make Your Own Pizza Dough with Local Chefs' Top Tips
Any pizza-maker will tell you that when the crust’s on point, you can’t go wrong. But, acquiring that magical mixture can be challenging, especially for novice home cooks. Assuming you don’t have the advantage of a full-scale, wood-fired oven in your kitchen, all four of our pizza pros recommend using a pizza stone when making pies at home. They’re relatively inexpensive, and well worth the time and effort if you’re trying to cut back on dollars spent dining out.
As for that crust, take this slice of advice: the simpler, the better. “The simplest dough recipe is always the best,” notes Molinaro. “It’s always flour, water, yeast, and salt — always. But, in a home oven or a gas oven, when you don’t have enough heat, you can add a little sugar and olive oil to your recipe to help with browning.”
Craving a crispier crust? Don’t skimp on water. Molinaro says that a key component to healthy dough is proper hydration — an ideal ratio of 58-66% water in relation to the weight of the flour, to be exact. In other words, if you were to make dough using 100 pounds of flour, you’d be looking at a minimum of 58 pounds of water. Adds Porco, “Don’t overwork the dough. If you’re obsessing over it, you’re probably working it too much.”
Essentially, any of the pizzas shown here can be easily recreated once you’ve worked your dough recipe to perfection.
When it comes time to top your pie, remember to think green, supporting your local farm or food stand whenever possible. While sourcing from Italy is not a viable option for most of us, the Strip District’s Pennsylvania Macaroni Company stocks countless specialty, Italian ingredients, some of which can be ordered online. Enrico’s Biscotti, also in the Strip, hosts regular bread- and pizza-making classes for those seeking a more hands-on approach. Get the details at enricobiscotti.com.
+ NEED A LITTLE INSPIRATION? CHECK OUT OUR FAVORITE PIZZA DOUGH RECIPES RIGHT HERE!