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How to Cook Homemade Pizza in a Traditional Oven

by Anne Baley

Delivery pizza is one of the most popular American go-to foods for busy moms in a time crunch. It's quick and takes almost no effort to get dinner on the table. With just a little effort and planning you can cook much tastier homemade pizza in your own oven without any commercial tools or equipment. Do a little prep ahead of time, and you'll have personalized pizzas for your whole family in not much more time than it takes to get pizza delivered.

The Crust

The basis of pizza is the crust and many people consider it the most important ingredient. Make homemade crust in a stand mixer or by hand. Use plain white flour or try a combination with whole wheat flour for a heartier taste. Use pizza crust or bread dough recipes. Look through the bakery section in your grocery store for balls of ready-made pizza dough.

The Toppings

Spread marinara sauce or jarred pizza sauce over the dough circle, leaving a 1/2-inch rim all around the edge. Or make a simple white pizza by arranging a layer of sliced tomatoes on the crust and drizzling them with creamy dressing. Then, sprinkle grated cheese over the sauce or dressing. Pizza cheese is traditionally mozzarella, however you can mix in smoked provolone, Monterrey jack or other cheeses for a flavor variety. Top the cheese with pepperoni slices, bacon bits, chopped vegetables, ham cubes or any other family favorite toppings. Allow each child to top her own pizza or half-pizza to give everyone their own favorite pizza dinner.

Cooking Methods

Place a pizza stone on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Alternatively, bake pizzas on cookie sheets or dedicated pizza pans from specialty kitchen stores. Heat the oven to its highest setting for crisp pizza crust, and bake pizza at a somewhat lower 400 F if you're making deep dish or thick crust pies.

Baking

Make the pizza on top of a layer of cornmeal to help it slide off the baking pan when it's done. Make the pizza on the back of a cookie sheet so it will easily slide off onto a pizza stone. Check baking pizzas every two minutes to look for bubbles and to turn the pie around. Pop bubbles in the crust with a fork to prevent all the toppings from sliding toward the center of the pizza. Pull the pizza out with a large spatula when the crust is dark golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.

Photo Credits

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