Homemade pizza - how to get in the oven without breaking?

(46 Posts)
LadyMetroland Wed 20-Mar-13 20:47:13

For the first time in ages I made homemade pizzas tonight. They were fairly successful but I think I need a few pointers...

Firstly, how do you get the dratted things into the oven directly on the shelf? Raw, thin dough does not lend itself to being man-handled. I ended up putting mine on foil which was ok, but base in the middle was a wee bit soft for my taste.

Second, what are your top tips for adding taste? I felt mine were a bit bland. Does anyone have any sauce tips? I didn't season mine but did use some anchovies - nice but not as nice as Pizza Express sauce. How do they get theirs so tasty?

Any other pizza tips out there?

Rosa Wed 20-Mar-13 20:52:54

I use a large baking tray..can stretch the dough with your hands. My sauce is tomato( sometimes I make a fresh sauce) or use polpa or passata with salt and crushed basil then drizzle olive oil on. Toppings in our house tend to be simple.

BikeRunSki Wed 20-Mar-13 20:53:11

I roll the dough out then pull it into a sort of rectangular shape and put it on the baking tray before doing the topping.

I make sauce out of toms, onions and garlic; sweet potato to take off the sharpness of the toms and herbs.

Definitely put it on a baking tray - you can get ones with holes in to let the air circulate if you prefer.

I use passata with basil, or buy a jar of pizza sauce!

snoworneahva Wed 20-Mar-13 21:00:59

I put the base on parchment paper - dh rolls it on the paper, you could use a re -useable baking liner. Anyway - don't do the topping until it's on the paper or liner. When it's topped you can place directly on oven shelf, by grabbing the sides, for a fabulously crispy base. Too scared of doing that then slide it off the worktop onto a preheated baking tray - in to the hottest preheated oven you can manage.

Iheartcrunchiebars Wed 20-Mar-13 21:01:42

Best way I find is to freeze the rolled out based. Then put in an oiled baking tray in a very hot oven.

BestestBrownies Wed 20-Mar-13 21:02:36

Sprinkle your baking tray with polenta. Add dough and manhandle to fit if necessary. Don't forget to add some salt to the dough when making or it will be utterly tasteless. I quite like to add a pinch of mustard powder and a little parmesan to mine to give it extra flavour wink The polenta ensures the dough doesn't stick to the baking tray and gives a nice crispy base.

With your tomato sauce, make sure you caramelise the onions properly at the start - it makes all the difference. I also add garlic, celery and carrot to mine before the tomato and tomato paste, cook it slowly for ages then whizz it with a hand blender.

Anifrangapani Wed 20-Mar-13 21:04:43

To get the base crispy pull / roll out the dough and put onto a preheated tray. Then cook without toppings in a really hot oven for a few minutes. Take out and top - put it back in to cook the topping.

Ktay Wed 20-Mar-13 21:05:55

Poundland do some great silicon mesh thingies you can use for pizzas - get the bases really crisp

Flisspaps Wed 20-Mar-13 21:06:33

I put mine on the grill tray and then put the topping on, before transferring to the oven.

Wincher Wed 20-Mar-13 21:06:38

I use a pizza stone - I heat it in the oven first, then put the dough on there, then the toppings, then put the whole thing back in the oven.

These days the sauce I make is very simple, I got it from someone on here, and it does taste rather like pizza express sauce. I start with frying a crushed clove of garlic in a little olive oil, then before it colours too much I add a tin of tomato puree. I then add a bit of boiling water, swished round the tin, a good squirt of lemon juice, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper, and then simmer it for about 5 minutes.

Ktay Wed 20-Mar-13 21:07:24

And I use delia's recipe for the sauce - blend half a tin of toms with a tbsp of Tom purée and some oregano

ivykaty44 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:08:20

i use a baking tray with holes in it - that way it bakes much better than on a tray and you do not get warm soft bottoms wink

You can get them in tesco or JL

snoworneahva Wed 20-Mar-13 21:09:39

Sauce - I used pasatta, season with salt and pepper, add very finely chopped onion or garlic and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, some semi dried tomatoes finely chopped, taste it before adding to your pizza, don't add too much sauce, just a smear is enough. Use mozzarella, no cheddar - it's too overpowering for most toppings, you need to get the balance right - thin base, light coating if tomato sauce, light on the cheese and the toppings. When it comes out of the oven you can season with freshly grated Parmesan, torn basil, extra virgin olive oil, Maldon sea salt or chilli flakes.

CuriousMama Wed 20-Mar-13 21:09:50

I put it on the baking tray too before baking. I need to get some pizza trays though. Passata with seasoning is my sauce, usually basil/garlic/bit salt.

Cremolafoam Wed 20-Mar-13 21:12:08

I cook mine in baking trays which I have oiled lightly and thrown some polenta at. The pizzas slide right out. I always turn the oven up to full blast so cooking really only takes 10 mins max.

Tomato sauce- chopped onions, fat clove of garlic sizzled lightly in a bit if chilli oil . Add tin of chopped tomatoes and cook on high until reduced by 1/3. Season with salt pepper dried oregano and a teaspoon of brown sugar . Blitz with hand blender. Nom

hillyhilly Wed 20-Mar-13 21:12:24

Start it on the baking tray then slide it off about halfway through to crisp up the bottom

suebfg Wed 20-Mar-13 21:12:56

We use pizza trays with the holes in. Our base is just tomato puree and it tastes great. DH's pizza recipe has a touch of honey in it. As previous advice, we use mozzarella cheese.

LadyMetroland Wed 20-Mar-13 21:17:07

Hmm, hadn't thought of baking tray purely because Jamie Oliver book I use insists it goes directly on shelf for crisp base. Will try with holed tray. He also suggests buying a piece of granite to get that 'stonebaked' effect but I have no idea how you'd go about obtaining such a thing.

caramelised onions in sauce a great idea - Will give it a whirl

suebfg Wed 20-Mar-13 21:22:18

There's no way I could lift one of our pizzas onto the oven shelf without it completely collapsing into a heap. Not sure what Jamie Oliver is thinking of confused

Iggly Wed 20-Mar-13 21:28:08

I hand stretch the dough directly on the shelf. Our oven gets super hot and I make the bases quite thin so come out crispy (I also proof the bases after they've been stretched).

For flavour I use a bit more olive oil than the recipes suggest.

For the sauce I use garlic, softened, tinned toms and herbs. Occasionally a bit of chopped courgette then whizz up and simmer for about 30-45 mins.

I absolutely love calzone too (ie pizza folded in half). You can add spinach which tastes lovely

Iggly Wed 20-Mar-13 21:28:45

(when I say onto the shelf - I line it with foil first and they are removable obviously!)

WhoNikcedTheEasterEggs Wed 20-Mar-13 21:33:38

Ds loves pizza but hates home made pizza sad Some of these ideas sound great though! Anyone got a good pizza dough recipe?
Might give them another go this weekend. I have a pizza stone, what do I do with it?? blush

My pizza stone is the most used kitchen thing ever. Stick it in a smoking oven while the dough rises, cover in semolina, stick rolled out dough on it, we use just Tom purée and oregano, sprinkle with cheese, stink on some pepperoni, torn mozerella and more grated cheese, takes about 15 mins! Lush!

Clayhead Wed 20-Mar-13 21:48:56

We use pizza stones in a very hot oven, semolina on the outside of the dough gives a lovely texture too.

Sticklebug Wed 20-Mar-13 21:55:38

I roll the dough out on a piece of floured foil and then lift the foil onto a pre heated pizza stone. Works really well for the children to make their own little pizzas.

My pizza sauce recipe:
Tin of tomatoes in a pan - add a pinch of sugar, pinch of oregano, half a tsp of garlic salt and a squirt of tomato puree. Bring to a slow bubble and then mash with a potato masher. Add a tblsp of EV olive oil and reduce over a v low heat for a couple of hours. Alternatively you can put in a warm oven or aga for a few hours. I make once a month or so and freeze. Also make a big batch of pizza dough and freeze.

Waswondering Wed 20-Mar-13 21:58:19

Jamie Oliver has a v good and fail safe dough recipe. If you search his websit for toppings, there are some lovely ones too.

Cremolafoam Wed 20-Mar-13 21:59:13

700g flour
7g sachet dried yeast
Knob of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1teasp sugar

Big bowl
Add flour
Add yeast to one side
Add salt and sugar to the other side
Rub in knob of butter like you would go for crumble
Drip feed the water and mix with hand in shape of claw
Bring dough together
Knead on floured surface for 10 mins
Prove under a tea towel in airing cupboard
When dough is twice the size
Take out and give the dough a good stretch and slap
Let rest again for another half hour
Meanwhile prep toppings

Or: paddy pizza
1lb plain flour
1 teaspoon each of
Baking soda , salt and sugar
1pint of buttermilk

Mix whole lot in a big bowl using claw hand . Roll out to 1/2 " thick circle like scone dough. Add toppings and quarter . Q heavy and filling . Serves 4

Sticklebug Wed 20-Mar-13 21:59:44

Pizza dough recipe:

Put in a bowl:
1kg strong bread flour
Tbsp salt

In a jug:
2 sachets of dried yeast
1tbsp of sugar
650ml of warm water

Leave the yeast for a few mins until it bubbles. Then add 4 tbsp of EV olive oil.

Add the wet mix to the dry and knead until soft and pliable.

Leave to rise for a bit then roll out (or freeze)

WhoNikcedTheEasterEggs Wed 20-Mar-13 23:03:52

Thank you all so much! smile
Semolina not polenta?
Have electric oven, so heat stone, add base,heat both, add tom sauce, toppings and mozzarella, put back into oven.
Do I use highest temp for stone, base and topping cooking?
Lots of dough recipes, think I'll work my way through starting with the easiest and will have a taste test with Ds grin

MousyMouse Wed 20-Mar-13 23:05:26

on a tray.

Moominsarehippos Wed 20-Mar-13 23:15:30

Oh. Please don't tell me I'm the only one with a paddle-thingy (peel?pell?). I use a stone too and pizzas are yum.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 23:18:35

When you see the pizzas going into the oven at the local pizza place they put them on a big paddle thing and then slide the pizza into the oven. So could you not put on a plate and just slide onto the oven shelf if you want to be very authentic?

Moominsarehippos Wed 20-Mar-13 23:20:21

I have a big paddle thing. I do! It was a present. Also useful for comedy 'thwangggggggs' in the kitchen.

TheSteveMilliband Thu 21-Mar-13 03:05:50

If you have a cast iron frying pan you can put it on that, then once topped put on the hob high which begins to cook the bottom, till it puffs up a bit. Then into a hot oven for 8-10 mins. No soggy bottoms!

LadyMetroland Thu 21-Mar-13 09:53:31

Def want to avoid soggy bottoms....

Pizza stone sounds like good investment as I think homemade pizza is going to become a staple in our house. Only issue is size as my pizzas are enormous! Perhaps I should buy two?

Some lovely recipes here - thanks all

MoominmammasHandbag Thu 21-Mar-13 11:53:38

Put mine straight on the oven racks a la Jamie Oliver, even rolled very thin it's never been a problem. Top them on the racks. Dough is from my breadmaker and sauce is Napolina from a jar (hangs head in shame).
The only problem with making you own pizza is you can never go back - bought ones taste like shite.

MoominmammasHandbag Thu 21-Mar-13 12:06:49

Oh and I put me dough on the racks by hanging it over my rolling pin, if you see what I mean.

Thin baking tray with holes. Sometimes when it's partly cooked I slide it off the tray onto the shelf.

Moominsarehippos Fri 22-Mar-13 13:08:11

The only problem with the stones are that they are bloody heavy, although I believe there are lighter alternatives (I am thinking slate but may be making that up!).

As long as the over is as hot as hell, then they shouldn't come out with a soggy bottom. Low fat mozzarella has a lot of water in it, so that makes it sloppy.

BikeRunSki Fri 22-Mar-13 13:37:18

To prevent soggy bottom syndrome, warm up the baking tray too in the oven when you put it on to heat up.

IslaValargeone Fri 22-Mar-13 13:40:10

Pizza stone. Has revolutionised pizza making in my house.

BikeRunSki Fri 22-Mar-13 13:42:36

To prevent soggy bottom syndrome, warm up the baking tray too in the oven when you put it on to heat up.

Then make the dough and get topping ready.

When oven and baking tray are hot, take out the baking tray, build pizza on it, and put back in oven.

Beksybob Fri 22-Mar-13 13:52:56

Wow, I make pizzas every week but I just use kepchup & sweet chilli or BBQ for the sauce! Feel I must make some proper pizza sauce now...

justpoppy Fri 22-Mar-13 14:09:26

I bought this from Robert Dyas. I also baked the base in a hot oven for about 20 mins before adding the sauce & toppings.

ivykaty44 Fri 22-Mar-13 17:14:33

I use sun dried tomato paste as a sauce

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