Perfect Pizza Rules

Perfect Pizza Rules,

Six Tips for Making
Professional Pizza at Home

Following the Perfect Pizza Rules is akin to "coloring within the lines." You don't have to, but it's a lot better if you do. These 6 easy, professional tips can help you produce gourmet pizza in your own home.

The great Combo Ideas that follow may get you started in the right direction for thinking outside the pizza box.

Perfect Pizza Rules

Perfect Pizza Rule #1:

There is a specific order of assembly:
Sauce, Cheese, Toppings, Cheese, Garnish.
Oil, Cheese, Toppings, Cheese, Oil, Garnish.

Two or three tablespoons of sauce are all you need for a small pizza. Spread it on with a large spoon. Or, apply oil to the dough with a pastry brush and drizzle a little more on the top of the pizza, if desired. (Watch out for chili oil, it's hot.) Apply half the cheese over the sauce or oil, and half on top. Apply garnishes, if any, after the pizza is cooked.

Pizza Rule #2:

Spread sauce, oil and toppings only within the rim of the crust.
Never cover your pizza dough clear to the edge; it's just not done in polite circles.

Pizza Rule #3:

All ingredients on your pizza should finish cooking at the same time.
If need be, pre-cook toppings that take longer to cook, like bell peppers. Likewise, pre-cook foods that tend to get watery, like eggplant and thick-sliced mushrooms, unless you want pizza soup.

Rule #4:

Cool all cooked ingredients before applying them to the dough.
Hot toppings on pizza dough will ruin the dough. Again, pizza soup.

Perfect Pizza Rule #5:

Less is more.
Avoid putting 'some of everything' on your pizza. As a rule, use only 2 or 3 well-chosen toppings. There are always exceptions, though.

And Rule #6:

Pizza Stone and Peel Set from

Bake your pizzas in a very hot oven.
A 500° oven is perfect. A lower temperature is OK if your oven doesn't go that high; just cook it a little longer. If you want that crisp, restaurant-quality pizza crust in your own home, cook your pizza on a pizza stone.

A pizza peel is a handy tool, too, for transferring your pizzas to and from the oven. A Pizza Stone and Peel Set is inexpensive and adds professional pizazz to the occasion.

Great Pizza Combos

Pizza Sauce Recipes

  • Grilled eggplant, onions and sun-dried tomatoes on Tomato-Herb Sauce with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Turkey, Roma tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, Mozzarella and Swiss cheeses, on Dijon mustard.
  • Grilled garlic shrimp, onions, green onions or scallions, and tomatoes with Mozzarella on Pesto sauce.
  • Crumbled crisp bacon, Roma tomatoes, red onions and black olives, with Mozzarella and crumbled Blue cheese on Ranch dressing. Garnish with chopped avocado.
  • Ground beef seasoned with cumin and chili powder, onions and tomatoes, on Tomato-Herb sauce with Monterey Jack and Cheddar. Garnish with cilantro and Guacamole.
  • Grilled chicken, artichoke hearts and roasted garlic with Mozzarella on Alfredo sauce.
  • Chicken (cooked in a little Peanut sauce), snow peas and water chestnuts, with Mozzarella on Peanut sauce. Garnish with green onions and/or scallions.
  • Pepperoni, mushrooms, and sausage with Mozzarella on Tomato-Herb sauce. (OK, this one is your father’s pizza.)
  • Green, yellow and red pepper strips, red onions, grilled eggplant and zucchini, with Mozzarella and either Gouda or Goat cheese, on olive oil seasoned with fresh thyme and oregano.
  • Barbecued chicken, onions and cilantro with Mozzarella and Gouda, on barbecue sauce.
  • Sautéed Portobello and Shitake mushrooms (or whatever is your favorite), black olives, Roma tomatoes and spinach with Mozzarella and a little Blue cheese, on Pesto sauce.
  • Canadian bacon or ham and pineapple chunks on Tomato-Herb sauce with Mozzarella.

Pizza Sauce Recipes and "Secret" Sauces

Pizza Dough Recipes

Pizza Topping Ideas

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