If you want to make homemade pizza but want to skip making the dough from scratch, this guide is for you. Follow these tips to make that store-bought pizza dough taste like Nonna made it from scratch!
Nothing beats a homemade pizza, but if you lack the time or patience for making dough from scratch, don't panic! Try these tips and techniques with your store-bought pizza dough to make it taste as though you mixed flour and water and salt yourself.
Using pre-made dough is a simple and easy way to fulfill your pizza cravings. However, it does need a little bit of work and about half an hour of your time. Let's get rolling on how to achieve homemade pizza perfection without having to make pizza dough yourself.
Rise, Stretch, and Shape!
#1. How to get store-bought dough to rise
The trickiest thing about making a homemade pizza recipe is working with the dough. The main reason for this is that it's usually cold when you buy it. That’s why you should let it warm for around 30 minutes, and then leave it to rise.
Homemade pizza dough may require anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours to rise fully and be ready to use. Place the cold dough in a bowl, cover with a warm damp towel, and place in a warm area to rise. Once the dough has risen, you can stretch and shape it.
#2. How to shape the dough
The process of shaping your store-bought dough becomes pretty straightforward after a few tries. Here's our step-by-step guide to follow to get the perfectly stretched dough for the perfectly shaped pizza!
- Lightly flour your work surface.
- Press down the dough against the floured work surface.
- Start by working the pizza dough's outer edges by lightly pinching it with your fingers, making a crust.
- Press against the dough's center on the work surface, and start moving out from the center, pushing outward, expanding the dough as you go. Use a dusting of flour, which will help shape and size the dough and prevent it from sticking.
- Once you have established a large enough dough, carefully pick up the dough with both hands.
- With your hands gently under the dough, and by using your knuckles, stretch the dough out vertically and horizontally, adding flour as you go to assist in expanding it.
- Keep working the dough until you can cover the sheet pan with it.
- Alternate between using your knuckles and pushing the dough as you work it into the desired shape and size. Remember to add a light dusting of flour each time you feel it becoming too sticky to work with.
- Fix any holes or tears that may appear by pinching the dough around the holes, making it come together, sealing the hole.
- Place oiled parchment paper on your baking sheet. Olive oil is best for flavor and will give the crust a nice golden look with crispiness.
- Gently lift the dough off the working surface and place it onto the lightly oiled and parchment-lined tray. You can make final adjustments to your dough by pushing and pressing the dough a bit further to fill the pan's shape.
Bonus Tips for the Perfect Pizza!
Shaping a circular pizza
Making a round pizza is a slightly different process. Form the dough into a ball, follow the steps above, but stretch it in circles instead of pulling it horizontally or vertically. Remember, practice makes perfect pizza!
Wait on the toppings
Don't place the toppings on the dough too early. It is best to pre-bake the dough a bit before adding pizza sauce and toppings, giving the crust a chance to firm up, making a perfect doughy base to handle the sauce and other toppings – preheat the oven to 450°F, then pre-bake at 400°F.
Time to top and bake
After you have pre-baked your dough a bit, it is time to add the sauce or toppings. Brush the dough with olive oil – even around the pizza's edges to create a golden crust. Then, in the center, add your toppings and sauce, herbs, and spices.
Once you have added the toppings, finish baking the pizza in your oven at 500°F degrees. Bake for about 7-10 minutes. This will be a long enough time for the cheese to melt, the toppings to cook, and the pizza crust to get golden.
Use your pizza peel to get your pizza out of the oven, and enjoy!
Tips for storing your pizza dough
If you have bought your dough but don't plan to use it for a while, you can store it, refrigerate it, or freeze it. In the freezer, the pizza dough will last for a few months. It may last for only a few days in the refrigerator.
One Final Bite
Making pizza is fun and exciting! As you're learning how to make pizza, you can experiment with different pizza recipes. This means adding herbs and trying out various toppings. However, the dough is always the key. The best pizza dough will make the best pizzas!
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Even with a store-bought dough, you can bake your pizza in many different ways. Pizza grilled on a grill, baked in a skillet, pie iron, or even microwaved in a mug – none of these is off the charts!
If you want a quick solution that can be done from the comfort of your home, a pan or wide-mouth mug is the way to go. And if the weather's treating you nicely, head out to the backyard! You can bake a big round pizza directly on your grill or prepare delicious pizza pockets in apie iron over your campfire for the whole family.
Whether you go for a traditional way to bake your pizza or choose to experiment, knowing how to work with the dough is what makes it good.Following these simple tips can turn a disaster dish into a perfect pie!