Key steps to cook pizza in kitchen ovens.
So, you’ve learnt how to stretch your pizza base by hand and we bet you can’t wait to learn how to cook a pizza in your kitchen oven. There are some really fundamental rules that you can’t skip, when cooking fresh sourdough pizza in kitchen ovens, so we wanted to outline them here for your benefit.
Step 1: Crank up the heat
First up, oven heat is probably the most important point to great pizza, after perhaps the dough itself. To be successful in cooking pizza in kitchen ovens, ideally, you would use a baking stone and turn the oven up as high as it will go for a good 30-60 minutes, with the baking stone or oven sheet inside, so the whole thing is as hot as possible.
Every oven is different and you will know yours best, but it’s worth experimenting with whereabouts in the oven you cook your pizza depending on the hot spots etc, whether you use the fan or convection settings.
Step 2: Once the sauce is on, work fast
Once you have added the sauce to your base, it is imperative that you transfer it in the piping hot oven as possible – within a few seconds ideally. The longer it sits around uncooked, the more likely you are to have a soggy pizza that sticks to your peel or your oven or remains doughy once cooked.
Step 3: Less is more with toppings
Again, if you try and overload your pizza you will end up spending too long making it and risk the soggy bottom syndrome. Start very simple – sauce + 2 or 3 other ingredients max. Focus on the quality of ingredients, rather than the quantity of them, and you will never be disappointed.
Step 4: Dust your peel
The last thing your want is your marvellous creation sticking at the vital moment. You will notice in the video that we use a scattering of polenta to act as a bed of “ball bearings” between the pizza and the peel, but a little flour will usually work fine too. A little shimmy on the peel before taking it to the oven will allay any sticking fears.
Step 5: They cook fast – keep an eye on it!
Expect your pizza to take 6-8 minutes or so to cook, depending on your oven. Keep an eye on it and turn halfway through if required. Once the crust is puffed and browned, and the cheese is sizzling and starting to caramelise… it’s crunch time. Hoick it back out with the peel, slide onto a board for cutting, and tuck in.
Step 6: Enjoy yourself
Pizza night should be, above all, great fun. Our first tries at cooking pizza in kitchen ovens are often not great, but a little practice and experimentation is all part of the game. Don’t try and be too formal or efficient. The key to great pizza is taking your time, enjoying the moment, and relaxing with one of the simplest, but most satisfying foods in the world.