How to Cook Pizza In a Pizza Oven: A Step-by-Step Guide
By Robert Parsons March 13th, 2023
There’s nothing better than a nice hot pizza with your favorite toppings. After all, there’s a reason pizza is one of the most popular dishes worldwide.
But what if we told you you don’t have to order pizza deliveries to satisfy your cravings?
It may seem intimidating, but cooking pizza in your home oven is incredibly simple. Granted, the process takes some time and effort. But trust us – once you make your own pizza, it’s hard to return to the store-bought stuff.
Below, we’ll show you how to make pizza at home so you’ll never have to order takeout again!
Read on to learn more.
Why Make Pizza at Home?
The biggest advantage of homemade pizza is that you have control over your ingredients and flavors.
Have you ever complained that your pizza has too many olives, not enough cheese, or lacks your favorite topping?
Well, if you make your own pizza, this will never be a problem. You have complete freedom to customize your homemade pizza however you want. Whether you’re looking for a classic pepperoni and cheese or want to experiment with new ingredients, homemade pizza is the way to go!
So, if you’re ready to step up your pizza game, it might be time to ditch deliveries and start making everything from scratch!
Your Guide to Homemade Pizza
How do you actually make homemade pizza?
If you’re pressed for time, you can buy pre-made dough from your local grocery store, add your toppings, and throw it in the oven.
While this produces a fairly decent pizza, you can do much better than that, and all it latkes is a little more effort. When you make your dough and everything else from scratch, you’ll find that your pizza will taste much better. On top of that, making the components yourself can also save you money!
And below, we’ve made a basic guide with everything you need to know about making pizza from scratch. Let’s start with the first step, which is:
Making the Dough
The first thing you want to do when making homemade pizza is to make the dough. Again, you can always buy ready-made dough, but there’s a huge difference when you make the dough from scratch. Not only will you save money, but you can ensure that you make top-tier pizza dough.
Many pizza dough recipes you can find online are very easy to follow. That said, regardless of the recipe you choose, make sure you give the dough enough time to rise.
It’s best to let your dough rest for a few hours in the fridge. But if you have more time, we recommend resting it overnight. And when it’s time to assemble the pizza, make sure you give the dough time to get to room temperature before shaping.
Everybody has their own pizza dough recipe. In fact, once you get the hang of making dough, you can start creating your own recipes. But before you start experimenting with unique recipes, we recommend starting with the basics.
To make pizza dough, you will need:
Once you have the ingredients ready, here are the steps to making dough.
- Mix the dry ingredients
- Transfer the ingredients to a floured surface and start kneading or use a stand mixer to form a dough
- Let the dough rise overnight or for at least 90 minutes
- Punch down and shape the dough
Assembling the Pie
When you’ve finished shaping the pizza dough, you can start assembling the pie. This is where the fun really starts since you have complete freedom to put anything you want on the pizza. There’s a lot of room for experimentation with homemade pizza, which is why it’s a favorite dish for home cooks.
That said, it’s best to keep things simple with your first homemade pie.
Ideally, you want to make sure most of your ingredients are pre-cooked before putting them on the pizza. That way, all you have to worry about in the oven is cooking the dough, melting the cheese, and heating the ingredients.
To give you a place to start, here are some basic toppings that you can put on your pizza:
- Tomato sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
Since the pepperoni is already cooked and the mushrooms cook really fast, you don’t have to worry about pre-cooking the ingredients. On top of that, you won’t have to cook the basil as all you want is to heat it up, so it releases its oils and flavor.
For the mozzarella cheese, you can use fresh or pre-grated. For first-timers, we recommend grated mozzarella cheese as it melts easier on top of the pizza. But if you want, you can also use thinly-sliced fresh muzz on your pizza.
Again, you have complete freedom to choose your ingredients when baking a pizza. So, don’t be afraid to get creative!
Baking the Pizza
The last step to making a pizza is cooking it in your oven. And to do this, you need to make sure the oven is hot. The key to a great texture on the crust is to place it directly in a piping-hot oven. This gives you great charred bits and deep flavors on the crust without burning the dough.
Ideally, you want to preheat your oven to the hottest it can go. At the very least, we recommend heating it to at least 500 degrees F. But if you can get the oven hotter than that, feel free to boost the temperature.
You want to preheat your oven for a while, ideally when you’re shaping the dough and assembling the pizza. Additionally, you want to make sure the pan or stone you’re cooking your pizza on is hot.
So, when preheating your oven, put the baking sheet or pizza stone in as well.
And once everything’s ready, you can transfer the pizza to the hot baking sheet and put it in the oven. Since most of the toppings are pre-cooked, you don’t need to put the pizza in for too long. In fact, 10 to 15 should be enough for the pizza.
But again, this can vary depending on the temperature of your oven. So, it’s best to continually check on your pie to make sure it’s cooked properly.
The best sign that your pizza is done is seeing an even browning on the crust and having the cheese toppings completely melted. Once you see that your pizza has reached this state, you can take it out of the oven.
Tips for Cooking Pizza in An Oven
We understand that cooking pizza at home is intimidating, but when you break down the process, it’s actually quite simple! We highly recommend making your own dough, but if you’re pressed for time, there’s nothing wrong with pre-made dough, either.
That said, there are still a few things you need to note when cooking your pizza to make the best possible pie. So, here are some more crucial tips for cooking pizza in an oven that you must keep in mind.
Start Things Hot!
There’s nothing more important to a good pizza than a scorching hot oven. Remember, traditional pizzas are cooked in fire brick ovens that get incredibly hot, and even if you don’t have this oven at home, it’s important to get as close to these high temperatures as possible.
To get your oven very hot, you need to start pre-heating it early. So, when shaping the dough and assembling the toppings, we recommend firing up your oven on the highest setting with the pizza stone or baking sheet inside. That way, the oven will be hot enough once you’re done assembling the pizza.
Don’t Use Cold Dough
It’s important that you get your dough back to room temperature before you start shaping and stretching it. This will help relax the gluten, reducing the chances of the dough ripping during the shaping process.
Keep the Toppings Simple
You might want to keep your pizza simple if it’s your first time cooking one. You don’t want to overcomplicate your first pizza, as this opens up more room for mistakes.
Here’s a list of some basic toppings that would be great for your first homemade pizza:
Use a Pizza Stone
Pizza stones are a well-known secret component of a top-tier pizza. These ceramic stones reach very high temperatures in the oven, giving you an even brown crust. But an upside-down baking tray could be a decent alternative if you don’t have a pizza stone. However, put a piece of floured parchment paper on the tray to keep the dough from sticking.
Making homemade pizza in your oven is easy and provides a top-tier pie. We understand that it can be intimidating at first. However, rest assured that you’ll have a much easier time once you break down the process. And before you know it, you’ll make a pizza that perfectly satisfies your tastes!