Making your own pizza at home not only provides you with a delicious hearty meal, it can be a great deal of fun as well. You can develop and refine a unique cooking skill, get creative with your toppings, and truly make the best pizza you’ve ever had. There’s something special about home-cooked food, and pizza is no exception to this rule. Most people don’t believe it simply because they’ve never had home-cooked pizza, but it can be done and it can be delicious. Follow these 5 tips to make gourmet pizza in your own kitchen.

  1. Let Your Dough Sleep
    The dough is the foundation of any good pizza. A perfect crust can be the saving grace of an otherwise ho-hum pie, and likewise the best ingredients in the world won’t make a good pizza if the dough hasn’t been prepared properly. Purists advocate an overnight preparation for dough, and there’s really no substitute for making the ultimate crust. Pizza gurus from Chicago to New York and all over the world agree. Plenty of recipes are available online describing different proportions of flour, salt, yeast, water and olive oil, and they’ll all work fine. The key is thorough kneading and overnight fermentation.
  2. Sauce from Scratch
    One thing that truly sets apart pizzas is the sauce. If you’re using sauce from a jar, your pizza is going to taste like any other pizza that uses sauce from a jar. Forget about prepared sauces. Start with canned or fresh tomatoes, pureed to your desired texture in a blender or food processor. Mix with a healthy dose of olive oil and a couple cloves of pulverized garlic, and let it simmer on the stove for 20 to 30 minutes until it thickens up a bit.
  3. Know Your Cheese
    Mozzarella is the most common cheese used for making pizza, but it’s not the only option. Get to know several different cheeses and their flavors. Think about what you would want in a pizza and choose your cheese accordingly. Mixing and matching can be fun as well. There is a huge variety of flavors to be experienced in cheeses–the possibilities are practically limitless.
  4. Get Creative with Toppings
    This is where you can really make your pizza shine. Anyone can throw sausage or pepperoni on a pizza and call it a day, but as long as you’re going through all the trouble of making your own, why not make it special? Think about your cheese, and what extra toppings could really bring out the flavors hidden within. Spinach and mushrooms match wonderfully with brie, for example, or you could throw jalapenos on top of a spicy pepper-jack pie to turn up the heat.
  5. Make a Nice Spread
    The best way to hone and develop your pizza making skills is to make as many pizzas as possible. Considering all the work that’s gone into making this Illinois 24 hour pizza, you may not have lots of time on hand for cooking constantly, so make several small pizzas at once. Try different combinations of toppings. See what works and what doesn’t. Experiment, and you’ll have your own gourmet pizza technique down in no time.