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Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their hacks for heavenly homemade pizza

What’s the secret to restaurant-style pizza at home?

Image: Shutterstock/Natali Zakharova

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we ask readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-food and drink ideas. From the secret to quick-and-easy dinners, to the best way to scramble an egg, we set a new question every seven days.

This week, we asked our panel of home cooks for their homemade pizza hacks – the tips that help them make great pizza every time. 

What’s the secret to making great pizza at home?

Next week, we’ll be asking readers for their go-to summer fruit desserts. Email us on food@thejournal.ie – and you could see your response in the magazine!

Make batches of dough and sauce: I always make homemade pizza in batches – fresh yeast dough is time consuming to make, so it’s best to make enough for several bases and freeze them. They freeze really well. You can also make enough sauce to freeze and put into individual servings, just enough for each pizza base. To make the sauce I simply fry some onion and garlic, add  tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock powder, fresh basil, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer to reduce.

And take it off the baking sheet halfway: Toppings are endless but my rule is keep it simple, over-topping your pizza will make your base harder to cook. Top tip, start cooking your pizza on a baking sheet, remove from sheet and place directly on your oven shelf half way through cooking, this will ensure your base is crisp with no soggy bottom disasters. Enjoy!

- Angie Nolan

Get it as thin as you can: I make the dough myself and give it plenty of time to rise. I think the key to good pizza is rolling the dough as thin as possible, use really good homemade sauce and don’t pile the toppings on. It also doesn’t need a lot of cheese. My favourite is chorizo, mozzarella, homemade sauce and finish with fresh basil leaves! 

- Donna O’Shaughnessy

If your oven has a pizza setting, use it: A good quality  supermarket pizza base is handy if I’m tight on time. Then I use 2 tbsp of passata and half a ball of mozzarella, torn into pieces and cook it on a high heat. Some ovens (mine included) have a pizza setting which adds extra heat below, so I’ll cook it on that setting for five minutes. That’s my basic pizza. I also like to put some goats cheese and caramelised onion on before it goes in the oven and top with lots of rocket when it comes out.

- Fiona Staunton

More Kitchen Secrets: Readers share the one power ingredient that’s always in their fridge>

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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