Pizza-Making Tips and My Favorite Pizza Recipe

You should make this pizza.

Even if you’ve never made pizza, you should! Here’s why:
1. It’s not that hard, especially if you heed my tips below and have a stand mixer to make the dough.
2. The dough recipe is for 3 pizzas, so you’ll be fed for a week, or you can have a delicious dinner party!
3. The combination of flavors is delicious – sweet figs, salty prosciutto, peppery arugula, and a couple of cheeses…(wipes drool off chin).
4. If this is a drawback, the pizza was so tasty that we ate it before thinking to photograph it, so check out the original photo from the Pioneer Woman:

Don’t you want to make that? I thought so.

Side note
One super awesome thing about this recipe is that you’ll likely have extra arugula to make a tasty salad or three (I even had one for lunch today, minus goat cheese, which I did remember to photograph). Our salad was amazing and so simple. We topped fresh arugula with local Georgia peaches, assorted mini tomatoes, fresh figs, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, homemade white balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh ground pepper. I’m sure you can find white balsamic vinaigrette recipes, but basically all I do is squirt some honey in white balsamic vinegar, add olive oil, salt, and pepper, taste and adjust. It’s science, y’all. 

Pizza-making tips // learned the hard way
I decided to try making pizza from scratch about a year ago, and have learned a few tips through trial and error. I reallllly want you to make this yummy pizza, so I’ll share all my hard-earned tips for free!

1. Take your dough out of the refrigerator an hour or so before making your pizza.
Cold pizza dough is not easy to stretch from a nice ball to a thin canvas for your masterpiece pizza. Room temperature pizza dough is a pleasure to work with. Just keep it in a sealed container while it’s sitting out to avoid crusty dry spots.
2. Slice your mozzarella thin.
Fresh mozzarella has a very high water content, so unless you want something like this to happen (from my first attempt), slice thinly! Use a little common sense of course: you don’t want the slices falling apart because they’re so thin. Now that I know the dangers of mozzarella slicing, my slices are about the same thickness as an iPhone.
3. If you don’t have a pizza stone, use this method to get a crispy crust:
I had trouble with mushy centers of my pizzas on the first couple of tries. Thanks to Jeff for this idea, which has worked like a charm.

a) make sure you have a nice coat of olive oil on your baking sheet
b) assemble and bake the pizza according to instructions (I go for the longer side of baking time, adjust for your oven as necessary)
c) when you’re about to remove the pizza from the oven, switch from bake to broil. Remove the mostly-cooked pizza from your baking sheet and transfer directly to rack. Let underside of crust get nice and crispy for 3-5 minutes (keeping an eye on the pizza; make sure that hard work doesn’t get burned!!)

Now keep in mind these are not Italian grandma tips; I’m just a ginger runner with about a year of pizza cooking experience. If anyone has an Italian grandma or other pizza cooking tips, please share your delicious knowledge in the comments! 

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