Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pizza Tools/Needs

To make homemade pizza dough you really only need a counter top, large mixing bowl and the ingredients.  But to turn it into a finished pizza ready to eat, you'll need a few more things.

Dough Roller
Once you have made the pizza dough and it is ready to be made into a pizza, you will need a rolling pin of some kind.  I have a small rolling pin (see picture) from "Pampered Chef" that my daughter gave me.  It works well for me.  If I need a longer one, I will use what I have on hand.  Sometimes that is a 2-liter bottle of soda.  You just need something that is smooth and round to roll out dough to the size and shape you need.  Because of years of experience, I will toss my pizza dough with my hands to get the thin crust.

Another item that would be nice is a docker.  It rolls over the dough and pierces little holes in the dough.  This helps keep the dough from having air pockets that bubble up during the cooking/baking process.  A docker is round with a handle and nail like spikes sticking out.  I don't have one at home but we used them a lot when I was working.  At home, I just use a fork and prick the dough all over with the prongs.

The next tool you may want is a pizza peel.  This is a flat like board (also in metal) used to slide under the dough and place it onto a hot pizza stone or oven rack.  It can retrieve the pizza from the stone or rack too.  You may even cut your pizza on the peel.  I don't use one at home but I do use a pizza stone to bake on.

Pizza Baking Stone
My pizza stone is well cured from use but I use it for more than just pizza.  When I make pizza, I put my stone in the oven so it heats up in the oven.  I'll remove it, place my dough on it, add my toppings and put it back in the oven to bake.  This helps give it that crisp crust.  You can just put your dough on it cold and bake, but you may have to adjust the time and the crust won't be as crisp.  It is all personal preference.

You can make your pizzas rectangular or round and use sided pans.  Some like to do this and keep their pizza dough thicker.  Kind of on the order of Chicago style pizza.  Try it all ways for a little spice in your life.

Pizza Cutter & Server
Once the pizza is done, you'll need a pizza cutter and maybe a pie server.  The pizza can be cut with just a knife but I prefer using a pizza wheel cutter.  It's fast and easy for the pizzas on a stone or peel.  The ones in a pan would be better off if you removed them and then cut.

Some people like to add a little Parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes to their slice.  So you might want to have a shaker of each available.

All these items can be found at my favorite store, Kohl's.  Pizza dough recipe tomorrow.

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