There comes a time in every pizza connoisseur’s life when she must strike out on her own and create something new. Yes, we’re talking about making your own pizza. Sure, it takes some work, but the rewards are numerous. And besides, if your experiment doesn’t work out, you can always call for delivery.
The first step in creating a truly excellent pizza of your own is putting together just the right dough. But baking is a complicated science with many factors involved. You want to do the research and get everything right. That’s where we come in. Even something as simple as flour can have a dramatic impact on the texture and taste of your pizza. What kind of flour do you use to make homemade pizza?
“Double 0” Flour
Double 0 flour can be tougher to track down, but it’s about as fancy as you can get with your flour. It is more finely milled than other kinds of flours, making for a light and airy dough that produces something closer to the Neapolitan style of pizza.
All Purpose Flour
All purpose flour is exactly what it calls itself and also what you most likely already have sitting in your pantry. All purpose flour works for most baking projects, but it isn’t specialized. If you’re just trying out making pizza dough and aren’t interested in buying flour you might not use again, then all purpose will work just fine. But it has a lower protein content that can hinder the development of airiness in your crust.
One of the most important factors when choosing a flour is protein content. The higher the protein content, the easier it is for gluten to develop when kneading and the lighter and chewier the structure of your crust will be. Bread flour will create a crust with more air pockets and snap than all purpose flour. It’s all a matter of personal preference, so consider if you like your pizza more or less dense when deciding.
Cake flour forms small, delicate bubbles that make for an airy but weak crust. If you use cake flour, your crust won’t be as crisp or hearty as other flours.
Self Rising Flour
Self rising flour is perfect for the novice baker who isn’t interested in fussing around with a complicated recipe. Since self-rising flour already has baking soda and salt added to it, it doesn’t need many additions to make a dough. There are several two-ingredient pizza dough recipes out there that rely on self rising flour. If simplicity is what you are looking for, self rising flour is your best bet.
Are you gluten-free, or just looking to try something different? Then making your own crust can help you branch out from the norm and create your perfect pizza. Cauliflower pizza crust is rapidly gaining in popularity. It’s mild taste and starchy texture makes it a great alternative to traditional crust. If you aren’t interested in making it yourself, cauliflower crust is widely available at grocery stores. Top it with your own sauce and cheese and make a masterpiece. Gluten-free flours are also available, but to get the texture of your crust right, you’ll have to use several ingredients in your gluten free dough. The results are worthwhile, but this is not a baking project for the novice or the faint of heart.
— Alyssa Morris