How to use the oven you have to make the pizza you crave

Photo by David Nuescheler on Unsplash
Making pizza at home is tricky and it's difficult to use a home oven with a maximum temperature of 500 degrees F at best, to mimic what an actual pizza oven does at more than 700 degrees F. There is a way to pull it off though and it's how I make pizza at home.

First, make my Legendary Pizza Dough. Then make my Glorious Pizza Sauce. When you have those things done and ready, it's pizza time.

Please note that home pizza making is an easier process with three implements most people don't have around: a pizza stone (or steel), a pizza peel and a pizza screen. My directions below include them but if you don't have those things, it's not a deal breaker. You can just as easily use a baking sheet and you'll get a better result if it's a cheap one made from steel as opposed to the more professional, aluminum versions.

Here goes:

Oven Pizza
  1. When it’s time to make pizza, position a rack in your oven 3/4 of the way up and set the temperature to your maximum bake temperature. For most ovens that’s between 450 and 500 degrees.
  2. Set a pizza stone or steel (or even an inverted baking sheet) on the rack you positioned earlier and pre-heat your oven for an hour.
  3. Flour your counter generously and form your pizza on a pizza screen. Take care not to press the dough into the screen.
  4. Before you add any toppings and after you have your pizza dough ready, slide the pizza into the oven with a peel and bake for approximately four minutes.
  5. Remove the crust, then top it with sauce and whatever else you’re using. If you’re adding pre-cooked vegetables like broccoli, make sure they’re well drained. Moisture is not your friend here. Don’t go overboard on toppings, you want a crisp bottom crust and overloading your pizza will prevent that from happening.
  6. Switch the bake function to the broil function and keep the temperature set at the maximum. Using the broil function will make a browned crust and ensure that cheese melts completely.
  7. Put the pizza back in the oven for four minutes or so. The sauce and cheese in the center should be bubbling but not browned. Stay close and monitor your pizza while it’s broiling. It’ll go from perfect to scorched quickly.
  8. Take out your pizza and enjoy!

It's the function shift from bake to broil that holds the magic with this method.