Breads & Doughs, Informational Articles

5 Pro Chef Secrets to the Perfect Pizza

The Perfect Pizza is not out of reach! If you follow my 5 Pro Chef Secrets to the Perfect Pizza, you'll set yourself up for success every time.
The Perfect Pizza (5 Pro Chef Secrets)

Hi Bold Bakers!

It’s with great pleasure that I can say my Best Ever Pizza Dough is a fan favorite on my website. I love seeing all the photos of the lovely pizza made at home. A lot of you have told me it’s your go-to pizza dough! So, I invite you to read exhibit A, B, and C:

Kym on April 23, 2019: This recipe for no-knead dough is amazing……meat lovers for the boys and mushroom for me….no sauce just sliced fresh mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, fresh thyme and equal quantities of smoked cheese and Parmesan OMG & that base was to die for”

Sandi Waldor on March 12, 2019: OMG, so good. Look no further, this is the best pizza crust, not to mention the easiest recipe I have ever used.”

AND

David on Feb 21, 2018: Hi Gemma, great recipe which has become my gold standard for pizza doughs!”

However, I do know that some people (just a few) also can find it tricky. Sometimes I would get comments like exhibit D …..

Joan J on Sep 16 2018: “Hi Gemma, I followed the instructions exactly but my dough ended up very wet. It was almost impossible to handle and shape, what did I do wrong?”

First off, you didn’t do anything wrong, Joan! I’m going to answer all your questions and clear up any queries so by the end of this post everyone out there will be professional perfect pizza makers when using my Best Ever Pizza Dough.

Perfect pizza, topped with cheese and basil.

 

5 Pro Chef Secrets to the Perfect Pizza

  1. When adding the liquid just add 3/4 and hold the rest back. You only need to add enough liquid to clean your bowl and form a ball of dough. Everyone’s flour is different, you might not need all the liquid OR you might need a little more (watch the video to see my example).
  2. Crank up that oven as high as it will go! No fan needed. Place a baking tray or cast iron grill on the bottom shelf to pre-heat and to get that direct heat from the oven.
  3. How to shape pizza dough: Flour your work surface and place down your dough. First, form the crust around the edges and then using your knuckles pull the dough over your hands stretching it gently as it gets bigger. Pull into roughly a 10-inch circle. Don’t worry if holes appear, just pinch them closed. (watch the above video for a step by step)
  4. Dust a flat baking tray with fine semolina and lay your dough on top. The semolina will give your pizza traction so you can gently slide it into the oven with ease. Flour will work as a backup. Note: Go light with your toppings or your pizza won’t slide off the tray.
  5. Slide your pizza onto your pre-heated tray in the oven and shut the door. Using a pre-heated tray like this Reversible Grill Griddle to bake your pizza will ensure a crisp crust AND you will get will a lovely bubbly pop on your crust. P.S Keep that door closed as the pizza is baking for a better crispier, crust.

A closeup of ultimate pizza crust.

 

Why Was My Dough Was So Sticky and Almost Impossible To Handle?

This happened because too much liquid was added to the dough. When making bread and pastries ALWAYS hold back some of the liquid until you have mixed your dough and gauged if you need more or not. Sometimes you need the exact amount stated in the recipe, BUT all flour is different and you might need less. (I recommend watching the above video for more details.)

Can I Freeze the Raw Dough?

If you are wondering if you can freeze any leftover dough for later use, the answer is simply ‘no.’ You will not get the same results you will get from baking the dough off fresh. The result will be a flat, bubble-less pizza. Best to use all the dough OR see the question below.

Can I Freeze a Whole Pizza Toppings Included?

YES, you can actually do this, but not with raw dough. You need a pizza base that has been par-cooked. Simply shape your crust like you would for any pizza and pop it into the oven without any topping (watch the above video for more details). Bake at the normal temp BUT only for 3 minutes or so. You want the dough to get cooked but you don’t really want any color at this point. Top your pizza as desired and pop into the freezer to be baked at a later date.

Make What You Need!

And don’t forget to follow Bigger Bolder Baking on Pinterest!

Watch The Recipe Video!

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1 year ago

I use a pizza stone for my pizzas and they are better than those from our local takeaway. I have also successfully par-baked and frozen bases. I don’t add the toppings, but rather freeze them plain. They dress and cook up perfectly.

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 month ago

After some angst, I finally moved forward and the results were terrific. My husband was waiting in the wings with 911Pizza, ready to call for delivery because we were having to guests for my first effort at homemade pizza. Not much faith in me but now he is a believer. The dough was wonderful and really easy. The video was very helpful and so were the comments. Gemma responded quickly to my panicked posts. I made a white pizza with mushrooms, fresh herbs, mozzarella cheese and dollops of goat cheese–fantastic. The other was with Gemma’s wonderful pizza sauce with basil,… Read more »

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 month ago

If I have proofed for 16 hours, but am not baking until 6 hours later do
I cut the dough into 4 pieces before I refrigerate? Or do I put dough in refrigerator without cutting and then cut 4 balls then. And follow your directions for resting and shaping. Thanks!

Fizza Afzaal
Fizza Afzaal
1 month ago

Is semolina and semolina flour the same thing? How can I make semolina flour from semolina?

4 months ago

Gemma I have a question
in which videos did you burn your hand while putting something in the oven
at 2:59 in the video it looked like you touched the oven racks
😅

REPLY

P Jena
P Jena
8 months ago

Hi Gemma, I have tried making pizza with Baking powder and pizza sauce from your receipe. It was awesome.. Thanks a ton !! Recently I have started using yeast. I stay in a humid climate where temperature is generally above 30 degrees. made the dough with instant yeast and kept it to rise for 3 hours. Then used it for making pizza. The crust didn’t come out great and it wasn’t that soft. Any suggestions? Also I wanted to know the difference between fermentation and proofing ?

Last edited 8 months ago by P Jena
Jfis2053
1 year ago

How can I substitute regular yeast with bread machine yeast?

Sady-Ann Marson
Sady-Ann Marson
1 year ago

Hi Gemma love from Jamaica, I was wondering do I have to use olive oil for the pizza dough or can I use a flavorless oil.

RIPON
RIPON
1 year ago

Hi, will i turn on only lower heating element during baking??

Jhoy perfecto01
Jhoy perfecto01
1 year ago

Can I ask the full recipe pls😊🙏🙏🙏

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!