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The Perfect Pizza (5 Pro Chef Secrets)

5 Pro Chef Secrets to the Perfect Pizza

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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.


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.

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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.

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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!

I wrote a cookbook! The Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook is available for pre-order!

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

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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23 Comments

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  1. nora on September 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    The pizza on this page (specifically) is the same the one called (no need to knead pizza)? because they look different and this one in here looks so professional .
    ty

    • Gemma Stafford on September 21, 2019 at 1:52 am

      Hi Nora,
      yes, this is the same dough – actually, you make a good point. Yeast baking is a funny thing – yeast is a living organism and it behaves differently in different environments. Heat/cold/humidity all affect a bake. The type of flour used too, when it was milled, the type of wheat, where grown and the gluten/protein content will all affect the result, it is hardly ever exactly the same way twice, though the difference will be small enough.
      However, in this one, it may just be a difference in the way it was photographed.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Akshara on August 9, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Can I bake my pizza in a convection oven? The highest temperature is 210 degrees celsius

    • Gemma Stafford on August 9, 2019 at 1:29 pm

      yes absolutely you can, that will work well 🙂

      Gemma.

    • Leslie on September 17, 2019 at 2:47 am

      Can you substitute another oil for the olive oil? Or just omit the oil altogether?

      • Gemma Stafford on September 17, 2019 at 8:49 am

        Hi Leslie,

        I would just leave it out. Replace the amount with water if needed.

        Best,
        Gemma.

  3. Carolyn on July 23, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Hi Gemma
    I am so pleased to have discovered you! Where can I purchase the cast iron pizza pan?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Carolyn,
      I have my one for some time, but there are a few here (https://amzn.to/2YcO2Fh) on Amazon.com for you to see.
      I like to keep it as simple as possible, without handles as they will then fit more easily into any oven. You can also use this on the BBQ grill.
      If you like a very crisp base you can pre-heat it on the stovetop too, though then you have to handle a very hot and heavy plate, so it is vital to be safe and use really good oven gloves.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. RITA RODRIGUES on July 22, 2019 at 9:23 am

    You are too cute…beep beep… lol
    just emailed you about yr crazy dough (my saviour)
    and God bless you

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      LOL I’m glad I’m not only amusing myself 🙂

      I’ll check out your email tonight Rita.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  5. Marco on July 20, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Hello Gemma!

    I see that you used a cast iron grill in your recipe. Is it possible to replace the cast iron grill for a cast iron skillet?
    Also, when you say to crank up the oven, you don’t mean up to the broil setting correct? 😀

    Huge fan! Your single serve cookies (especially the chocolate chip cookie!) has been my go-to to satiating my sugar cravings in a pinch!

    From,

    Marco

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Marco,

      I think I might have already answered your question but I’ll answer this also.

      1,Yes to the cast iron
      2,Nope, not broil! put it on the highest temperature for baking. Broiling is not what you want.

      Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out.

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Marco on July 21, 2019 at 8:32 pm

        Hey Gemma!

        Yes you answered my question! Thought that it disappeared and made another one!

        Thank you for answering the second one as well and I’ll let you know! 😀

        Marco

  6. Marco on July 19, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Hello Gemma!

    Im planning to make your pizza dough some time next week and I saw that you used a cast iron griddle for your pizza!

    Is it possible to substitute that with a 12 inch cast iron pan?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2019 at 7:47 pm

      Yes absolutely Marco feel free to use your cast-iron pan. Also a pizza stone or a thick baking tray will work well.

      Best of luck,
      Gemma.

  7. Babe on July 18, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    yep that is exactly what happened…trying to cut calories.. better stop doing that huh?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2019 at 5:10 pm

      That’s Murphy’s law 🙂

      Gemma.

  8. Simia on July 18, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Could I substitute the regular flour with a gluten free flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Simia,

      Sorry for my late reply. Gluten free flour can be really tricky to substitute here. We have not had any success yet.

      We are working on a gluten free pizza for the website so stay tuned :).

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. Pauline on July 18, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Gemma

    That pizza looks delicious. I have a question. Can a rolling pin be used to roll out the dough?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      Yes Pauline you absolutely can use a rolling pin. I do that also. Just make sure you form a crust so you have that rim.

      Post photos when you are done 🙂
      Gemma.

  10. Babe Netz on July 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    cheese cake flopped…does half and half count as cream?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm

      HI,

      half and half doesn’t whip so it would make your cheesecake really soft and not hold it’s shape. Is that what happened?

      Gemma.

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