The perfect pizza is a tall order, not least because ‘the perfect pizza’ is pretty subjective. For some, the perfect pizza has pineapple on it; for others, ‘perfect’ is a few basil leaves carefully placed on a Campania buffalo mozzarella and a sauce of San Marzano tomatoes grown in the fertile volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius, all baked in a woodfired pizza oven.
But regardless of the toppings, there are definitely utensils and tools that help you cook your perfect pizza.
Out of the gate, kitchen scales are vital for cooking the perfect pizza dough. You can play by ear, but to nail pizza dough every time, regardless of temperature, humidity and degree of absorption, weighing ingredients makes pizza making a whole lot easier.
Digital scales are ideal for accuracy, but the romance of a set of metal scales with weights is quite special.
Getting up close and personal with your pizza dough, you get to feel how the dough changes as you mix, knead and pull it. It becomes an intimate relationship between you and your pizza.
If you prefer an easy life and don’t need to get so involved with your pizza dough, a mixer with a dough hook will really help.
If you’re serious-serious about pizza making, woodfire ovens that hit 450˚C are perfect. Some run into the thousands, though, so if you want perfect but can’t run to the price, consider one of the smaller, gas-fired pizza ovens, which do a great job.
Because a domestic oven doesn’t get even close to the required 450˚C needed for a perfect pizza, the pizza stone gives the kitchen oven a fair chance at cooking a near-perfect pizza.
Keep your pizza stone carefully and it’ll last a good while. Never wash, don’t treat it with oil, keep it in the oven all the time (even when you’re not cooking pizza), preheat the stone with the oven (don’t put it in when then oven is already hot), never cook frozen pizza on a pizza stone. Happy pizza stone.
Nothing says ‘I’m serious about pizza’ more than a pizza peel. There are two types of peel: wooden and metal. The metal one transports your pizza from your kitchen counter into your hot oven. The wooden ones are for crafting your pizza before moving them to the oven.
Whichever you use, you need to work quickly and keep the pizza moving on the peel to stop if from sticking to the metal or wood.
No, a knife would NOT probably do. Everything pizza is fast and efficient, from the dough making to putting the toppings on to the highspeed cooking (if you have a pizza oven), so why slow the process down when it’s time to cut and eat?
A huge rocking blade is dramatic and very pizza serious, but try storing it. The pizza wheel does the same thing – keeps cheese and toppings in place and evenly cuts the pizza – without taking up kitchen space.
Now. Which will you get first?