This post is the next installment in my sponsored content partnership with Craftsy. This time, I took Peter Reinhart’s Perfect Pizza at Home course. It was amazing and changed my relationship with homemade pizza forever. Read on for more!
I’ve long been of the belief that even bad pizza can be good, if the circumstances are right. For instance, free pizza that appears in your workplace around lunchtime. It doesn’t have to be particularly excellent pizza in order for the ravaging hordes to descent and empty those boxes in record time.
Also in this category is pizza eaten at the airport during a layover, pizza obtained in the late night hours after one too many drinks, and pizza provided by friends after you’ve helped them move.
And, until last week, this category included my own homemade pizza.
Years ago, I got myself a pizza stone and tried to up my homemade pizza game. However, every attempt yielded gummy, tough crusts and toppings that slide right off the slice with the first bite. I kept making it, because of my belief that even bad pizza could be good. In my heart, I knew it could be better, but I never took the time to make it so.
Happily, it has all changed thanks to Peter Reinhart’s free Perfect Pizza at Home course. This is a class offered by Craftsy and it has totally changed my homemade pizza ways.
The class is broken up into five sections. After a quick introduction, Peter goes into a primer on dough. I was interested to learn that you get far better dough incorporation if you use your mixer’s paddle rather than the kneading hook for the dough. I had always assumed that the hook was best.
I appreciated the variety of dough options that were offered in that section (hooray for the part whole wheat crust). I was also taken by instructions to pull and fold the dough every five minutes. It didn’t take any major kneading to create a light, perfectly chewy dough and I’ll be doing it this way from here on out.
Next up was the segment on sauces and cheese. I’ll confess that I already have a favorite pizza sauce (the recipe is in Preserving by the Pint), but it was liberating to be told that a bit of cheddar cheese tossed with your mozzarella is perfectly acceptable.
I think I learned the most from the making and baking segment. There are so many good tips about shaping your dough into the pizza shape (make sure to let the dough rest in between stretching attempts, or it will keep bouncing back) and getting the pizza stone good and hot (crank the oven as high as it will go and heat the stone for much longer than you’d think).
I was also encouraged by the gluten-free pizza unit. My sister can’t handle the gluten and I love the idea that I can still make her delicious, satisfying pizza.
If you want to take the Perfect Pizza at Home class, click here to register!
For more on my year-long partnership with Craftsy, head over to the first post in the series, all about my experience taking their free Knife Skills course.
Official disclosure statement: This post was sponsored by Craftsy. I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions remain entirely my own.
There’s definitely something about homemade pizza, isn’t there? I used to have a ritual of Friday night pizza nights. Make the dough Thursday, let it rest in the fridge, and take it out when I get home Friday evening. I think I need to get back into that!
I love Peter Reinhart: his whole grain breads cookbook is a staple. I think my pizza game is pretty good, but I may check this out anyway – there’s always something new to learn!
Any advice on the best pizza stone to buy? I love homemade pizza but on a regular pan the bottom never seems to get very crispy so I’m thinking of investing in a pizza stone. Which ones do people like???
Mine was a cheapie from Marshalls and it’s been great for the longest time.
My stone is by Pampered Chef and I love it, not only for pizza but for browning biscuits, etc.
I have taken the Craftsy class on home- made pasta with G. hazan and cannot say enough good things about it. I make great fresh pasta all the time!!
I have some recipes I like and a stone but I always end up having…. Mechanics issues I guess? The dough hook vs paddle thin is a good tip, and the bouncing back explaination, too. Is there a bit on the transferring of the pie to the over after it is topped? And getting it back out?? If so, I’m sold, since those are my biggest at home pizza failure points….
Tried the free tutorial and its great! i hope many will try doing homemade pizza for their love ones.