Americans love pizza. The aroma of garlic and fresh herbs works its magic on our senses. A combination of tangy tomato sauce, bubbling cheese and fresh toppings invites us to indulge in just one more piece. And that’s just the start of the possibilities.
For delicious taste bite-after-bite, getting the crust right is critical. Get the crispy snap of a thin crust by using an unglazed pizza stone heated for at least 30 minutes in a hot oven. Assemble your pizza on parchment paper and slide paper onto the stone. After cooling the stone completely, scrub and rinse with plain water—stones absorb soaps. Or try our surprising stove-top pizza in an iron skillet. A heavy metal pan works well for deep dish or thin-crust pizzas. Dough goes directly on the lightly oiled surface. If your crust gets too dark, nest two pans together to provide an air cushion. The secret to our deep-dish pizza is cheddar cheese baked right into the crust.
To save time and make it easier to roll, make your dough ahead, rub on a little olive oil and store overnight in the refrigerator. Love a thin crispy crust? Choose an all-purpose flour with lower protein. Maybe you’re a fan of chewy, yeast-raised crusts. Make sure half the flour is high-protein semolina or bread flour to get that strong, elastic structure. Experiment with unbleached or whole wheat flours.
Top a pizza according to its crust—heavier toppings on thick crust and light toppings on thin.