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I’m going to let you in on a few secrets. Secrets that I’ve learned from trial and error, catching the oven on fire (true story), burning my hand, dropping the pizza, burning the dough, burning the pizza… and the list goes on.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned:

1. The hotter the oven, the better.

While you may not think to put your oven on 500f, you should. I was a little bit afraid, I admit. That’s just… HOT! The first time I put it on 500f, I started an oven fire. I really did. Dirty ovens can start fires. The best thing to do before putting your oven on anything over 350f, is making sure it’s clean of food, debris, dripping OIL (oops).

2. Using a pizza stone.

A pizza stone is the best way to make pizza at home. There is just something magical about the pizza stone (which I found for $5 at Target!). It gives you that crispy, delicious crust. Make sure the pizza stone is heated first, before you put the dough on. The trick: put the pizza stone in the oven while the oven is preheating. Make your pizza on parchment paper. Transfer pizza & parchment to the pizza stone! Super easy.

3. Fresh dough works best.

Whatever you do, please do not buy those already made pizza crusts. Did you know you can actually go to your local bakery or the bakery at your grocery store and ASK them for fresh pizza dough? YES! It is delicious, comes in a bag… take it home and let it rise in the fridge for an hour or so. You will then have a fluffy, crispy pizza.

4. Corn meal makes it crunchy.

Mixing a little corn meal together with olive oil and rubbing it on the bottom of the dough before baking is the BEST way to get a crispy crunchy crust. You can even rub a little corn meal on the top of the dough too.

5. Fresh Mozzarella for the win.

Whole Milk Mozzarella is amazing. It’s bubbly, it’s fluffy, it tastes like heaven. When you use fresh mozzarella, you will get that bubbly, browned cheese that you could only dream about. You can cut it in circles or purchase shredded mozz.

6. Less water in sauce, the better.

If there is too much water in your pizza sauce, it will leave your dough mushy and undercooked. The best thing to do is use fresh tomatoes, cut in slices… or a tomato pesto/paste.

However, if you don’t want to get all fancy schmancy, you can easily make Mini Pizza Bagels.

You will just need:

Bagels
Cheese
Mini Pepperonis
Tomato Sauce
Toppings of choice

These can be made in oven or microwave. The kids will love to help!

Put sauce on bagels, cover with cheese, toppings. Bake for 10 minutes in 350f oven or for 1-2 minutes in microwave.

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