The act of topping a pizza is a gentle one. Use a light touch. Above all, try not to overload the pie, particularly its center, which will lead to an undercooked crust. Two to three tablespoons of sauce are all you need, and perhaps a small drizzle of olive oil, accompanied by a couple of other toppings.
We cook most of our pizzas in the oven, on top of a stone or a steel. But you can bake pizza in a sheet pan as well, or grill it outdoors. You can even cook a pizza on a stovetop.
BAKING IN THE OVEN
To bake a pizza in an oven, you’ll need either to do it on a stone or metal surface, or in a sheet pan. Either way, you should set the oven to its highest temperature and let it heat it for a full hour before you intend to cook.
If you are using a pizza stone, steel or a set of tiles, begin by placing it on the middle rack of the oven before you turn it on, allowing it to preheat for a hour.
When you’re ready to cook, carefully place your shaped dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or cutting board, or on the back of a baking pan. Gently shake the peel, board or pan back and forth a few times to make sure the dough can move, then add your toppings.
Pick up your pizza peel with the topped pie on top of it, and gently slide the pie onto the stone or tiles, starting at the back of the oven and working your way toward its front. Bake for about four to eight minutes, until the edges are a beautiful golden brown, and the sauce and cheese are bubbling nicely. Slide the peel back under the baked pizza to remove it from the oven, and then slide the pizza onto a cutting board, where it can be cut into slices.
If you are using a sheet pan, lightly oil the pan, then stretch the risen dough into the shape of the pan, then top and place in the oven until golden brown and bubbling.