‘Pizza!’ Hearing this term itself is enough to make any person crave for one at that very right moment.
There is a never-ending love for pizza! The thought of having one makes almost everyone slide into their comfortable space and consider breaking their diets to enjoy this wonderful delicacy. That is the degree of delightfulness a pizza has!
It isn’t easy to find someone who doesn’t love pizza. Frozen or fresh, restaurant-quality or homemade, pizza is something that people all over the world enjoy.
With its versatility to add different toppings, people from different countries customize their pizzas according to the toppings available and the flavors they enjoy leading to the invention of some unique flavored pizzas.
As much as anyone loves having pizza, visiting restaurants or order is not always feasible, especially since the pandemic. It, however, must not stop people from enjoying their favorite food.
A simple solution to this problem is to make your own pizza at home. This will stop you from burning holes in your pocket and let you make healthier versions of pizza without compromising on the taste.
However, we must also consider that not everyone has a conventional oven to make pizza at their homes. Some may not afford an oven, and some kitchens may only have the space and facilities to accommodate a toaster oven.
Whatever may be the reason there is no need to get disheartened as one can easily make a pizza in a toaster oven. Interestingly, while using a toaster oven, people will also be saving on electricity as it draws only half the wattage of a conventional. Now isn’t that awesome?
Disadvantages of making pizza in a toaster oven
Having mentioned the benefit, it won’t be fair to not address the issues one might face while making pizza in a toaster oven. Keeping these points into consideration will help avoid any cooking mistakes and also warn people of the mishaps that they may encounter during the process of making the perfectly baked pizza:
Keep an eye on the Pizza
One drawback of a toaster oven is that it has certain hotspots. Therefore, it may result in the food getting burnt or overcooked. To avoid this problem, proper rotation of the pizza is necessary. One can ensure that by keeping a close eye on it while it is getting baked.
Using a toaster oven for baking may sometimes result in uneven baking of the pizza. Some parts may be fully cooked, while others may still be gooey and uncooked. It usually happens due to the close positioning of the oven’s heating elements to the cooking rack.
One may need to make some alterations to their recipe to make pizza in a toaster oven. The significant change to make is to replace the thick crust with a thin one for the base to cook better. Though not compulsory, this change will contribute to better cooking of the pizza.
Some people, however, only enjoy a thick crust. Are you one of those? No problem! Here’s a solution to this. First, bake the crust until it is almost 80% cooked and then take it out. Next, add the toppings to the base and put them back inside the oven to finish the cooking process. Easy peasy!
Use Grates or a Pizza Stone
Instead of using a pizza pan for cooking a pizza in a toaster oven, one is more likely to get better results using grates. An even better option is to use a pizza stone as it retains heat much better than a baking pan.
How to make the Pizza Base?
The primary step to set off the pizza-making process is the preparation of the pizza base. Although nowadays, we have the convenience of buying ready-made pizza crusts, it definitely cannot beat the freshness of the homemade crust. However, with their hectic life schedules, I understand why people opt to buy their pizza bases.
For the people who choose to make their pizza bases at home, here is a simple, step-by-step, and easy-to-make recipe to make your fresh pizza base with ingredients that are, at most times, readily available at home.
- 3-4 cups of warm water
- One teaspoon of sugar
- One packet of active dry yeast
- 2 cups of flour (and some extra to knead the dough properly)
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- One teaspoon of salt
- Seasonings like chilli flakes, oregano etc. (optional)
- Herbs like rosemary, thyme if you want to add any (optional)
Toaster Oven Pizza Base Recipe
- Step 1: In a bowl, add 3-4 cups of warm water with one teaspoon of sugar and let it dissolve. Next, add one yeast packet into the mixture and set it aside for 10 minutes or until it gets puffy.
- Step 2: In a separate bowl, add 2 cups of flour, two tablespoons of olive oil and the optional herbs and seasonings.
- Step 3: Once the yeast is puffy, add it to the flour bowl and stir the mixture continuously with the spoon’s handle until it takes the shape of a ball.
- Step 4: Once the desired ball-like shape of the dough takes shape, put it on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth and a little bouncy. Lightly cover the dough with some extra flour to save it from getting sticky.
- Step 5: Drizzle some olive oil in the bowl, put the dough back in to coat it with the oil.
- Step 6: Cover the dough bowl with a plastic wrap or a damp cloth and set it aside to rise for a minimum time of 30 minutes.
- Step 7: Once it is time to make the pizza, roll the dough into the desired shape with a roller and prick the entire base with a fork. It helps the crust to cook evenly and adequately.
Step-By-Step Guide To Making Pizza In A Toaster Oven
Finally, we have reached the point where we tell you how you can go about making a pizza with your toaster oven. It’s a straightforward recipe that can be followed even by amateurs. So here it is!
- Pizza base (both home-made and store-bought will do)
- Pizza sauce (if not available, one can also use tomato ketchup as an alternative by adding oregano and chilli flakes to it)
- Cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or any type of cheese available)
- Desired topping (bell peppers, corn, onion, tomato, olives, mushroom, chicken, pepperoni or anything else you like)
- Step 1: Prepare the base and prick it evenly with a fork as it helps in the cooking process.
- Step 2: Spread out the pizza sauce evenly over the base.
- Step 3: Add a generous cheese over the sauce coated base and add the desired toppings.
- Step 4: Once ready to be baked, preheat the toaster oven at a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes by turning both the top and bottom buttons.
- Step 5: Once the timer sets for 10 minutes, grease the tray or pizza stone (whatever you’re using) with some oil so that the base doesn’t stick to it.
- Step 6: After the timer goes off, it’s time to cook the pizza. Make sure to put it on the greased tray and then inside the oven.
- Step 7: Put the oven on bake mode, set the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit and let it bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Step 8: Once cooked, the timer goes off, and the pizza is ready to be taken out. (Don’t forget to use gloves)
- Step 9: Add the desired seasonings to the now cooked pizza, and voila! Home-cooked toaster oven pizza is ready to be devoured.
Reheating a Pizza in a Toaster Oven
Not only can you bake a pizza in a toaster oven, you may also use the oven to reheat leftover pizza. Here is your guide reheat a pizza on a toaster oven:
- Step 1: Make sure the oven is on convection mode as it speeds up the cooking process and makes sure that the pizza properly cooks. If your oven only has the bake setting, there is no need to worry, as it will only take a few more minutes for the pizza to cook.
- Step 2: Once the toaster oven is ready for cooking, put the slice on the rack and cook it for 5-10 minutes but not more than that. It is also important to remember to set a lower temperature not to overcook the pizza ( check for the correct temperature settings if you’re unsure). Follow these steps accordingly, and the outcome is a perfectly reheated pizza.
How is a toaster oven different from a conventional oven?
Following are the characteristics that differentiate the toaster oven from a conventional oven.
- Size- Toaster ovens are smaller in size and accommodate one pizza at a time. Conventional ovens are comparatively bigger and can cook 2-3 pizzas simultaneously. Therefore, it is convenient to feed more people with conventional pizzas.
- Energy consumption- A toaster oven consumes much less energy, thus saving on electricity. It makes it the greener choice compared to the conventional oven, which requires twice the energy of a toaster.
- Installation- A toaster oven doesn’t need to be installed. On the other hand, a conventional oven needs to be installed by professionals, which comes with additional costs.
- Operation- Toaster ovens are powered only by electricity, which makes them stop operating during their absence. On the other hand, a conventional oven comes with multiple choices for operation, including electricity, gas, and propane. So, even during a power cut, the cooking will resume using the gas stoves that will continue to operate.
See! It’s not that tough! So, next time you feel like having a pizza, don’t order in or go to a restaurant. Instead, follow this convenient recipe and enjoy at home a restaurant-quality pizza.