Roll out your dough on a sheet of parchment paper. The dough sticks to the paper so that when you roll the dough out thin, it doesn’t spring back. You also cook the pizza on the paper, which makes getting it in and out of the oven simple: slide the paper off the peel into the oven, slide the paper back onto the peel, and out of the oven. You will especially appreciate this if you’ve ever tried to shove a sticky pizza off a peel and had the pizza fold over on itself into a monstrous taco. (“Peel” is the name for the oversized spatula you use to transfer the pizza to and from the oven.)


To prevent bubbles when heated, poke holes across the rolled-out dough’s surface all the way to the edge. You can use a fork for this. I use the pointy side of a meat tenderizer hammer. Don’t hit the pizza. Press.


It’s tempting to compensate for those times you thought Pizza Hut skimped on your pizza’s toppings. Resist. Just because there are 16 ounces of shredded cheese in that package doesn’t mean you should pile all of them on your pizza. If you’re putting spinach on your pizza, remember: you’re not making a salad. Your pizza will be in the oven for less than 10 minutes, not nearly enough time to cook through Mt. McKinley.


A baking stone is fine, but in my oven, a steel runs 20-or-so degrees hotter for a crispier crust.


I have never made a perfectly round pizza. I have tried. Mine approximate the shape of Australia.