This Valentine’s Day, consider making a heart-shaped dish that everyone will love—pizza. Sound good? Sweet! I’m going to rundown some great gear for making heart-shaped pizzas at home. After all, what better way to let someone know that you love them than making them a meal they will love? Seriously. Is there a better way? ‘Cause the path to my heart is through my stomach.
If using pepperoni, major bonus points if you also cut each piece of meat into a mini heart:
Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
First, you want to focus on the dough. It’s the foundation of your pie. For most ‘zas, the dough is where you’re going to make or break your pizza. And, yes, while pizza is pizza is pizza, we all know that, really, they’re not all created equal. Another reason you focus on the dough first? Because you need to give it some time to rise. A stand mixer with a dough hook will help you get the job done right, and well. Sure, stand mixers can get pricey, but once you have one, you can buy attachments to use for all types of things—from making pasta, to baking cakes, to making your own ground meat or sausage. Check out this classic Kitchen-Aid model. (And try this Homemade Pizza Dough recipe.)
KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $278 on Amazon
Dough Storage Container
Once you’ve made your dough, you’ll need to store it in your refrigerator to let the yeast go to work—to make the perfect pizza pie, you’ll want to let the dough sit for at least a day. That’s why you need lidded containers; I like this set from Oxo. Put the dough in one of these, place it in the fridge, and in a day or two, it’ll be ready to roll (pun definitely intended—though, actually, you should never use a rolling pin on pizza dough; hand-stretching the crust is the way to go)!
OXO Good Grips Smart Seal Leakproof Plastic Food Storage Container Set, $29.95 on Amazon
If you’re making a heart-shaped pizza, you’ll need to shape your dough appropriately. The easiest way to do that is to get a heart-shaped pan that’s big enough to make a two-person pie. You don’t need to stretch the dough into it, but you can trace the heart shape onto parchment to make a template. Looking to go rustic, or perhaps a little abstract (or all the heart-shaped pans are back-ordered at this point)? By all means, just eyeball it!
Wilton Giant Heart-Shaped Cookie Pan, $6.29 on Amazon
Before you sauce this magnificent heart-shaped carby goodness, you need to prep your cooking equipment. Unless you have a pizza oven (I’m jealous), you’ll be using a conventional one. The problem with conventional ovens for pizza-making is that they don’t get hot enough, especially for the crust. To solve this problem, enter the pizza stone.
Pizza stones can withstand high temperatures, and are made with porous materials that properly remove moisture. The result? A crust you can be proud of (pro tip: make sure the dough is at room temperature before placing on a piping hot stone). Before you top your dough, place your stone in the oven, and preheat to 500 degrees (the max for standard ovens). This one looks pretty boss.
Emile Henry Glazed Clay Pizza Stone, $55 on Amazon
Related Reading: Pizza Stone vs Pizza Steel
You might be wondering, “How do I take my dough and get it onto a piping hot pizza stone in the oven without burning myself, suffering stickage, or the dough falling apart?” With a pizza peel, that’s how! Dust the peel with cornmeal—enough to ensure the dough can slide—and it’s ready to receive your dough, and transfer it onto the stone. I like the look of this one because it has a foldable handle—great for storage.
Chef Pomodoro Aluminum Pizza Peel with Foldable Wood Handle, $29.99 on Amazon
Topping It Off
Now you’re ready to sauce and top! I’m not going to tell you not to use bottled pizza sauce. If you have something you love, go with it. But, if you’re hoping to make your own sauce at home, you’ll want a blender. Just throw all your ingredients in, blend, and pronto! Pizza sauce. In the market for a new blender? Try this one. Have a blender but need a recipe for it? Try this no-cook pizza sauce.
KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender, $79 on Amazon (originally $129.99)
If you like veggies on your pizza (I actually do not), you will need to cut them up before topping your pie. No problem. With a solid set of knives, and a cutting board, you’ll be in business. Don’t have a cutting board? Check these out!
HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board, 3 for $16.97 on Amazon
And if you want to cut your toppings into miniature hearts but don’t trust your knife skills, invest in some cookie cutters.
Wilton 6-Piece Nesting Heart Shaped Cutters, $4.60 on Amazon
Serving It Up
You’ve reached the point when your pizza comes out of the oven and is nearly ready to consume. The only thing you need to do before enjoying your creation is cut it. There are two implements you can use.
First, the standard pizza cutter wheel. Simple. Streamlined. Gets the job done.
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pizza Wheel, $12.99 on Amazon
If you want to look like a real-deal chef at a pizzeria, though, a pizza cutter rocker blade is the way to go. Whatever you go with, just remember these are meant for cutting, so keep them away from kids.
Checkered Chef Rocker Pizza Cutter, $12.95 on Amazon
With all this gear, you should be able to make sensational heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. Not only is it a meal that’s easily shaped, and therefore, easily themed, it’s a meal everyone is bound to love. From kids, to significant others, to parents and grandparents, everyone loves pizza, and if you make them one for Valentine’s Day, they’ll know you love them too!
Lou Malnati's Heart-Shaped Pizza Gift Package, $64.99 on Amazon
An even easier option that also happens to be available online.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.