Ice Cubes Are The Secret To Making Bare Pizza That's Not Terribly Dry

For too long, we've grown accustomed to pizzas laden with hot, delicious sauce. However, bare pizzas have risen in popularity, and for good reason. The sauceless pies give space for other flavors to shine through. Yet, if you've ever made your own bare pizza at home, it's not exactly restaurant-quality. That's probably because there's one crucial ingredient missing: ice cubes.

Sauce and pizza are seemingly inseparable, not only due to the former's robust flavor, but because it gives the baked dough a moist feel. Otherwise, it'd end up like a pita that's been left in the oven for too long. However, sauce isn't necessary for a hydrated pie when ice cubes can serve that same purpose. Without the layer of cheese and sauce to protect your delicate dough from the high temperatures, the pizza will inevitably dry out.

A few ice cubes will give the dough a steady stream of moisture while stopping it from browning under the heat. Scatter a handful of ice cubes onto the dough, avoiding the crust. With their weight, the ice cubes will keep the dough from rising along with the crust. Once baked, the center should be sufficiently wet, ready for a sprinkle of cheese or drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Do the ice cubes change the taste of the pizza dough?

Unless you're working with particularly dirty water, the ice cubes won't alter the flavor of the pizza. After all, the true taste will come from the toppings you add to it later. However, if you really want to infuse your pizza dough with incredible flavor, make good use of your ice cube trays and freeze some fresh herbs. An ice cube filled with sprigs of your favorite aromatics aren't just for cocktails: They can also bring a subtle herbaceous taste to bare pizza.

Fill ice cubes with thyme leaves and buds of lavender for a sweet, savory pizza. Add your favorite fruits and veggies to the pizza once the cubes have melted into the center and the crust has risen. Add slices of nectarines with olive oil-massaged kale on top, and top it off with a splash of lemon juice.

Give your creamy cacio e pepe pizza a hint of earthy sweetness with plenty of minced basil in ice cubes. The piquant herbs amp up the black pepper in the cacio e pepe, giving the pizza a peppery bite. Finish the gourmet pizza off with a drizzle of olive oil and a crackle of more black pepper for good measure.