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Homemade Pizza the Way the Italians Make It

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I’ve literally been trying out and testing this recipe for years. The dough is simple, like the one you find in many recipes online, but they key to perfection lies in the method and the baking tricks which guarantee optimum baking even in an ordinary home oven, as explained below.

If you don’t have time, you can use my recipe for pizza “al taglio” which you can make in less than 2 hours. Or, if you want to try pizza made with sourdough, click here.

Homemade Pizza the Way the Italians Make It

Ingredients

Yields 3 pizzas about 30 cm in diameter

Clicca qui per acquistare la Farina Caputo per Pizza
  • 450-480 g Four 00 medium strength (W230-260) for example Caputo Pizzeria. Or a mix of regular flour and manitoba (high in gluten) 
  • 250-300g Water, room temperature
  • 10 g Salt
  • 2-3 g fresh yeast  (or 1.5 g dry yeast)

Tools

Procedimento Pizza fatta in Casa

  • Mix water and 250 grams of flour and knead for about 2 minutes

  • Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. This will make the dough more elastic, particularly if you’re using a “weak” flour, with a low gluten/ protein content

  •  Start kneading  again
  • Add yeast (dissolved in a little water, if you wish)
  • Mix in 50 grams of four
  • When the flour is well blended in, add salt
  • Add flour a little at a time
  • Knead for about 15-20 minutes to get a smooth, firm dough

  • Let dough rest on worktop
  • Cover the dough with cling film/saran wrap so it doesn’t form a cuticle

  • Cover  with a dishcloth

  • Let dough rise for 2 hours
  • Separate the dough into 250 – 300 g pieces
  • Make round little balls

  • Let pieces rise in an airtight container which you had previously greased with a little oil

  • Let rise for 5-6 more hours

  • Pre-heat oven at the highest temperature (250-300°C)
  • Flatten the dough leaving a border about 2 cm thick
  • You can use  your hands to flatten the dough
  • Add tomato, cheese and condiments to your taste

  • For pizza Margherita, use tomato, mozzarella cheese (for best results, use fresh cheese) and drizzle a little olive oil
  • Bake for 4-6 minutes

The key to a good pizza is quick baking (under 5 minutes, if possible) at a high temperature.

This is often impossible in a home oven. Use one of the following techniques to improve home baking.

Baking on firestone

I think baking on firestone is the closest you can get to baking in a real pizzeria oven. If you don’t have a firestone, click here to find out where to get one.

  • Pre-heat oven at the highest  temperature keeping the firestone 10 cm from the top of the oven, where the heat source is. In a gas oven, place firestone as near as possible to heat source at the bottom of the oven.
  • Heat for about 45-60 minutes. The firestone must be very hot.
  • Stretch the dough on a wooden paddle  which you previously sprinkled with flour
  • Top pizza with your favorite condiments
  • Use the paddle to transfer pizza and bake directly on firestone
  • Bake for 4-6 minutes. Short baking time doesn’t dry up the toppings, leaving them soft and flavorful.

Crunchy border on the outside and soft on the inside

Two-step baking on mesh baking sheet

If you don’t have a firestone you can use this technique and bake the dough for a couple of minutes without toppings. This allows for the dough to dry up a little so that when you add condiments you can just bake it for a few extra minutes and they won’t dry up.

  • Pre-heat oven to the maximum temperature (250c-300c)
  • Stretch the dough and pace it on the baking sheet ( possibly a mesh sheet which allows heat to go through)
  • Bake for maximum 2 minutes. You  will see the dough start to form bubbles. Don’t let the bubbles rise more than 2-3 cm, or let the surface burn

  • Take the baking sheet out of the oven
  • Add toppings
  • Place pizza back into the oven for about 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the oven.

Notice how well the bottom part bakes with this trick

Two-step baking

If your home oven doesn’t reach very high temperatures and it takes more than 5 minutes to bake a pizza, or if the cheese comes out dry or burnt, use this trick:

After stretching the dough and adding the tomato, put the pizza in the oven

  • Bake for about 3-4 minutes

  • Remove from oven
  • Quickly add cheese and other toppings to your liking
  • Place pizza back in the oven and finish baking (4-6 minutes)

You can modify baking times according to your oven.

Click here for the video recipe of my Sourdough pizza and, if you’re in a hurry, you can find my quick pizza “al taglio” recipe right here

Happy pizza everyone and send me pics on [email protected]  or share on our Facebook page

Ciao

Vittorio

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