There are many, many ways to make pizza, just as there are hundreds of ways to make an especially delicious and unique pizza. Each country has its specialties and ingredients but that’s not all. To get the perfect pizza you don’t need the planets to align, you just need to be clear that a good pizza depends on four factors:
- The quality of the ingredients to be used.
- The experience and practice of the cook.
- A good pizza dough
- And last but not least a good pizza oven.
Pizza is one of the most delicious and sought-after preparations of Italian gastronomy.
You can find pizza lovers almost anywhere in the world and it is thanks to that that there are so many varied recipes, methods, and styles of preparation, to the point that you could make a different one every day of the month.
But as we already mentioned, a good pizza depends on some details although the truth is that the secret of a good pizza is not only in a good sauce or the best cheese, if you want to prepare the best pizza you must focus on a good dough; Food.com best Pizza Dough.
Table of Contents
Choose your pizza crust.
Making a pizza is a simple task that involves complicated processes. To make it you need basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, however, the process of elaboration involves a few physicochemical reactions that occur one by one. Let’s distinguish between three variants of crust: the Neapolitan pizza, the Roman Pizza, and the Chicago-style pizza.
Traditional or Neapolitan dough
The city of Naples, Italy, was the birthplace of pizza; it was conceived with few ingredients -basil, tomato, and cheese- and thick bread edges. Despite its coarse appearance, the dough in this type of pizza does not admit any type of fat; only water, flour, yeast (beer or natural), and salt.
The oven for a Neapolitan pizza should remain below 300� Celsius (C) for gradual and consistent cooking.
Thin or Roman dough
Without losing its distinctive round shape, in this type of pizza, the dough is very thin and practically without edges. Tradition dictates that this dough is made with wheat flour, water, yeast (or sourdough), salt in such proportions that it is hard and consistent, and olive oil, although if a crispier crust is desired, sunflower oil can be used.
The oven for Roman pizza must be above 300 Degrees Celceus to achieve a thin, crispy crust.
Chicago-style or deep-dish crust
Created by an American, son of Italian immigrants, this type of pizza has become popular all over the world. The authentic Chicago-style pizza, which resembles a pie, has a thick, deep, and crispy bread base, filled with cheese and tomato sauce.
Its preparation begins with a simple and thick layer of dough made with olive oil and coarse corn flour without germ; it is placed in a deep round pan so that the dough rises to the edge.
It is then baked in the oven and the pizza oven never exceeds 200 degrees C. The pan is usually generously oiled to create the effect that the edge is fried.
Combining the Ingredients
There are two ways to combine the ingredients:
- The first is to mix all the dry ingredients (Yeast, Flour, Salt, and Sugar) and all the liquid ingredients (Water and Olive Oil) separately and then put them together.
- The second, which is also one of the most used, is to dissolve the yeast in the water and slowly add the flour, sugar, olive oil, and finally salt.
Kneading the pizza dough
Whether for a thicker and fluffier as in Naples or for a thin and crispy dough in the North American style, to succeed with our pizza you have to start with a good kneading of a rich homemade dough. Do not fall into the temptation to buy a commercial dough and then finish filling it, making pizza dough is quite simple and the result in taste and texture will be very different from the dough you can buy.
The Italians use 00 flour to make pizza dough, a very strong flour, especially for people with patience, because it needs long resting times of up to 24 hours, but it will surely reward you with a dough full of deep flavor that will be the envy of all your guests.
The kneading process is one of the most delicate because it depends on it the formation of the gluten mesh that will retain the fermentation gases favoring the honeycombing of the pizza. The ideal is to knead the pizza with a force so that it is smooth, but let it rest once or twice in the kneading process so that the dough becomes more elastic and the stretching process is easier.
The fermentation process
In the fermentation process, the pizza must be left to rest so that it doubles its volume. Two important factors are involved here, time and temperature. If the dough is warm during fermentation, the action of the yeast will be much faster and the resting time will also be shorter. However, the recommendation is to give the rest time as long as possible so that the flavor of the dough is very well concentrated.
The pizza dough is divided into balls of 200/300 gr, especially if you are going to make pizza in medium pans, each ball is kneaded gently to reorganize the gluten mesh and to obtain a light and digestible pizza.
To stretch the dough, the idea is to do it with your hands to get the desired shape, and you can even do it by turning it on your fingertips like an expert Italian pizza maker, but if either of these two ways is complicated, you can always resort to stretch it with a rolling pin, although it is not traditional it is basic.
One of the main advantages of a good fermentation process is that it will give you a fairly elastic pizza that will not break with the stretching process. The dough must be at the right point because if it is too sticky, it will be difficult to stretch and if it breaks it will be impossible.
The best ingredients for the perfect pizza
As with the dough, homemade ingredients are always going to be the best tasting. Although it may seem irrelevant, pizza made with canned San Marzano tomatoes will not be the same as pizza made with homemade tomatoes.
The same happens with the cheese, forget about those bags of grated cheese special for pizza, and do everything possible to acquire a good mozzarella cheese, the ideal is that you eliminate the water that it brings, to avoid moistening the dough.
One of the most important keys to achieving success with pizza in the oven. In the pizzerias, the ovens reach great temperatures, but at home, we will have to look for the best possible option among what we can have to achieve a perfect pizza. A nice outdoor pizza oven is the best options for cooking pizza at home.To cook the pizza more evenly and achieve a crispy crust, the ideal is to have a pizza stone that usually takes very high temperatures at the same time the oven is preheated.
Once the pizza is in the oven, which will help us with a special long-handled shovel for that task, we will leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Many pizza experts recommend precooking the dough alone or with a light layer of tomato for about three or four minutes before adding the filling. This way the dough loses a little elasticity and becomes very crispy. Then, once that short time has passed where the dough is cooked in white, we will add the filling we like and we will continue with the traditional cooking.
How to adapt pizza dough to your oven
To get the most out of the pizza dough in your oven, you must check two very important factors, the temperature, and humidity of the baking chamber. A good oven will provide even and constant heat throughout the space. Most outdoor ovens heat up to 500 degrees, so the temperature will not be a problem.
If it is a wood-fired oven, the heat from the fire radiates from the dome downward so that the pizza is well cooked with that particular golden color, we will have a crispy pizza on the outside and soft on the inside.
Related: Cooking Up a Taste of Italy: The Very Best Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe
The best pizza recipe should more or less follow these steps but, of course, there are at least as many pizza recipes as there are restaurants. The secret to a pizza being the best pizza in the world will depend on your taste and what you want to achieve. Neapolitan pizza, for example, was recently proclaimed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, has its codified rules but also has numerous regional variants such as focaccia Genovese, puccia pullesa or pinsa romana.
The success of a good pizza consists of trial and error, the more you practice the more you will learn and understand what mistakes you are making to improve them. With time you will surely prepare the best pizza recipes, but it all depends on a good pizza oven and the passion you put into the preparation.
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