Pizza is one of the most popular dishes in the world. It seems very simple to make: dough, cheese, sauce, and toppings to taste. But for some reason, in some restaurants we are ready to order pizza again and again, while in others we don’t want to go back. We decided to ask a professional pizzaiolo what tips and tricks help turn this dish into a culinary masterpiece.
If you ask an expert to make an Italian pizza, he will ask to clarify what kind. The fact is that each region of Italy has its own cooking techniques: Roman, Neapolitan, Ligurian, panzerotti and others. An interesting fact: in Italy, pizza is protected by law. According to the standards, the pizza cannot be more than 35 centimeters in diameter, and its thickness should not exceed 2 centimeters. In addition, no technique or tools can be used to knead the dough, only your hands.
Since the first prototype pizza recipe has undergone many changes. Today, there are cooking techniques that allow you to create a true culinary masterpiece.
7 major secrets of a perfect Roman pizza, which only professional pizzaiolo know:
1. Use only mozzarella.
Mozzarella is a soft type of cheese that spreads evenly on the pizza when melted. It makes the pizza tender and juicy, literally melts in your mouth. A huge mistake is to use hard types of cheese, although they give a nice more tart flavor, but they melt much worse and do not give juiciness. You can add them, but only together with mozzarella.
2. Cooking pizza in the oven
Technology does not stand still: everyone has long been accustomed to electric ovens. But to cook real pizza, you should use an oven, such as a deck oven with a natural stone. That way, the pizza will have a crisp crust and a soft middle.
3. You should use Italian flour.
The dough is the most important part of the pizza. To make it airy, use Italian soft wheat flour with a degree of grinding 00. Some restaurants and delivery services make the dough more complex: use a mix of wheat, rice, and oat flour.
The dough should ferment for 24 hours.
The dough recipe is very simple: yeast, flour and water. But there is one secret to making the perfect base – leave the dough to mature for 24-48 hours. This way it will be moderately puffy and tender.
5. Use tomato paste.
To make real Italian pizza, you should use tomato paste, not ketchup. Ketchup is a sauce that contains preservatives and thickeners. And pasta is a natural product obtained by grinding ripe tomatoes. The secret lies in the richness of flavor.
6. The toppings should be baked with the base
Opinions differ about pizza making techniques. Some people think you should bake the dough base first and then add the toppings. But we recommend baking the entire pizza at once: the cheese is more stretchy and the toppings themselves taste better when baked. The only ingredient that should definitely be added at the end is the greens.
7. Bake the pizza at high temperatures
As mentioned earlier, the perfect pizza is cooked in an oven. The temperature in it reaches the 280 degree Celsius mark. It seems that at these temperatures any dish will simply burn. But professional pizzaiolo know how much you need to keep the pizza on the fire, so it turns out crispy but juicy.
Now you know that everyone’s favorite pizza is not such a simple dish. Real pizza should be tender but with a crispy crust; thin but airy; juicy but not falling apart in your hands. Cooking the perfect Italian pizza takes skill, but the result is definitely worth it.