One thing is quite clear: making a pizza like that of the Neapolitan pizzeria, or pizza by the cut, is not easy at all. This, despite the good will, the careful choice of flour, the care in kneading, the patience to make rise.
Assuming that, however, and unless you have a wood-burning oven or an appliance with exceptional performance in the kitchen, the home result will always be “different” from the professional one, certainly even amateurs can aspire to bring to the table a pizza worthy of the name.
Provided you do not make any mistakes, such as those I’m going to report.
1. SPREAD IT BADLY
The entire production process is aimed at ensuring that the dough incorporates as much air as possible. Whether you, the baker or the super who sell you the ready bowls (in favor of which I break here and now a spear), should not be scrambled.
Then, spread it quickly, spreading it with your fingertips, on the worktop floured or sprinkled with semolina, or directly on the cooking plate, if you like oiled.
Please do not use a rolling pin, which would crush the dough by letting the air out. And learn to act quickly.
Do you know how many seconds the pizza chef takes? Here, try to match it.
2. USE THE FIRST BAKING SHEET THAT HAPPENS
Pizza needs a lot, a lot of heat, especially underneath. The right support for cooking should be a material that heats up very quickly: number one, the blue iron, then the refractory stone or a thin aluminum, at least even a disposable baking tray.
In general, the oven plate is not suitable because it is too thick.
But if you heat it while you are bringing it up to temperature, remove it when it is hot, place the pizza on top and put it back in the oven, it can also go (the method applies to any other container).
3. STUFF THE WHOLE THING RIGHT AWAY.
Always peeking at the pizza maker, it should come naturally seasoning the pizza initially with tomato only and add the mozzarella just before the cooking is finished. If, on the contrary, you put the mozzarella immediately, you already know that it will easily burn and, in any case, will be destined to become hard and rubbery well before you have finished the tasting.
I know that there are those who bake the pizza “naked” and put the tomato after a few minutes. I guess it’s so as not to dampen the base. If the heat comes from the right side (see point 5), to me personally it seems a useless artifice, but you see.
On the quality of the tomato, I suggest a good pulp, in season of fresh ripe tomatoes, better if peeled and deprived of water and seeds, or peeled chopped. I find the sauce too creamy, but they taste.
It’s not a bad idea to drain the tomato, if very watery, in a sieve, as well as season it with salt and a little oil (but the oil can also be combined at the end, raw: they are tastes).
From the point of view of water, mozzarella is cursed.
To not serve a pizza-lake, use a mozzarella fiordilatte, not buffalo mozzarella, and a couple of days old, which will naturally be less moist, cut it into cubes and let them drain in a strainer, pressing a little with kitchen paper.
4. DON’T GIVE HER SOME REST.
Since you will not have been as good and quick as the pizza maker, a 20-30 minute rest between laying out, filling and baking can be good for you.
The dough, after the stress of your manipulations, will relax, swell again a little and will face more willingly seasoning and cooking.
5. USE THE OVEN AT RANDOM
The imperative is: you know your oven. There are those who have it exclusively static, some only ventilated, some a model that can only heat from below, someone that heats by force even above. Not to mention those that do not have a homogeneous heat and ends up burning in one place, in the other leave raw.
If these variables are easily manageable for roasts, baked potatoes, tarts and the like, when it comes to leavened products you need to think well about the characteristics and performance of your appliance.
I am from the party of the static oven with the heat from below and the pizza placed, in fact, as low as possible, the baking pan placed on the grill.
If the heat also comes from above and this function cannot be excluded, a good advice is to cover the pizza, in the first few minutes, with an upside-down baking sheet.
If the oven is ventilated, keep in mind that the heat will be more violent (cooking times will be shorter): in this case, the pizza should be placed at half height.
If, finally, the heat in your oven is not homogeneous, check and turn the pan so that the cooking, at the end, is uniform.
My error-saving tips are over. I have no doubt that I was wrong first, omitting something and explaining something else wrong. I apologize.
And to you, tell me your version of these and other errors. Revealing the secrets of your perfect home-made pizza.