Could there possibly be a more classic family favourite meal than pizza? It’s one of the few foods that pretty much everyone can agree on. But what if you’re in the mood for something really traditional? Sure, deep-pan pizzas might be a real treat and even the controversial Chicago-style pizza has its fans, but nothing quite compares to the classic taste of a traditional Italian style pizza. But how do you go about bringing that taste of Italy into your own home? Here are a few tips on how to cook the perfect Italian style pizza.
Let your dough rise slowly
Most recipes will tell you to let pizza dough rise in a warm place for a couple of hours. I’m here to tell you to throw that advice out the window! If you’ve ever wondered how to get that perfect pizza crust flavour that seems to be the exclusive domain of head chefs and Italian nonnas, here’s the answer: a slow, cold rise. Letting your pizza dough slowly rise in the fridge overnight means that the flavours are going to develop far more than if you let it rise more quickly in a warm spot. Sure, this means that you’re going to have to plan ahead a little more, but it really is an infinitely better result for no extra work!
Turn up the heat
A sad fact of life is that the ovens that most of us have in our kitchens simply aren’t built to handle the kind of heat that you need to make a decent pizza. Sure, if you want to go for the thick, doughy, deep-pan pizza then your kitchen oven will do fine. But if you want that perfect, thin, Neapolitan crust, then there’s no better choice than something like the wood fired pizza oven, Ooni Karu. This kind of pizza oven reaches temperatures that your regular oven couldn’t even dream of, letting you get perfect pizza in minutes, rather than an overcooked cracker topped with half melted cheese.
Don’t go crazy with the toppings
There’s a word that Italians use “abbondanza.” It literally means abundance. Usually, it’s something to be appreciated, but when it comes to pizza, you’re better off avoiding it. If you overload your pizza dough with sauce and toppings, it’s never going to cook properly. It’s going to come out soggy and messy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t put on whatever toppings you like, just be careful with how much you’re using. The last thing you want is to pull your pizza out of the oven and you’re stuck with a soupy mess that you can barely pick up.
Of course, for as many rules as there are to follow, one of the most wonderful things about pizza is just how incredibly versatile it is. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find a way to make it work as a pizza topping. There are few things more fun than being able to experiment and figure out how to put just a little bit of your personality into every slice!