Baking pizza: avoid these 9 mistakes!

What comes to mind when you think of Italian cuisine? Pizza, of course. After all, you can’t go wrong with a really good pizza. So if we don’t know what to eat tonight, pizza is always a good idea – either around the corner at the Italian restaurant or comfortably on the couch at home via delivery service.. However, in the case of the latter, we have at the EAT-KLUB doesn’t want to see you with a frozen pizza on the plate. We are big advocates of do-it-yourself. Nevertheless, pizza baking is also an art! Did you know that there are 9 classic pizza mistakes that many home cooks make? We will explain to you – so that the sloppy, home-baked treat really succeeds.

Mistakes when baking pizza: Number 1 – the wrong flour

Everyone probably has flour type 405 in their pantry – and it is therefore not surprising that this type of flour is also used to prepare the pizza dough. But if you appreciate an original Italian dough, you are making the wrong choice. Flour is not just flour, and it doesn’t just apply to pizza: Here you can find out which type of flour is used for which recipe.

Italians use completely different types of flour – like flour 0, which is also called Tipo 00 in Bella Italia. This variety prevents an excessively elastic structure and makes the dough deliciously soft.

However, this flour is not usually used alone for the dough, but is usually mixed with Manitoba flour. What is it again, you ask yourself? Manitoba flour is a flour with a particularly high gluten content that is generally suitable for all baked goods that need to rise for a long time. The flour provides an elastic, smooth texture. The dough will be loose and fine-grained. That’s how it should be! Just like in this recipe here!

You can find both types of flour online, at some bakeries or in well-stocked specialty stores. If you want to bake a pizza yourself more often, you should think about buying it. The perfect base for your pizza!

Mistake number 2 – the wrong amount of water

In addition to flour, water is of course also essential for a successful pizza dough. Finding the right relationship is especially important. Many recipes recommend using 2/3 flour and 1/3 water. The bad thing about it: In this ratio, the dough is not only quite dry, but also too hard.

Better: 55 percent flour and 45 percent water. The consistency of the dough is more for advanced users, but the crispy and delicious result of the baked pizza is worth every effort.

Mistake number 3 – too much yeast in the dough

Let’s move on to the next important ingredient in pizza dough: yeast. Although original Italian mother yeast is the first choice, ordinary yeast from German supermarkets is also suitable.

But no matter which variety you end up using, yeast has a distinctive taste of its own—and it shouldn’t be ignored.

Fortunately, there is a simple rule: 1 g of dry yeast or 3 g of fresh yeast is sufficient for 500 g of flour. Hardly worth mentioning, but important for the result.

But what to do if the yeast dough does not want to rise? Fortunately, we have help for this too.

Mistake number 4 – not enough resting time for the dough

Yeast dough needs to rest – not great news. And especially when baking a pizza, the right resting time is crucial for a perfect result. We tell you exactly what you should consider.

Find a place in your home that is a comfortable 22 degrees. This is where the dough must rest, covered, for twelve hours. Admittedly – ​​not exactly short, but according to this tip comes from a famous Neapolitan pizza baker. Ideally, the dough should rest on a wooden cutting board, as this will allow the dough to recover any liquid that escapes as it rests. Exciting!

Hands holding dough on a floured work surface surrounded by typical pizza ingredients.
Is it still cooking or is it more of a workout for your upper arms? Pizza dough must be kneaded for a very long time. © Getty Images/ istetiana

Mistake number 5 – kneeling too short

Now it’s time for the muscles! After the resting time, the dough must first be properly kneaded – and this (don’t be alarmed) for 20 minutes. This is the only way to achieve optimal consistency. Continue kneeing from outside to center.

And look at it this way: With such training you really deserve the pizza pleasure…

Mistake number 6 – baked too cold

This is the mistake when baking pizza that probably 99 percent of all hobby bakers make. At least if they have a perfectly normal equipped kitchen. In a standard kitchen there is usually only one standard oven – and it does not reach the temperatures you need for the absolute wow pizza.

In fact, a baking temperature of 400 (!!!) degrees is ideal for pizza – and that’s hard to achieve at home, so homemade pizza is usually baked at normal temperatures.

If you really value the end result and you often bake your own pizza anyway, then you should think about buying a stone or wood oven for the garden or terrace. Otherwise, of course, you can also get over this one small shortcoming. Perfection is somehow a matter of opinion anyway.

Mistake #7 – Tomato paste in the sauce

Pooh. Preparing the dough is a real kicker in itself. But even if everything went smoothly, some pitfall lurks in the further passage of pizza baking.

For example, how do you prepare the sauce for the pizza? Do you use tomato paste? Not a good idea! In fact, it can end up making the pizza quite dry and tough.

We have a better suggestion for you: reach for chopped canned tomatoes (often called pizza tomatoes, for good reason). Add some chopped garlic cloves, salt, pepper and some Italian herbs, according to your individual taste. You can of course also use fresh tomatoes. It must be thoroughly cleaned and freed from the green. Chop the meat and place in a colander, then salt. In this way, the tomatoes lose excess water that can immediately drain into the strainer – and thus the dough does not become soggy.

Mistake number 8 – too much topping

The topping of a pizza is undoubtedly the highlight of the preparation. With a lot of enthusiasm, some people tend to overdo it with the rubber.

This is not a good idea for two reasons: First, too much sausage, vegetables and cheese means that the pizza cannot bake properly and becomes soggy instead of crispy. Moreover, the flavors of the ingredients do not harmonize well with each other and overlap each other quickly. Better: Limit yourself to three ingredients per pizza.

Mistake number 9 – the pizza is filled too early

The dough is finally ready and rolled out, so many people dump sauce, toppings and cheese on the floor to put the whole thing in the oven quickly. After all, the road to here was long and arduous. However, this is not advisable – at least if you are baking in a regular oven with normal temperatures. The cheese is burnt quickly while the dough is not really cooked yet. Not exactly ideal…

Pizza dough with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil
All the ingredients right on the pizza? Better not – for good reasons. © Getty Images/ istetiana

We therefore recommend the following procedure: First spread the sauce on the dough and bake it beforehand. Halfway through the baking time, the rest of the toppings, such as vegetables and sausages, can be added to the pizza. The cheese (preferably mozzarella) should not be put on the pizza until it is almost cooked.

This way, the dough is crispy, the sauce is fruity, the other ingredients and the cheese are as they should be: soft melting and ultra-creamy!

Unbelievable, but true: There are some mistakes when baking pizza that many probably haven’t even thought about. Our tricks should help you achieve the best result the next time you try it in your kitchen at home. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

Want some pizza recipes to apply your newfound theoretical knowledge? Then look here:

Four slices of beetroot pizza on a black plate and gray background.


1 hour 20 minutes


The little hiccups in cooking and baking are often not on the radar. For example, did you know that you can make a lot of mistakes when cooking pasta? We will tell you more in our cooking school so that you are well prepared for your next cooking and baking project.

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