Pizza always works! And you don’t always have to use the delivery service for this – the Italian classic is also a treat for the palate when you bake it yourself! Well, as long as you do everything right, of course. There is a lot that can go wrong. We will tell you which typical Pizza baking error happens again and again – and how you can prevent it.
#1 pizza mistake: using the wrong flour
Everyone probably has a can of classic wheat flour type 405 in their pantry. You can only use it to bake pizza – right? In fact, Italians use completely different types of flour for their pizza. On the one hand flour 0, called Tipo 00 in Italy. This variety prevents the dough from becoming too elastic and soft. This flour is usually mixed with Manitoba flour. A flour high in gluten that is perfect for all baked goods that take a long time to rise. This flour also provides an elastic, smooth texture that makes the dough nice and light and fine-porous.
You can buy this special flour in well-stocked specialist shops, online and also in some bakeries. If you bake pizza more often, this purchase is definitely worth it. And don’t forget: A successful dough is practically the foundation for a successful pizza!
Mistake #2: You are using the wrong amount of water
Water is an essential ingredient in pizza dough. The most important thing is to find the optimal ratio of flour and water – and it is not so easy. In many recipes, pizza dough consists of 2/3 flour and 1/3 water. However, this is not enough! The dough becomes so hard and dry.
On the other hand, it is perfect when flour makes up only 55 percent of the mass, and water 45 percent. It’s not exactly easy to handle, but the dough is so crispy and delicious.
Mistake #3: You use too much yeast
Like flour and water, yeast is part of the Neapolitan pizza dough. Regular yeast is fine here, although Italian mother yeast is even better. But it’s not just about choosing the best variety. The quantity is also important! Although yeast is very important to a classic pizza dough, it also has a taste of its own that cannot be ignored.
Pay attention to the rule: 3 g of fresh yeast or 1 g of dry yeast is sufficient for 500 g of flour!
Mistake #4: Not giving the dough time to rest
A yeast dough needs time to rest – and especially here there is a lot to consider. For the best result, pizza dough should be covered and left for a good twelve hours in a place with a temperature of around 22 degrees. Yes, it’s quite long – but good things take time.
Clue: As heimgourmet.com reports, there’s a hot secret tip from a famous Neapolitan pizza maker. Consequently, the dough rests best on a wooden cutting board. He was then able to recover the escaping liquid. Sounds exciting!
Mistake #5: Not kneeling long enough
If you want to bake an original Italian pizza, you already burn a lot of calories during the preparation, which you can later consume in the form of the pizza. Just kneading all the ingredients together is not enough to create the perfect dough.
The dough should ideally be kneaded for 20 minutes (!) so that the consistency is perfect. Phew…
Mistake number 6: You bake too cold
Well, that brings us to a mistake you can hardly avoid with a normally equipped kitchen. Many bake their pizza at the standard temperatures provided by domestic ovens. However, it is not the perfect temperature. The pizza is perfect at (believe it or not) 400 degrees – and this is best achieved in a stone oven. Of course, the average citizen very rarely has one in their own household.
If your passion for pizza knows no bounds, you can get a stone or wood-fired oven, which will look good with a barbecue on the patio. Or you accept this shortcoming and bake in an ordinary oven, although the result will of course not be comparable to that of your favorite Italian. But it would also be a shame if there was no more reason to visit it from time to time…
Mistake number 7: You use tomato paste for the sauce
Without sauce, even the best pizza dough will be pretty dull. In addition to cheese, vegetables and sausage, you need a tasty sauce! But many prepare them with tomato paste. However, it can end up being quite dry.
Better: Prepare your own tomato sauce. For example, choose canned chopped tomatoes and season them with spices. You can of course also use fresh tomatoes, but they must be “drained” beforehand. Simply clean thoroughly, remove the stem and chop the meat. Put the chopped pulp in a colander and salt. In this way, the tomato loses excess water and it does not soften the dough.
Mistake #8: You take too much top coat
Last but not least, pizza is so popular because you can top it to your heart’s content. But don’t overdo it! On the one hand, this applies to the sheer amount of topping. If the pizza is covered too generously, the dough will remain limp. On the other hand, this also applies to the amount of ingredients used. A rule of thumb says: There should be no more than three ingredients. This is the only way for the ingredients to harmonize well with each other and for the individual flavors to come into their own.
Mistake number 9: You fill up the pizza immediately
Roll out the dough, spread the sauce, cover the topping and sprinkle cheese over it – and put it in the oven. This would of course be the simplest method – but unfortunately this way does not lead to the best goal. Since most (as already mentioned) do not have their own stone oven, this route often results in the cheese being burnt before the dough is cooked. The ingredients under the cheese are often overcooked or overcooked. Not exactly ideal.
For the best result, it is better to proceed differently: First bake the dough with tomato sauce – and spread the topping halfway through the baking time. The cheese, on the other hand, shouldn’t end up on the pizza until it’s almost done baking, with mozzarella being the best. This way, the dough is cooked, the ingredients are “well browned” and the cheese is deliciously creamy and melts gently. Perfect!
Who would have thought? A lot can go wrong when making pizza. Now you don’t have to despair and settle for the frozen version. We have a recipe for original Italian pizza dough for you here. Of course, it involves a lot of effort, but it’s worth it – I promise.
Fancy a variety of pizza creations? Then browse the gallery:
And a little extra tip: Try a juicy pizza baguette. We show you how in the video:
Our topic page also has more Italian recipes of all kinds ready for you. Look!
There are even more obstacles lurking in the kitchen. You can also read about the mistakes most people make when making pasta salad, what can go wrong when preparing spaghetti Bolognese and what you can even do wrong with an Aperol Spritz.
Sources: heimgourmet.com, genialetricks.de, alfaforni.com, own research