Italian original homemade pizza dough recipe

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“Let’s make pizza”, easy to say. Do you know the tricks to prepare a delicious pizza? Well, get into an Italian woman’s kitchen, follow her directions to make a scrumptious pizza in a few easy steps. Everyone will be envious!

I know, Italy means pizza. So, I would like to give some useful tips to make a very good homemade pizza yourself.

Homemade pizza is something serious, here. Of course, you may buy a ready made dough, or a pizza mix at the supermarket, but can you imagine your satisfaction if you make your own pizza from the real beginning? It is a genuine act of love and passion: use your hands and knead!

When you bake pizza you create something alive, so opt for only high-quality organic ingredients: the final product will be natural, light, easy to digest, appetizing, and most of all, it won’t unpleasantly swell in your stomach.

What is traditional Italian pizza?

Two typical Italian pizzas are well-known all over the world: margherita and napoletana. The white dough of the former one is topped with high quality tomatoes purée (it must not be sour), fiordilatte mozzarella cheese and extra virgin olive oil; that’s all. Simple and easy, unforgettable if you know a few tricks.

Pizza napoletana is THE pizza which has been awarded the Traditional Speciality Guaranteed by the “Associazione Pizza Napoletana Verace” since 2011. A few high-quality ingredients are baked in wood fired ovens; the dough is topped with tomato purée, fordilatte or buffalo mozzarella,  anchovies, dried oregano and good extra virgin olive oil.

Why is Italian pizza famous?

Honestly, it is a difficult question to answer- I am Italian, it is part of my tradition, it is an integral part of anyone who lives here.

A pleasant balance of different tastes may make it so unique, but the type of cooking, the high quality of the ingredients and the topping, definitely make the difference. The easier, the tastier: the least ingredients, the most unforgettable it will be! The less is more! 

Choose “perfect ingredients to make your pizza perfect

Here is what you need:

  • High quality organic (possibly) ground flour;
  • Extra fresh mozzarella: it should not be very rich in water (treccia mozzarella is the best one);
  • Very good tomato purée; it must not be too liquid or sour- I use Mutti;
  • Salt which gives taste and color; moreover it makes the dough more stable and prevents it from raising too fast. Of course, don’t mix the salt and the yeast directly because salt spoils the yeast rising power. Opt for brown sea salt.
  • Active yeast: fresh or dried. The former is activated by water and it provides a better and more stable result. It is made from the fermentation of a little dough (the so-called mother dough or sourdough): I will speak about it because it makes pizzas unforgettable but the process is quite difficult, you should use it, if you bake pizzas regularly. The yeast cubes you find at the supermarket are not the best options because they are very delicate, they sometimes do not work properly. So, active dry yeast may be the best compromise.
  • Extra virgin olive oil makes the dough softer and tastier; a little oil is also sprinkled onto the pizza as soon as it gets out of the oven.
Italian Pizza Margherita
Italian original homemade pizza dough recipe

 

What is the best flour to use for pizza dough?

Definitely some freshly ground high quality flour should be used to make a tasty dough as it provides good proteins, good whet germs rich in fats and oils, vitamins, and mineral salts. Unfortunately, such flour can’t be easily found the at the supermarkets, so it is always the same  dilemma: which one should I buy?

Flour his classified according to the W index, the indicator of its strength (the content of proteins). A high level of W (from 280-420) indicates a high protein content (mainly gluten): the flour will absorbs more water, the dough is more resistant and firm and the rising process will take longer.

A medium-low W (about 170) indicates weak flour which absorbs much less water and it rises fast: this types of flour are generally used to bake biscuits or crunchy doughs.

280-350 W flour best fits pizza dough (never use flours lower than 180W).

If it is not stated in the nutrition facts on the package, opt for flour type 0 or 00: they are very similar as only refining process is different. Type 00 is white and it is more refined but it is more preservable and it is made of just starch and gluten. You should look for a type of particular pizza flour with W between 200 and 280.

Store the flour carefully in dry place cool place (at no more than 18°C-64°F) in a closed container no bigger than 500gr. You may also freeze it until 7 months: it won’t ferment or go bad, especially if it is wholesome flour.

How do you make pizza dough step by step (as Bonci in Rome from his “Pizzarium” says…)

  • Combine the flour with the yeast and place it on the table in the shape of a volcano or in a mixing bowl. Use a spoon or a wooden spatula; if you are expert you may knead with your hands, but be careful not to spread pieces of dough everywhere in your kitchen: cleaning it will turn a happy moment (making pizza) into a nightmare.
  • First mix the flour with the yeast, then add the water and when everything is well-combined add salt and oil.
  • Do not worry if the dough is not smooth, it will rise, and it will be kneaded later on;
  • You may also you a kneader (such as kitchenaid): first, start it at low speed, then gradually increase the speed.
  • This is a fundamental moment of the process because water is the agent which activates the reaction between glutenin and gliadin in the flour and gives life to gluten. An elastic web is created: it will trap starch and gas, hence the rising process will start. Make this test: take a very small piece of dough, roll it into a ball, quickly rinse it under running water and and roll it out with your fingers. If the dough will get as thin as a film, it will be ready for the rising process.
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with a tea-towel and let rise for at least 1 hour and a quarter at room temperature, far from air streams. I usually put it into the switched off and closed oven.
  • Flour a pastry board and knead the dough to make it stronger: it must incorporate some air. Roll it out in the shape of a rectangle. Fold in two, flatten and rotate it at the right angles and fold it in two again. Repeat this operation three or four times, at least, the dough will get richer in air, and dry. I usually make this operation only once, but 3 times would guarantee the best result; the dough should sit to rest about 15-20 minutes after every folding process;
  • Roll it into a ball and set aside for 8 hours in an oiled bowl as big as the double of the dough. Cover it with clinging film and put it into the lowest part of the fridge.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature. Do not manipulate the dough too much: use the whole ball or cut it with a sharp knife into two: try not to release any air.
  • Spread some durum what flour onto a pastry board and roll out the dough. Do not use the rolling pin, only your hands: be careful not to tear or strain the dough too much. If it is too sticky, oil your hands and add a little flour; push it with your fingertips to the shape the baking sheet.
  • Put the dough onto an oiled baking sheet lined with parchment paper;   
  • Pre-heat the oven at 220°C-250°C (392°F-482°F);
  • Top your pizza to taste.

Italian original homemade pizza dough recipe

I know, Italy means pizza. Here, I would like to give some useful tips to make a very good homemade pizza yourself. Of course, it won't be the same as a genuine Neapolitan pizza maker's one (those men are absolutely gifted!), but it will be scrumptious. Homemade pizza is usually thicker than the one you can eat at the restaurant-you will enjoy it, anyway.
Unfortunately, toppings make pizza quite rich in calorie.
You can choose among numberless ingredients to top your pizza, but here in Italy, we like simple, plain toppings: tomato puree, fresh mozzarella cheese, and some basil. The simpler you make it, the better it will be for you-and, most of all, you will enjoy the real taste of the ingredients.
Well, if you season it with little extra virgin olive oil, some rosemary, coarse salt, and freshly ground pepper, it will turn into a piece of absolutely scrumptious flat bread.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword homemade pizza dough, pizza dough, pizza margherita dough
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Author Modified from Bonci' recipe (Roma) founder of Pizzarium

Ingredients

  • 250 gr flour type 0 (Plain flour/ All-purpose flour) or wholewheat/Wholemeal flour
  • 170 ml lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 oil

    just for the dough

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

Instructions

  • Combine the flour with the yeast and place it on the table in the shape of a volcano or in a mixing bowl. Use a spoon or a wooden spatula;
  • Mix the flour with the yeast, then add the water and when everything is well-combined add salt and oil;
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with a tea-towel and let rise for at least 1 hour and a quarter at room temperature, far from air streams;
  • Flour a pastry board and knead the dough to make it stronger: it must incorporate some air. Roll it out in the shape of a rectangle. Fold in two, flatten and rotate it at the right angles and fold it in two again. Repeat this operation three or four times, at least, the dough will get richer in air, and dry. I usually make this operation only once, but 3 times would guarantee the best result; the dough should sit to rest about 15-20 minutes after every folding process;
  • Roll it into a ball and set aside for 8 hours in an oiled bowl as big as the double of the dough. Cover it with clinging film and put it into the lowest part of the fridge;
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature;
  • Spread some durum what flour onto a pastry board and roll out the dough. Do not use the rolling pin, only your hands: be careful not to tear or strain the dough too much;
  • Put the dough onto an oiled baking sheet lined with parchment paper;
  • Pre-heat the oven at 220°C-250°C (392°F-482°F) for 15-20 minutes;
  • Top your pizza to taste. I usually garnish pizza with basil leaves and a little extra virgin olive oil. 
    Enjoy it hot, and share pizza margherita with those you love: it is unique, have it on special occasions!

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2 thoughts on “Italian original homemade pizza dough recipe

    1. I am so honored! Thank you so much and I hope to give you in the future other information about Italian traditions and dishes 😊

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