Pizza is a beloved food worldwide, but there's something special about real pizza from Italy. Authentic Italian pizza is made with simple yet high-quality ingredients, and the traditional techniques used to make it result in a pizza that's unlike any other.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the making of real Italian pizza, its unique characteristics, and where to find the best pizza in Italy and beyond.
Pizza is one of the world's most popular foods, but there's nothing quite like a real pizza from Italy. Italian pizza is known for its simple yet delicious flavors and quality ingredients. It's important to note that not all pizza is created equal, and authenticity is key.
Real pizza from Italy is made using traditional techniques and high-quality ingredients, resulting in a soft and chewy pizza with a thin crust and minimal toppings.
The origins of pizza can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as Greece, Egypt, and Rome, where flatbreads were often topped with herbs, cheese, and other ingredients. However, modern pizza as we know it today is a creation of Naples, Italy, where the Margherita pizza was invented in the late 19th century.
Authenticity is essential when it comes to real Italian pizza. The traditional techniques used to make the dough and bake the pizza in a wood-fired oven result in a unique flavor and texture that can't be replicated.
The Making of Real Italian Pizza
If you want to make real Italian pizza, you must pay attention to every step of the process. Each step plays a critical role in achieving the perfect pizza, from the selection of ingredients to the baking method. Let's look at the step-by-step process for making real Italian pizza.
The first step in making a real Italian pizza is selecting the right ingredients. Here are the essential ingredients you'll need:
- Flour: The most important ingredient in the pizza dough is flour. You'll want to use finely ground type "00" flour, specifically milled for making pizza and pasta.
- Yeast: Fresh yeast is preferred for making pizza dough, but you can use active dry yeast as a substitute if you can't find it.
- Water: High mineral content water is recommended for making pizza dough, as it helps to create a crispy crust.
- Salt: A small amount of salt is added to the dough to enhance the flavor.
- Tomato Sauce: San Marzano tomatoes are the traditional choice for pizza sauce. Look for canned tomatoes that are DOP-certified, which means they are grown in the San Marzano region of Italy.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Fresh mozzarella cheese made from water buffalo milk is the authentic choice for pizza, but you can also use cow's milk mozzarella.
- Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil on the pizza adds flavor and moisture.
- Mixing the Ingredients: Mix the flour and yeast in a large bowl. Then add the water and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
- Kneading: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it for at least 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Resting: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. This step allows the dough to rise and develop flavor.
- Margherita: Top the pizza with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.
- Marinara: Top the pizza with tomato sauce, garlic, and oregano.
- Diavola: Top the pizza with tomato sauce, spicy salami, and mozzarella cheese.
- Quattro Formaggi: Top the pizza with a blend of four kinds of cheese: mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, and parmesan.
- Prosciutto e Funghi: Top the pizza with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, and mushrooms.
- Wood-fired Oven: The wood-fired oven is Preheated to 500-550°F. A wood-fired oven is a traditional way to bake pizza, but you can also use a pizza stone in a conventional oven.
- Temperature: For a wood-fired oven, the ideal temperature is between 500-550°F. Preheat it to the highest temperature possible (usually around 500°F) if you're using a conventional oven.
- Cooking Time: The cooking time for a pizza in a wood-fired oven is typically 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The pizza will take 8-12 minutes to cook in a conventional oven. The pizza is ready when the crust is crispy, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
By following these steps, you can make a real Italian pizza that's crispy, flavorful, and delicious. Don't be afraid to experiment with different toppings and techniques until you find your perfect pizza.
Characteristics of Real Pizza from Italy
When it comes to real Italian pizza, there are certain characteristics that set it apart from other types of pizza. Here are the four key features that make a pizza truly authentic:
One of the most defining features of real Italian pizza is its thin crust. Unlike American-style pizza, which often has a thick, bread-like crust, Italian pizza crust is crispy and thin. This allows the toppings to be the show's star and gives the pizza a light, delicate texture.
Another hallmark of real Italian pizza is its minimalist approach to toppings. Unlike the loaded pies you might find in some American pizzerias, authentic Italian pizza typically has only a few high-quality toppings. This allows each ingredient to shine and gives the pizza a clean, balanced flavor.
Soft and Chewy Dough
While the crust of Italian pizza is thin and crispy, the dough underneath is soft and chewy. This texture comes from the high-quality flour used in the dough and the long resting period that allows the dough to develop flavor and texture.
Fresh and High-Quality Ingredients
Perhaps the most important characteristic of real Italian pizza is the quality of the ingredients. From the type of flour used in the dough to the tomatoes used in the sauce, every component of the pizza is carefully selected for its flavor and freshness. This commitment to quality sets real Italian pizza apart and makes it such a beloved food worldwide.
Real Italian pizza is characterized by its thin crust, minimalist toppings, soft and chewy dough, and use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. By focusing on these key features, you can recreate the taste and texture of authentic Italian pizza in your kitchen.
Where to Find Real Italian Pizza
If you want to experience real Italy pizza, there are several places you can go to find it. Here are some options to consider:
Regions in Italy known for pizza
Italy has many regions that are known for their unique pizza styles. For example, Naples is famous for its Neapolitan-style pizza, which features a thin crust and simple toppings. Rome is known for its pizza al taglio, cut into squares and sold by weight. And Liguria is home to the focaccia al Formaggio, a cheesy, savory pizza-like dish. If you can visit Italy, be sure to try the local pizza in each region you visit.
Pizzerias in Italy are known for Authentic pizza.
Many pizzerias in Italy are famous for their authentic pizza. For example, Pizzeria Da Michele in Naples has been serving the classic Neapolitan pizza since 1870. In Rome, Pizzarium is a popular spot for pizza al taglio, while in Florence, Pizzeria Il Pizzaiuolo is known for its wood-fired pizzas. If you're in Italy, check out some of these iconic pizzerias.
Italian Restaurants outside Italy
If you cannot travel to Italy, don't worry - there are still plenty of Italian restaurants outside of Italy that serve authentic pizza. One such restaurant is Pizza Bien, which specializes in traditional Neapolitan-style pizza. With locations in several countries around the United States, Pizza Bien is a great option for anyone looking to try real Italian pizza. You can even order online and deliver the pizza straight to your door.
In conclusion, real Italian pizza is a delicious and iconic dish that has become popular worldwide. Its thin crust, minimal toppings, soft and chewy dough, and high-quality ingredients make it easy to see why people love this classic dish. Whether you're enjoying a Margherita pizza in Naples or a slice of pizza al taglio in Rome, there's no denying real Italian pizza's unique and authentic flavor.
It's important to emphasize the importance of authenticity when it comes to real Italy pizza. While this classic dish has many imitators and variations, there's nothing quite like the real thing. Using the right ingredients, techniques, and cooking methods, authentic Italian pizza has a taste and texture that can't be replicated.
If you're craving a taste of real Italian pizza, there's no better place to start than Pizza Bien. With its commitment to using only the freshest and highest-quality ingredients, Pizza Bien offers a truly authentic Neapolitan-style pizza experience. Every element is carefully crafted, from the dough to the toppings, to ensure maximum flavor and enjoyment.
So why not give Pizza Bien a try today? Whether you're in the mood for a classic Margherita pizza or something a little more adventurous, their menu has something for everyone. With fast and easy online ordering, you can have delicious real Italian pizza delivered straight to your door in no time. Experience the real thing with Pizza Bien.
Our Italian pizzas from Italy are handmade with all-natural high quality and fresh ingredients in Naples, Italy, and shipped to your home in the U.S. Free Shipping Nationwide.