10 Features of Real Italian Pizza

Chef kneading homemade Pizza Dough in Ironside Miami

Pizza has a special place in the hearts of many people. Whether it is a craving for an artisanal pizza or a quick slice on the go, the fairly simple food satisfies. The Italian creation has been adapted and altered in various ways but in keeping with the tradition, below are 10 things you should know about real Italian pizza.

Making pizza is an art and if the steps below are followed, a masterpiece is sure to be produced.

  1. First and foremost, the proper dough contains only four ingredients, no more and no less: flour, water, salt, and yeast. The dough is void of butter, sugar, and eggs. The foundation of a pizza is the crust and as such, it is the most important part of the pizza making process.
  2. Tepid water is to be used in the dough. If the water is too hot or cold, the yeast will not react properly and the dough will fall short of its potential. The first step for combining the four dough ingredients is to dissolve the dough in the water. Flour is to be added before the yeast because the salt would kill the yeast if left unchecked by the flour.
  3. Often left neglected is the surrounding conditions where the pizza making occurs. Temperature and humidity play a role in the process and the climate in Italy is likely different. Study how the dough reacts to different settings, even adjusting the air-conditioning and see if it changes the outcome.
  4. Forget about the rolling pin or a machine… true Napolitano pizza uses only your hands.
  5. Keeping in mind that the only tools allowed are your hands, be gentle with the dough… after all, it is alive. Overworking the dough is a surefire way to serve up a tough crust on your pizza.
  6. After the dough is worked properly, let it rest. Patience with this step is important because the enzymes need a chance to calm down.
  7. The best cooking method for pizza is a wood fire oven. The extreme heat creates a perfect crust if tended to correctly.
  8. Adding the cheese, often mozzarella, needs to be done at the proper time. If added too early in the cooking process, it will dry out and not produce the desired results. Instead, add the cheese when the crust is halfway cooked to allow enough time for it to melt as well as stay wet and white.
  9. Keep in mind that the proportions of the toppings are also critical. Dumping on the pizza sauce weighs down the crust and does not allow it to rise to its full potential. Also, keep the toppings roughly a centimeter from the edge so they stay in place and do not spill over during the cooking process. The plain crust, if cooked properly, is just as cherished as the entire pizza in Italy.
  10. Unlike meat, pizza is to be enjoyed as soon as possible following the cooking process. While the ingredients are hot, the crust fresh and steaming and the cheese gooey, enjoy!

With all of this in mind, and if you find yourself in the Miami area, there is no place better than Ironside Kitchen Pizza & Coffee Co. They keep with the authentic Italian style of Neapolitan pizzas: made with the best “00” flour, San Marzano tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil. Ironside Kitchen checks off all of the 10 steps discussed and have been satisfying customers with their wood fired pizzas since their doors first opened. Visit https://www.pizzaironside.com/italian-pizza-ironside-miami/ to see the full menu of pizzas and other Italian favorites.

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