Nothing beats a good pizza and here are my TOP FIVE tips for turning your great Homemade Pizza into an awesome Restaurant quality pizza!
1) Caputo Flour is the No1 secret ingredient to getting restaurant quality pizzas at home! If you can’t get Caputo Flour then source another good quality 00 flour. I NEVER EVER use Bread Flour for my pizzas! Caputo is extremely fine and light making it perfect to give that light, springy yet crispy crust you all know from a great pizza. I find Bread Flour too heavy to work with and find it gives a heavier duller base. I get my Caputo Flour in Deli Italy on Princes St in Cork.
2) The biggest NO NO of all is NEVER EVER flour your work surface. Pizza dough is a fine science and the best pizza dough has the correct ratio of water molecules to flour, if you flour your work surface you’ll add in the extra flour that will upset this balance giving you a heavy, dull dough. You can place a little flour to the side of the work surface and LIGHTLY flour your hands to stop the dough from sticking to them. Take your time, be patient and although the dough will feel sticky to begin with it will start to work for you and you’ll feel it changing and get springy and elastic which is what you want. A dough scraper is a fantastic tool during the early stages of this process as you can easily scrape the dough off the work surface helping you to keep it from sticking and keeping it together.
3) If you can find Fresh Yeast it’s a great thing to use in your dough as you’ll get ‘that’ gorgeous yeasty flavour that you don’t get from dried yeast although dried yeast is a good alternative. I also buy my fresh yeast in Deli Italy in Cork.
4) Always use a Pizza Stone and preheat it in a very hot oven. Place your rolled out dough on it before adding the toppings. Don’t ever place the pizza stone in water, just rub it down with a damp cloth.
5) Too much water in your Fresh Mozzarella? My top tip is use Flor di Latta otherwise known as Cows Milk Mozzarella which has a lower water content than the classic Buffalo Mozzarella that we all know (and apparently it’s what they use in Naples😉).
If you can’t find Flor di Latta you can slice your Buffalo Mozzarella a few hours beforehand and place in a collander to allow the excess water drip out.
6) Never roll over the edges with a rolling pin if you want a nice crust. I start my pizza by holding a dough ball in my hand and gently stretching the edges out. The dough if properly kneaded and using the right flour should start to stretch until you can almost see through it (called The Window Pane Effect) without any holes forming…this is how you know you’ve got a cracking good dough. When the dough is at this stage you can place it on your work surface and roll it very lightly with a rolling pin (if you can get a small pin do! ) but don’t roll out over the edges!
7) Always add a tsp of salt when starting your dough. The salt activates the tastes buds in your mouth making the pizza base taste better.
8) I always cover my bowl with cling film while my dough is proving as I’ve found a tea towel wether damp or dry allows air to get in which causes hard dry patches in the dough.
9) You can prove your dough overnight by placing in the fridge, I think this added time really helps the dough. Just make sure you remember to take it out of the fridge and bring it back up to room temperature before dividing up for the second prove.
That’s it and now you can practice making your perfect Pizza following these tips!