How to Make Authentic Italian Pizza at Home

Pizza stands as a symbol of Italian cuisine, beloved worldwide and credited with making Italy a culinary icon. The true Italian pizza is characterized by its round shape, soft and thin center, and often cooked in a wood-fired oven. The legend of its origin traces back to 1889 when Queen Margherita di Savoia enjoyed it so much that the pizza maker, Raffaele Esposito, decided to name it after her. In this comprehensive guide, we will unravel the secrets of creating an authentic Italian pizza at home, from crafting the dough to the final preparation.


Flour Type 00: 850 grams
Fresh Beer Yeast: 1.5 grams
Sea Salt: 25 grams
Water: 1/2 liter
Tomato Puree: 250 grams
Garlic: 1 clove
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: as needed
Oregano: as needed

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Prepare the Dough

Begin by pouring room temperature water into a large container. Add salt and 85 grams of flour, stirring to combine (Figure 1). Introduce the yeast, allowing it to dissolve while continuing to mix with your hands. Gradually add the remaining flour and knead until a smooth, homogeneous mixture is achieved, taking approximately 15-20 minutes (Figure 2). Cover the container with a clean cloth and let the dough rise for at least 8 hours.

Figure 1: Mixing water, salt, and flour.

Figure 2: Kneading the dough until smooth.

Create Pizza Discs and Add Toppings

After the required rising time, shape the dough into discs. Use your hands to roll out the loaves evenly from the center towards the edges. Add your chosen toppings and cook in a preheated oven at 220°C-250°C for approximately 25 minutes. Your homemade pizza is now ready to be served.

Tips and Advice for Perfect Italian Pizza

Morning Preparation for Better Maturation

Prepare the dough in the morning to ensure sufficient leavening and maturation. During this phase, sugars will split, making the pizza lighter and more digestible.

Vigorous Kneading for Ideal Consistency

Knead the dough vigorously. If it feels too hard, add a little water; if too sticky, incorporate a bit more flour.

Proper Dough Rising Conditions

Allow the pizza dough to rise covered, in a warm and draft-free environment. It is ready when it has doubled in volume. To expedite rising times, consider adding a teaspoon of sugar to the dough.

Hand Rolling for Perfect Thickness

Roll out the pizza dough only with your hands, avoiding the use of a rolling pin. Aim for a thickness of 1/2 centimeter at most for each pizza disc, using a 36 cm pan.

Artful Condiment Application

Apply tomato sauce thinly from the center towards the edge. Slice and dry the mozzarella to prevent the pizza base from becoming too wet. For electric oven cooking, add mozzarella five minutes before removing the pizza.

Endless Topping Possibilities

Embrace creativity with different toppings according to seasons. Add mushrooms in autumn, go for a white pizza with stracchino and crumbled sausage, or experiment with raw ham, rocket, and Parmesan cheese flakes.

Preventing Drying During Cooking

To keep the pizza from drying out during cooking, place a baking dish with water on the bottom of the oven. This ensures a soft base.

Perfect Pairing

Accompany your homemade pizza with beer or a light white wine to enhance its flavor profile.

Enhancing Your Italian Pizza Experience

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of crafting an authentic Italian pizza, let’s delve deeper into additional techniques and ideas that can elevate your pizza-making experience.

Optimizing Oven Settings

While a wood-fired oven imparts a distinctive smoky flavor, a home oven can still produce excellent results. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it along with the oven to simulate the effect of a brick oven. Alternatively, try using a cast-iron skillet for a crispier crust.

Creative Cheese Choices

Beyond traditional mozzarella, explore a variety of cheeses to add depth and complexity to your pizza. Try provolone, fontina, or gorgonzola for unique flavor profiles. Remember to balance the cheeses to prevent overpowering the other ingredients.

Herbs and Greens for Freshness

Enhance the freshness of your pizza with a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs or greens after baking. Basil, arugula, or microgreens add a burst of flavor and a vibrant touch. Drizzle some high-quality olive oil over these greens just before serving for an extra layer of richness.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

While store-bought tomato puree works well, creating your own sauce can take your pizza to new heights. Simmer fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, and a pinch of sugar for a rich and flavorful sauce. Experiment with roasted cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes for unique variations.

Pizza Party Ideas

Turn your pizza-making into a social event by hosting a pizza party. Set up a variety of toppings, sauces, and cheeses, allowing guests to create their personalized pizzas. It’s a fun and interactive way to share the joy of homemade pizza.


With these detailed instructions and expert tips, you can now embark on a culinary journey to create an authentic Italian pizza in the comfort of your home. From the morning preparation of the dough to the artful application of toppings, savor the joy of crafting and indulging in a delicious pizza that rivals those from your favorite pizzerias. Experiment with various combinations and celebrate the versatility of this iconic dish. Buon Appetito!

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