I am new to Pizza, where should I start? A practical guide to start making pizza at home (part 1)
Last Updated on August 22, 2021 by Stefano
I know how it is. You have started to be fascinated by the world of Pizza at home and you want to start doing it. But where should you start? Welcome to my practical guide to start making pizza at home!
In this blog post I will try to explain you what are the growing steps to go from zero to hero. Even though I will be not giving you a full recipe and instrucions to mix ingredients, you will be getting a clear path to follow.
Internet is full of tutorials on how to make pizza. And also in this blog you will find entire series of posts on this topic. There is so much information around that it can be very confusing. Therefore I want you to provide – one more time – a different approach to the topic of making Pizza at home. Instead of jumping directly to a pizza recipe I am going to share with you what will make you a great home pizzaiolo. Finally at the end of this learning path your family and friends will be surprised by your amazing, tasty and healthy pizza!
No more trial and errors. Consistent results and a digestable Pizza is all I want you to prepare.
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What is the best pizza recipe to start as a beginner?
I think that good practical guide to start making pizza at home has to recommend a specific pizza style. Even though not everybody will agree, I think that there is an italian pizza style that is perfect to start or to improve skills.
Especially if you do not have special kitchen accessories for pizza and dedicated kitchenware I recommend to start with Italian Pizza in teglia. In other words Pizza cooked in baking pan. In my opinion it’s the perfect pizza dough to start or improving as home pizzaiolo.
The dough for pizza in baking pan does not require too much initial techniques and can be cooked in a standard pan for your home oven.
Once you have finished to read this article, I recommend to visit my Pizza Recipe page. Here you can have an immediate idea of what ingredients you need and in qhat quantity. I recommend to select “Pizza in Baking Pan“, then “Custom hydration” at 63% and put “Thick” as pizza thickness. With such recipe I can guarantee you that you will get the best Italian Pizza for beginners!
By the way, don’t be in rush. Read the following first.
What are ingredients for Italian Pizza?
Italian Pizza ingredients are not different than any other pizza. The dough base is always made of flour, yeast, salt and water. However, when it comes to the pizza in baking pan that I suggest you to use to start, I also add extra virgin olive oil and malt.
Extra virgin olive oil will help in the cooking part, especially when we are not going to use so high temperatures in the oven. It is not mandatory but I recommend it for home oven. If you do not have it you can add the same quantity of water that the recipe indicates for the oil.
Malt is also an ingredient that is not mandatory. It helps the yeast during the dough rising phase, providing “food” to yeast itself. Moreover malt helps the “maillard reaction” during the cooking phase. I am not going into technical details now, this is not the time to do so. Just take note of the following: you can avoid using malt for now. I want this to be a practical guide to start making pizza at home, so we do not want to overcomplicate our recipe. Especially malt requires a bit know-how when you decide which one to buy. Simply replace malt with same quantity of flour. However remember: never use sugar or honey instead of malt, even if somebody says to do so. It’s wrong!
Let’s talk a bit more about Flour.
What flour is good for italian pizza?
Reading forums, groups and questions I receive, answering the question what flour is good for italian pizza can be tricky. So let me try to simplify, even though I shouldn’t. But again, this is a practical guide to start making pizza at home, we want to be be fast!
So we really should take this topic thinking what is a good enough flour not to fail since day one. The market is offering a lot of flours for Pizza. Some of them are amazing, some others are trash. What we should do is to compensate the taste and smell of the flour with its easiness to use.
Remember that every flour will have a different way of reacting to water and manipulation. Only experience will tell you at first mix if you like the flour or not!
So I recommend you to start using a “Tipo 0” flour with at least 11 grams of proteins. If you cannot find what “Tipo 0” is in your country, contact me and I will provide you with a comparison table country by country. Tipo 0 flour will keep some taste, differently by tipo 00 which is commonly used for pizza and is too much refined from my point of view. On the other end this flour is generally good to absorbe water, especially if it has more than 11 grams of proteins.
Leave for now other flours. Also avoid mixing different brands and types and don’t care too much about other values like W, P/L and so on. If you never heard about them it’s fine. Everything will come at the right time 😉
Mixing pizza ingredients by hand using the “direct method“
We have three different methods to prepare the pizza dough. The simplest and most used is the “direct method“. In a practical guide to start making pizza at home we do not need to explain all the methods. It’s enough to know that with “direct method” we will mix all ingredients in a single phase. We will not put all of them together at the same time, but the pizza dough will be created in a single process.
If you are starting your journey to prepare pizza at home or if you want to improve your Pizza dough I strongly recommend to mix by hand. Indeed touching ingredients and knowing how the dough changes over time while you mix till you reach the famous “dough point” will change completely your Pizza. Let me clarify here: when I say dough point I am referring to the moment when the dough is ready to start its fermentation and rising. If you do not get to that point the Pizza will not develop correctly and it will be also very complicated to put it in the pan before cooking it.
We will talk extensively about the pizza dough point in dedicated articles. Subscribe now our newsletter to be notified about such articles.
Part 1 conclusion
In this first part of a practical guide to start making pizza at home we have onky started our journey. In the next part we will talk about folding, fermentation and shaping and finally I will add some cooking tips. Don’t miss the next part, subscribe to newsletter or follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!