The Best Pizza in the World: How The Pros Prepare Neapolitan Pizza
I love watching pizza pros create the best pizza in the world. The spectacle of rolling the dough with bare hands has a showmanship to it that I can never quite achieve. However, you don’t have to toss your dough high in the air, dance around, and mumble Italian snippets to make quality pizza.
I investigate further to find out what it takes to prepare the best Neapolitan pizza in the world.
Pros Have Mastered Preparation
Master pizzaiolo’s can create the best pizza in the world with a perfectly blistered crust that’s chewy and pillowy on the inside. A wood-fired oven heated at over 900 degrees can achieve that in under 2 minutes.
The 2014 winner of the Campionato MondialDellala Pizza, or Pizza World Championships in the Margherita category was pizzaiolo Johnny Di Francesco from Australia. He describes the method he learned while studying at the DOP in Naples.
First, he ensures that his dough is of high quality. He recommends using ⅓ liter of water, a gram of fresh yeast, 1.2 pounds of Le 5 Stagioni pizza flour, and 16.6g of sea salt. Dissolve salt in water, add about 15% of the flour, then add the yeast. Never add the yeast immediately after the salt, as this kills the yeast’s power. Gradually add the rest of the flour as you knead, then cover with a piece of cloth and let it rest for about 2 hours. Divide into balls and let it rest for another 6 hours without refrigeration. Then stretch out the dough by hand.
Add your high-quality toppings including the sauce and cheese. Preheat your oven to over 900 degrees. If you are using a conventional home oven, preheat to as hot as possible, which may be around 500 degrees. Di Francesco recommends using a pizza stone or steel pan to ensure your pizza receives an adequate hit on the bottom as well as the top.
Finish by putting on olive oil and basil. Do not use the olive oil before cooking your pizza as it will brown up too fast.
Pros Use Quality Ingredients
If you want the tastiest pizzas then it all boils down to your choice of ingredients. Fresh produce of the right kind are not only nutritious but also bring out the best flavors and enticing aromas.
And if you’re looking for an authentic pizza experience from the pros, there are some basic ingredients the top pizzaiolos will always use.
Cheese is a key ingredient in Neapolitan pizza. However, Italians don’t use as much cheese as Americans do. They treat cheese as a compliment rather than a key feature of their best pizza recipe. Additionally, the way Italians traditionally make their cheese is a process that enriches the flavor. They do not use the preservatives and manufacturing processes that store-bought cheeses undergo. Fior di Latte and buffalo mozzarella are some of the best cheese picks for my favorite Orange County pizza.
Tomatoes are a key ingredient in pizza sauces. They need to be fresh, tasty, and full of flavor. The top Irvine pizza joints import San Marzano tomatoes straight from Italy. San Marzano tomatoes are carefully and specifically cultivated in the right sunny climate to have more flesh and less seeds or juice. They are easier to preserve and have a unique flavor with less acidity than your average garden tomato.
Italians have grown olives for centuries and learned to process the best olive oil through passed down traditional methods. Their olive oils are richer and healthier with no artificial additions. This makes them perfect for making your favorite Irvine pizza.
The Best Pizza in The World, Just Like the Pros Do It
Can you make a great pizza without the right ingredients? Of course you can, but to make the best pizza in the world, follow the advice of the pros and you’ll never go wrong. Most of the leading pizzaiolos making your favorite Orange County pizza swear by their authentic Italian ingredients and specific processes to turn out a great meal that you’ll enjoy. Nevertheless, never shy away from testing out your own variations, especially with the sauces and toppings.