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Rules for perfect pizza

400 Gradi
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The 400 Gradi chef finished in the top 10 at the World Pizza Championships in Parma, Italy last year with his perfect base and super fresh ingredients.

He insists you can cook excellent pizza at home if you follow his tips.

Pizza maestro Johnny Di Francesco.
Pizza maestro Johnny Di Francesco.

1. PERFECT DOUGH

Mix 600ml warm water and 40g fresh yeast in a bowl and set aside until yeast has dissolved. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, sift in 1kg of 00 flour (Johnny uses “5 Stagioni 00″) and 30g of fine sea salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast mixture and mix to form a dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic. This can take up to 10 minutes.

2. ALLOW TIME

Place the dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm spot until doubled in size. This can take 1-2 hours. Once the dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly floured bench, knock back the dough and divide into 4 to 5 round balls. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 1 hour before rolling out onto a baking tray.

BAKE FOR 10 MIN AT 280C

3. LESS IS MORE

Remember that less is more when it comes to topping. Never choose more than three quality ingredients as a topping. A great choice is tomato, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

4. MAKE SURE IT’S HOT

Pre-heat the oven to 280C, and make sure your pizza oven stone is also pre-heated for 1 hour before cooking. Try using a wide, flat spatula to transfer the raw pizza straight from the tray onto the hot stone.

5. DON’T OVERCOOK

Cook for no longer than 4-5 minutes. And enjoy!

This story first appeared on Five of the Best

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