This pizza recipe has been a part of my life since my early years. I won’t say this is the ultimate pizza recipe, or this is the only pizza recipe you have to follow. I will just say, this is my favorite and the best for me. This is my mom’ s pizza! Yes, I am cheesy, I know.
These days I finally could take some time off from work and I came visiting my parents in San Benedetto. It’s incredible how much you start appreciating time with your family when you don’t have many occasions to be together. And it’s so good to sleep in my old bed, meeting my friends, and above all, asking my mother to cook all I want. It’s nice to become a child again! Food of course is one of the main topics, already before my arrival.
Every time I tell my mom I am coming home for a few days, the question is always the same. Che vuoi mangiare quando arrivi (what do you want to eat when you arrive)? I always take advantage of this question to prepare a whole menu for the following days, so to be sure to eat all my favorite dishes. Pizza is always on the list, together with lasagne, her wonderful roasted potatoes and tiramisù.
This time though, it’ s a little bit different. This time we made pizza together with her longtime and experimented recipe! I had to insist a bit because she thought she would be distracted by the camera, but in the end I managed 🙂
Pizza is such a broad topic I would not know where to start from. You can make it in so many different ways, using different kind of flours and yeasts and using various methods, everyone has its own way to prepare it and of course, when you ask, it’s always better than yours!
I recommend this recipe because it follows a very easy procedure and you can bake it in your home oven, no need of a wood fired oven neither of great baking skills. If you follow the instructions you will get a very good pizza, with a chewy and crunchy crumb.
Pizza recipe tips:
Keep the toppings to just a handful at at time. Overloaded pizza doesn’t mean a better pizza, and if you put too many things on the crust, it could have a hard time to cook well. Remember as well that some toppings need to be cooked beforehand. Blanch vegetables like spinach, Swiss chard or broccoli for some minutes in boiling water. On the contrary, add fresh herbs like arugula and basil in the end, when pizza comes out of the oven.
Potatoes, zucchini, eggplants : if you cut them in very thin slices, it is good to add them raw on the pizza crust and have them cooked in the oven. If you include cured meat, remember to add Parma Ham after the pizza comes out of the oven, but add salami and sausage before, together with the crust. For our toppings, this time we used fresh mushrooms, artichokes and black olives. Yum!
The Flour. In Italy we have a different system of flours than in other countries. In this case we used Farina 0, which is a coarser flour than for example, Farina 00 (pastry flour). In Belgium I usually use the Flour T45, which is an all purpose flour. Try not to use a too much refined flour for your pizza, an all-purpose or bread flour will do.
The Sauce and Cheese. My mother loves to use peeled tomatoes. Her sauce is delicious but very simple. In a large saucepan, heat 3 teaspoons olive oil and add a clove of garlic. When the garlic is sizzling and gets golden, add 500 gr (16 oz) peeled tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for around 30 minutes. As regards cheese, using fresh mozzarella is always the best choice. My mom uses 1 mozzarella (125 gr each) per tray, diced.
My mom’s pizza recipe
Ingredients (for 2 baking trays of 13 x 16 inches)
4 cups (600 gr) all purpose/bread flour
2 1/4 tsp (7 gr) dried yeast
3 tsp white sugar
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups (350 ml) lukewarm water
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. My mom uses dried yeast because she says it’s more efficient and she never has problems with the dough rising. Add oil and stir with a spoon. Little by little, one spoonful at a time, add water and start kneading with your hands.
At first the dough will appear sticky and lumpy, but keep kneading and adding water. If the dough is too tough, add some additional water. Water quantity depends mostly on your flour, so don’t hesitate to use less or more depending on the result you are obtaining. If on the contrary, the dough is still too sticky and looks like bubblegum, add some more flour and keep kneading. When the texture and consistency of the dough looks good – smooth and elastic – transfer it onto a floured working surface. Knead it for other 5 minutes and shape it into a ball.
My mom then wraps the dough into a floured kitchen towel and she covers it with a wool blanket. She says her mom and her grandmother did the same, because the warmer, the better for the dough to rise.
Hopefully you have some time at your disposal, because you need to let the dough rise for at least 3 hours. This is a crucial passage. It should be left rising at least until it has at least doubled in bulk.
In the meantime, prepare your pizza toppings.
When ready to make pizza, preheat the oven at 225 C (437 F). Grease the baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil; you can use directly your fingers or a pastry brush. Cut the dough in two with a bench scraper or with a sharp knife. Transfer one half on the tray and roll it out with your hands. Work the dough from the middle of the tray outwards, pressing and stretching gently with your hands until you have covered the whole surface of the tray. If the dough gets stubborn and does not want to be stretched, don’t touch it for some minutes and try again, it should work.
Spoon a few spoonfuls of sauce on the dough surface and spread it all over using the back of the spoon. Add mozzarella, and then all the rest of your toppings.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the crust looks golden-brown and transfer to a wire rack to let cool.
Cut it in slices and enjoy in good company, it tastes better!
My mom's pizza recipe - La pizza della mamma
My mother's Italian pizza recipe, for a chewy and crispy pizza crust. You don't need great baking skills and you can make it in your home oven!
- 4 cups (600 gr) all purpose/bread flour
- 2 1/4 tsp (7 gr) dried yeast
- 3 tsp white sugar
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) lukewarm water
- Step 1 In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
- Step 2 Add oil and stir with a spoon.
- Step 3 Little by little, one spoonful at a time, add water and start kneading with your hands.
- Step 4 When the texture and consistency of the dough looks good – smooth and elastic – transfer it onto a floured working surface and knead for other 5 minutes.
- Step 5 Shape it into a ball and wrap it in a floured kitchen towel.
- Step 6 Cover it with a wool blanket.
- Step 7 Let the dough rise for at least 3 hours.
- Step 8 In the meantime, prepare your pizza toppings.
- Step 9 When ready to make pizza, preheat the oven at 225 C (437 F).
- Step 10 Grease a 13 x 16 inch baking tray with 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Step 11 Cut the dough in two with a bench scraper or with a sharp knife.
- Step 12 Transfer one of the two halves of the dough on the tray and roll it out with your hands.
- Step 13 Work the dough from the middle of the tray outwards, pressing and stretching gently with your hands until you have covered the whole surface of the tray.
- Step 14 Spoon a few spoonfuls of sauce on the dough surface and spread it all over using the back of the spoon.
- Step 15 Add mozzarella, and then all the rest of your toppings.
- Step 16 Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the crust looks golden-brown.
- Step 17 Transfer to a wire rack to let cool.