Giorgia Caporuscio is an Italian-born, New York-based master pizza maker.
She has compiled a list of the most common mistakes she has seen home cooks make when making pizza.
Caporuscio says that someone tries to speed up the dough raising or start baking before the oven is hot enough.
Giorgia Caporuscio, born and raised in Terracina, Italy, has run the Neapolitan pizza restaurant “Don Antonio” in New York for ten years. The 31-year-old pizza maker says she likes to teach others her craft. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, she taught classes for both adults and children, and hopes to do so again in the future.
Caporuscio is currently assisting you remotely by sharing some advice with you here. In general, she explains, there are five mistakes she most often sees in people at home trying to make pizza. Here they come – plus their suggestions for solutions.
1. You can ruin the dough if you add the ingredients at the wrong time
Caporuscio says the order in which you mix the ingredients has a big impact on the pizza dough. Always start with flour and yeast, in that order. “Then you slowly add water,” Caporuscio continues. “After the water comes the salt.”
“Never add salt and yeast together,” warns the pizza expert, because “the salt ‘kills’ the yeast activation” – which means that the dough does not rise.
2. Do not try to speed up the fermentation using the refrigerator
Let the whole process take place at room temperature. “You need patience,” says Caporuscio. “Let the dough rest – it must rise and ferment.” If you let the dough rest for about 24 hours (depending on how much yeast is used), it rises better and becomes easier to digest.
Use semolina flour instead of regular flour to stretch the dough
“If you use regular flour, the dough absorbs it and gets a different texture,” says Caporuscio. This would cancel out all the effort you put into waiting for the dough to rise properly. “It will lose its elasticity,” she adds. “If you can’t find semolina flour, you can use cornmeal, but it gives the dough a little more flavor.”
Let the oven preheat to the maximum temperature for at least 45 minutes
According to Caporuscio, it is important to preheat the oven to the highest temperature for 45 to 50 minutes before you start baking. The pizza dough needs “the kick of the high temperature so that it rises”. If the temperature is too low, the dough may not get the fluffy crust that is so important for Neapolitan pizzas.
5. Uses a thermally conductive baking surface
“If you can, get a pizza stone,” advises Caporuscio. She says that it is a great way to ensure that the pizza base is cooked through and gets its usual semi-solid, semi-tender texture.
If you do not have a rock, do not be too dramatic. According to Caporuscio, you can also use an inverted baking tray. The metal heats up and cooks the bottom of the pizza in a way that resembles a stone.
This article was last updated on February 14, 2022. It was published on February 13, 2022.
This text was translated from English by Lisa Ramos-Doce. You can find the original here.