Subscribe via RSS

Perfect pizza: the 5 rules to prepare it at the top – Italian Cuisine


When we first published this article, the Neapolitan pizza was not yet a World Heritage Site: now it is, and as then it is one of the most well-known and loved dishes in the world. In its multiple versions. If it is true that even a frozen pizza, with some tactical moves, can be turned into a deluxe pizza (just as there are tricks to better enjoy take-away pizza), there is nothing like a real pizza just baked. From a Neapolitan wood-burning oven, or from your own home.

The great Neapolitan pizza makers never willingly give up their secrets: often they are small tricks, expert gestures handed down from teacher to shop boy, from grandparents to grandchildren, from parents to children. Furthermore, summarizing them or recounting them is not easy, because most of these are imperceptible tricks that are learned through observation and practice.

162095Today, like yesterday, however, inspired by the best pizza makers is a good starting point. There are texts that can come to our rescue, one for all: The pizza book: how to prepare it at home with the secrets and recipes of 11 great Neapolitan pizza masters (Ed. Mondadori, click here), realized thanks to Rossopomodoro and Molino Caputo.

Enzo De Angelis and Antonio Sorrentino who went around for Naples to interview the best pizza makers in the city to get their story told and collect their best recipes (which in the book are explained step by step with lots of photographs).

162089The two Neapolitan chefs explain us here in 5 rules what are the critical steps and the definitive tricks for a perfect do-it-yourself pizza.

1) Ingredients: eye to water hardness
Once you rely on a reliable recipe, you must absolutely respect the proportion of the ingredients. Among the most decisive ones is the water that must be moderately hard to guarantee a good compactness of the dough. Water hardness depends on the amount of calcium and magnesium salts. If the one at home is too sweet, it is better to use the mineral one in the bottle.

2) Yeast: choose it and work it well
The chef's advice is to use the fresh brewer's yeast. During preparation, care must be taken not to mix the yeast with the salt. In fact, salt inhibits leavening, but putting a bit of it is important, as well as for the taste, also to give more consistency to the dough. Better to opt for the iodized one, dissolving it in water and gradually adding it during the processing of the ingredients.

3) Manuality: yes with safe and precise gestures
The manual skills of those who knead are among the most important factors for a successful outcome: the ingredients must be mixed well and then the mixture must be worked vigorously to obtain a homogeneous and lump-free mixture. When rolling out the dough, do not use the rolling pin, but the hands who make decisive gestures to widen the dough from the center to the outside.

1620914) Leaving without haste
Once the dough is obtained, it should be divided into blocks and left to rest to prepare for the actual leavening. There are different types of leavening: it is a fundamental process that directly affects the consistency of the pizza. Generally one long leavening and without temperature changes it guarantees a good growth of the pasta and is one of the secrets of a soft, crunchy and digestible pizza.

1620935) Oven and cooking temperature
The home oven must be at the right temperature which is very high. For those who want a perfect success, the ideal is to have one refractory stone: it is inserted in the already warm oven, it is heated for about half an hour at 250 ° (even better if the oven reaches 280-300 °). When the stone is at temperature, bake the pizza and cook for a short time: about 5 minutes.

Who said the pizza is just round?

173677Oval, square, boat, bundle, donut and bouquet, these are the shapes that Antonino Esposito led to the Lombard capital, which continues to attract i master pizza makers from Campania and their specialties. For its creative and innovative pizza, the pizza maker from Sorrento puts aside the round and traditional shape in favor of more curious and captivating versions, designed to perfectly accommodate the fillings almost all made in Campania, from Igp lemons to walnuts of Sorrento, from the anchovy colatura to the fior di latte of the Lattari Mountains, passing for the Provolone del Monaco Dop, the buffalo mozzarella from Campania and the Vesuvius cherry tomato. TO Milan (in Via Solferino, 27) This is what Antonino Esposito does, is a simple format but with an extra twist. A pizzeria with an American bar, where workbenches, tables and decorations become unique pieces thanks to hand-painted majolica from the Sorrento artist Rosa Linda Acampora.
173680In the dining room 35 seats and a menu featuring pizza, including the famous one Sorrentine whip, registered patent, proposed both in the oven and fried. But not only. The card also features some dishes, such as seasonal salads, a few first courses and a careful selection of cheeses and cold cuts. The dough for pizzas is based on Type 0 and Type 1 organic flours, selection of cereals, whole wheat, spelled, hemp, burnt wheat, tumia, russello, rye and gluten-free, to offer an experience that is renewed in every proposal.

Barbara Roncarolo
15 July 2015
updated by Carola Traverso Saibante
June 2018
updated from Mariacristina Coppeto
April 2019

DISCOVER THE COURSES OF THE SALT AND PEPE COOKING SCHOOL

All the secrets of the perfect club sandwich: recipe and variations – Italian Cuisine


More layers are better than one! Here's how to prepare the most famous sandwich in the world

The Club Sandwich it is a rich and rich sandwich born in the United States at the end of the 800. A circle reserved for men only appeared on the game table of the Saratoga Club house in New York, and soon became so famous that it went around the world.
And if in England there was already a simple sandwich, this one multilayer version dispossessed the original recipe, conquering even the most demanding palates.

Where to eat the best club sandwich in the world?

According to experts the best club sandwich would be the one proposed at Paris from the hotel Le Meurice on Rue de Rivoli.
Also in Italy there are excellent ones, particularly in Rome, the city of sandwiches par excellence.

How to prepare the club sandwich

It is a very simple recipe: at the bottom it is a sandwich, with many layers, but to compose a little to taste of one's own tastes.
The classic recipe includes several layers of sandwich bread stuffed with sliced ​​chicken or turkey, tomato, lettuce, bacon and various sauces.

The bread

Use the White bread, preferably without crust. Take three square slices, toast them and butter them lightly.
On two spread the mayonnaise only on one side and on one spread another sauce on both sides. This is the slice that will go in the middle.
Once the sandwich is prepared, divide it in half in two triangles.

The sauces

The sauces not only make the sandwich tastier, but make the ingredients stick to the slice of bread.
The club sandwich in fact, although being so abundantly stuffed, must remain rather compact because it is already cut in half. All layers must be clearly visible and the filling equally distributed.

Chicken

We talked about slices of chicken or turkey and we mean or the slice to be cooked on the plate or even simply thesliced, more practical for filling a sandwich.
Abundant with the quantities, because the chicken layer must be quite important.

The bacon

Bacon is a key ingredient in the club sandwich because it adds flavor and crunchiness.
While the chicken needs to be cooled before being inserted into the sandwich, the bacon must be hot and crunchy.

Tomato and lettuce

Lettuce always goes under the slice of tomato to prevent the bread from getting wet and softening.
In the first layer then we will have mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, chicken and crispy bacon, then the slice of bread spread on both sides with the sauce and one more layer like the previous one.

Now browse the gallery to discover some original variations of the basic recipe

Do you know the recipe for perfect carbonara? Take the quiz! – Italian Cuisine


Test yourself by answering simple questions. Find out if you can prepare the perfect carbonara: tasty and creamy. Here is our quiz!

There bacon and egg it is a classic of Italian cuisine. Although the historical origins are uncertain and everyone has their own version, there are fundamental rules to be respected. Are you sure you know them all?

If you need to perfect the technique, come to the La Scuola de La Cucina Italiana courses: our chefs are waiting for you in the kitchen!