Find out how to choose the best ingredients for a perfect pizza. Advice from expert pizza chefs

How to Choose the Best Ingredients for Pizza A Complete Guide

Hello pizza friends! Today we talk about one of the most important topics for those who love preparing pizza: how to choose the best ingredients. Whether you are a professional pizza chef or an enthusiast who loves to try his hand at preparing dough at home, knowing which ingredients to use can make the difference between a good pizza and an exceptional pizza.

Pizza is one of the most loved dishes in the world, but to make sure yours is truly special, you have to start from the base: the ingredients. In this post, I will guide you through the fundamental steps to choose the best ingredients for your pizza. In the end, I will also give you some advice on where to learn how to make pizza like a real professional. Sign up for our pizza chef courses that we organize in our Silvio Cicchi pizza school to become a pizza master!

Flour: The Base of Everything

The choice of flour is crucial in the preparation of doughs. There are different types of flour, but what makes the difference is the soft wheat flour type “00”. This flour is particularly suitable for pizza thanks to its fineness and low ash content. A good type flour “00” it will guarantee you an elastic and easily workable dough, essential for uniform and crispy pizza cooking.

Water: Simple but essential

Water is an often underestimated ingredient, but fundamental in the preparation of doughs. The water must be pure and free of chlorine, which can negatively affect the yeast. The temperature of the water is equally important: it should be lukewarm to help the yeast work best. Generally, for a perfect dough, hydration is recommended between 55% and the 65%.

Yeast: The Magic of Fermentation

Yeast is what makes the dough rise, making it soft and light. You can choose from fresh brewer's yeast, dry brewer's yeast or sourdough. Each has its own peculiarities and unique flavour. Yeast, for example, requires more time and attention, but it gives the pizza an unmistakable flavor and superior digestibility.

Sale: The Final Touch

Don't forget the salt! Added at the end of the dough preparation, salt not only enhances the flavors but also helps strengthen the structure of the gluten, improving the consistency of the pizza. But be careful not to overdo it: the ideal quantity is approximately 2% of the weight of the flour.

Tomatoes: The Heart of Pizza

Tomato sauce is another element that can make a difference. The best tomatoes for pizza are San Marzano, cultivated on the slopes of Vesuvius. These tomatoes have a sweet flavor and low acidity, perfect for a rich and tasty sauce. Puree the tomatoes, add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a perfect sauce.

Mozzarella: The Queen of Cheeses

Mozzarella is the undisputed protagonist of Margherita pizza. For a perfect pizza, choose buffalo mozzarella from Campania DOP, which is creamier and tastier than cow mozzarella. If you prefer a less watery mozzarella, opt for mozzarella fior di latte. Remember to let the mozzarella drain before putting it on the pizza, to prevent it from releasing too much water during cooking.

Extra virgin olive oil: The Touch of Class

A drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil adds a unique and deep flavor to the pizza. Choose a fruity and slightly spicy oil to enhance all the other ingredients without overpowering the taste.

Basil and Other Seasonings

Don't forget the fresh basil, which adds an unmistakable aroma and a touch of color to your pizza. Add the basil leaves only after cooking to preserve their freshness. You can also enrich your pizza with other high quality ingredients such as porcini mushrooms, Parma ham, fresh rocket, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Cooking: The Moment of Truth

Cooking pizza is the moment in which all the efforts made in choosing and preparing the ingredients come to life. The oven must be very hot, ideally between 300°C and 350°C, to ensure quick and uniform cooking. If you use a home oven, set the temperature to maximum and use a baking stone to simulate the conditions of a wood-fired oven.

Become an expert pizza chef

If you want to learn more about pizza preparation techniques and learn from true professionals, sign up for our pizza maker courses that we organize in our Silvio Cicchi pizza school. We offer courses for all levels, from beginners to professionals, with a complete program covering all aspects of pizza preparation, from the choice of ingredients to perfect cooking.

Greetings and Invitation

Thank you for reading this guide on how to choose the best pizza ingredients. I hope that my advice has been useful to you and that you can put into practice everything you have learned to create delicious pizzas. Don't forget to visit and subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you will find more of 300 videos of pizza recipes prepared by pizza chef students who enroll in our courses.

Warm greetings from Silvio Cicchi e… Good pizza at all!