1. The Dough
As the name suggests, the base really is the foundation. This is the make or break element where the exact hydration is the result of achieving the perfect water to flour ratio and size. You know you're eating a good Italian pizza when the dough is elastic and soft, but still maintains its weight at the same time. A pizza without the right dough and a fitting base will lack in texture and because of this, it cannot carry the sauce and toppings properly. After all, it is hard to enjoy a pizza that falls apart!
2. The Crust
Must we remember that this is an Italian-style pizza not a New York slice. So technically, any place that goes by the name 'pizzeria' will cook Italian pizza just as should be - in a wood-fired oven. This is where that deliciously warm, smoky flavour comes from, and how the crust is just classic-crisp. It's difficult to determine the best type of crust as it varies between regional areas in Italy. For example, pizza in Rome will mostly have a crisp and thin crust, whereas Naples' popular "pizza alta" which means thick crust has just that.
And since Italy's Naples were first to invent the modern pizza, it's safe to say we have a winner. Typically, any Italian crust will have garlic or herb seasonings, and is sometimes filled with cheese. In order to elevate the yeast and to intensify the browning of the crust, sugar is often used in the dough.
3. The Sauce
Generally a pizza alone is dough, tomato sauce and cheese. But what makes an Italian pizza so special is its authentic-made tomato sauce. Depending on the type of pizza, the kind of tomato sauce used may slightly vary. If ordering a Calabrese or Mozzarella pizza for example, the tomato sauce used is called 'Sugo Al Pomodoro', which is an authentic Italian sauce, commonly found in most Italian pizza and pasta, and according to true recipe, is made from tomatoes, onion, virgin olive oil, basil leaves, a bit of sugar and is seasoned with salt.
4. The Toppings
Let's get cheesy with it! Seriously…about the cheese, the way it melts, the way it tastes... now that's more of an essential than a topping. Traditionally, mozzarella was the only cheese used in the original pizza but now, many other Italian cheeses are used like pecorino, ricotta, provolone and scamorza. The best quality mozzarella comes from Naples, called buffalo mozzarella, which you can taste in a classic margherita pizza. And when it comes to other toppings on a good Italian pizza, you'll often taste the bliss of fresh prosciutto, rocket, spinach, mint, onion, eggplant, mushroom and more, all of which, when added to a meat pizza, also prove the perfect complement.
Courtesy of Baritalia Italian Restaurant, here are some classic examples of real Italian pizza made true to perfection and straight from their menu:
- Gamberoni E Calamari - King Prawn & Calamari, Garlic Chilli, Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes, Rocket & EVOO
- Calabrese -Spicy Salami, Mushroom, Ham, Black Olives, Sugo Al Pomodoro & Mozzarella
- Prosciutto Di Parma -Buffalo Mozzarella, Sugo Al Pomodoro & Rocket
- Margherita - Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil & EVOO
- Misto Di Frutti Di Mare - Mixed Seafood of Prawns, Fish, Mussels, Calamari, Anchovy, Capers, Sugo Al Pomodoro, Mozzarella & Lemon Herb Pangrattato
Craving pizza right about now? Dine in the sunshine and indulge in the European-like ambience at Surfers Paradise Baritalia Italian Restaurant, where classic meets creative to bring you some of the best modern Italian flavours. Open 7 days a week from 8am until late for breakfast, lunch and dinner with vegetarian and gluten-free options available.