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Authentic Italian Pizza

Authentic Italian Pizza

Traditional Neopolitan Pizza

This blog post will give you some tips on how to make a real authentic Italian Pizza at home. This includes preparing the pizza dough and cooking your pizza.

We love eating pizza in our household. And the great thing is you can make an almost perfect authentic Italian pizza in your own home if you have an oven.

It may not be quite the same as one that comes out of a real Italian wood-fired pizza oven, but you can get quite close.

Ooni pizza oven
Cooking pizza in a gas-fired Ooni pizza oven

This pizza dough recipe will show you how to make a Neopolitan pizza dough, so you can make pizza just like the ones you get in Italy.

I have another recipe for making your own pizzas, which is a bit quicker than this recipe (but it is not quite as good 😃).

In the recipe on this page, you allow the dough to rest and proof which does actually make the crust a lot better and crisper.

authentic italian pizza
Pizza toppings with buffalo mozzarella, pepperoni, red onions, capers, mushrooms, baby tomatoes and anchovies

Real Italian Pizza

I have eaten pizza in many countries and had some delicious meals in most of them.

But nothing, nothing quite beats the taste and texture of a real Italian Neopolitan style pizza. The modern pizza dish was, after all, invented in Naples in Italy.

[Neopolitan means ‘from Naples’, where Naples in English is derived from Napoli (Italian) which in turn comes from Neapolis (new city in Greek).]

italian pizzas
Authentic Italian Pizza cooked in the oven

I have eaten pizza in Milan, Florence, Rome, on lake Como, Tuscany, Foppolo, Macugnaga and Courmayeur in Italy. Nothing compares. Believe me. Forget your deep pan and square pizzas. Proper Italian pizza is by far the best pizza in the world.

Fact, not opinion.

Italian Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe

The secret is getting the crust right, as it should be thin in the middle and thicker at the edges (the cornicione), crispy but not too hard, and light not stodgy inside.

This simple recipe will give you a perfect Neopolitan pizza dough that will be the best possible pizza base for a pizza with a thin crust. Crispy yet flexible to support the pizza topping when you eat the slices by hand. 

I do not know who invented the deep-pan pizza, but I suspect he was not an Italian. It was probably the same guy that put pineapple on pizza?

I have never seen a deep-pan pizza during my travels through Italy. They have always been thin-crusted pizzas. 

authentic italian pizza

Try and use a nice strong flour (12% protein or more) for making the dough. I have used special Cotswold Pizza Flour to make these pizza bases.

Buy yourself a pizza oven for Christmas

One of the most important tricks to making a perfect Italian pizza is to cook it in a wood-fired oven.

We do not have a wood-fired pizza oven, but we have recently invested in a gas-fired Ooni pizza oven which is the next best alternative.  After heating up, it will cook your pizza in about one minute at 500°C!!!

I really recommend these Ooni’s. They are fantastic!

ooni pizza oven
My Ooni gas-fired oven before first use

Before we purchased this great bit of kit, we just used our normal fan-assisted oven on its maximum temperature. It is not perfect, as it takes longer, but it does the job. 

In both methods, you have to keep an eye on your pizza though to check it is not burning. 

A scorching oven like the Ooni will cook the pizza much quicker and chars the dough better giving it a wonderful crispy texture and slightly charred taste on the outside crust.  

charred pizza
A pizza cooked in my Ooni

Treat yourself to a real portable pizza oven

So maybe you should just get yourself a real Ooni pizza oven. They really are great, and they can be wood, charcoal or gas-fired, and will cook your pizza at 500°C. They only take 15 minutes to warm up and they will also cook your perfect pizza in just 60 seconds!!

Perfect for a pizza party at home!

If you eat a lot of pizza this could be a great investment or Christmas gift. They will do 13″ or 16″ pizzas! 

If you are interested in buying one please click on the appropriate affiliate link below 😃

         IN THE UK 👇                                      IN THE EU 👇                                             

Ooni Koda
Ooni Koda

         IN THE USA 👇

Ooni Koda

Authentic Italian Pizza Toppings

There are many different types of real Italian pizza toppings. Here are a few of the better-known Italian pizza toppings, that you may see in an Italian pizzeria, below:

Margherita Pizza toppings

The basic Margherita has tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil, giving the colours of the Italian flag: red, white and green.

Neapolitan Pizza toppings

An authentic basic Neapolitan pizza is typically made with San Marzano tomatoes from the plains of Mount Vesuvius (the volcano situated near Naples that erupted in 79 AD and buried Pompeii) and buffalo mozzarella cheese from local Italian water buffalo. Other toppings are usually kept simple, with classic options like basil, garlic, and anchovies. Neapolitan pizza is known for its authenticity and is even recognized as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.

Romana Pizza Toppings

The Romana pizza (from Rome) is crispier than a Neopolitan pizza with a smaller cornicione. Typical toppings may contain tomato sauce, mozzarella and anchovies.

Capricciosa Pizza Toppings

This pizza contains tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives. It has the same ingredients as a Quattro Stagioni (Four Seasons), but on the Quattro Stagioni they are placed in four separate quadrants to represent the four seasons.

Quattro Formaggi Toppings

This pizza contains 4 different types of cheese, often mozzarella, gorgonzola, Parmigiano and Fontina. But you may find that other Italian or non-Italian cheeses are used. Normally it will include one blue, soft, creamy and hard cheese.

Siciliana Toppings

Typical Siciliana toppings contain tomato sauce, mozzarella, capers, anchovies and olives.

Prosciutto e Funghi (Ham and mushrooms) Toppings

This pizza contains tomato sauce, mozzarella, Prosciutto (dried Italian ham) and mushrooms.

Any pizza topping you want!

But of course, you can add any type of topping to your pizza, in any combination (well almost) to make whatever you prefer.

We layout the dough and the fillings and let everyone construct their own pizza.  Here are some typical pizzas you would find in our household, before cooking.

Ham, prosciutto, anchovies, mozzarella, basil, capers, dried tomatoes, mushrooms
homemade pizza
Ham, mozzarella, dried tomatoes, basil, olives
salami pizza
Salami, anchovies, prosciutto, mozzarella

This pizza shown below, after cooking in the oven, had onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, capers, anchovies and pepperoni, in addition to mozzarella and tomato passata. A bit of a mix of a Siciliana and a Proscuitto e funghi! But not quite!!

All of these were really tasty! Use any ingredients you like on your pizza! Make it your own!

thin crust pizza
Pizza cooked in the oven
ooni pizza
A pizza cooked in the Ooni

I hope you enjoy trying this recipe. It is great fun to do with kids – they all love making up their own pizzas!

And if you do not have an Ooni yet I suggest you get one!!

Victoria making dough

Here is a video that my daughter made last time we made our own pizzas. We are still learning how to make videos as you can see! I hope you enjoy it!

neopolitan pizza
Italian Pizza Cooked in the oven in the pizza pan

How to make a real Italian Pizza

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Authentic Italian Pizza

Authentic Italian Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

This recipe will show you how to make authentic Neopolitan pizza dough. Add with your favourite ingredients to make a delicious pizza of your choice.


For the dough

  • 500g strong pizza flour
  • 4g salt
  • 325ml cold water
  • Enough warm water to dissolve the yeast
  • 7g packet of instant yeast

For the topping

  • Tomato passata
  • Virgin Olive oil
  • Buffalo Mozzarella
  • Basil
  • And whatever else takes your fancy


  • Semolina flour for the Ooni


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Mix the flour with the salt and slowly add the cold water, bit by bit, until you have a nice dough. I do this in a stand mixer using a dough hook.
  3. Then add the dissolved yeast at the end and make sure you have a well-mixed dough.
  4. Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until you have a stretchy round ball of dough. Rest in a covered floured bowl in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, take the dough and split it into 3 pieces. Stretch and fold each piece four times, turning 90 degrees after each time.
  6. Finally roll into a ball and place each ball in a banneton or bowl for another 30 minutes.

In the Oven

  1. During this time, pre-heat your oven to its maximum heat (mine is 250°C).
  2. Prepare your pizza pans by rubbing will olive oil and giving them a floured surface to stop the pizza from sticking.
  3. Then remove the dough from the bowl and on a floured surface create a disk by putting your fist in the middle. Then to create a real Neopolitan pizza base, rotate the dough in your hands to keep a thin base with a slightly thicker outside rim. It will stretch under its own weight.
  4. Place the pizza dough on the pizza pan and load your pizza with your favourite ingredients. Start by spreading tomato passata and a bit of olive oil from the middle with a spoon, then add mozzarella and anything else you fancy.
  5. Cook in the oven at the highest temperature for 10-15 minutes until cooked, or the outside crust is beginning to char. Keep checking to see if the pizza is ready and check it does not burn.

In the Ooni

  1. Pre-heat your Ooni for 15 minutes.
  2. Then remove the dough from the bowl and on a floured surface create a disk by putting your fist in the middle. Then to create a real Neopolitan pizza base, rotate the dough in your hands to keep a thin base with a slightly thicker outside rim. It will stretch under its own weight.
  3. Prepare your pizza peel (paddle) by sprinkling with flour (or semolina flour if you can find some).
  4. Place the pizza dough on a large floured chopping board and load your pizza with your favourite ingredients. Start by spreading tomato passata and a bit of olive oil from the middle with a spoon, then add mozzarella and anything else you fancy.
  5. Make sure the oven stone is clean. Then when ready, slide the pizza onto the pizza peel.
  6. With a sharp movement slide the pizza into the Ooni.
  7. Keep an eye on the pizza, removing it and turning 90 degrees every 15 seconds or so. It will be ready very quickly. Make sure it does not burn or catch fire.


    These quantities will give you 3 x 12" pizza bases. The thinner you make the base, the better we think!

    Serve your pizza in slices.

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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 614Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 529mgCarbohydrates: 122gFiber: 5gSugar: 1gProtein: 21g

    This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate. These figures just cover the pizza dough.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    This recipe below produces a quicker pizza dough without the waiting time:
    Make Your Own Pizzas

    And here are some other Italian recipes:

    Creamy Bacon Carbonara Recipe
    Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
    Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake
    Creamy Chicken Risotto Recipe
    Creamy Mushroom Risotto Recipe
    Italian Pasta With Anchovies

    Authentic Italian Pizza

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