Pizza, a dish loved worldwide, has its roots firmly planted in Naples, Italy, where it took its modern form between the 16th and mid-18th century. The term “pizza” was first documented in AD 997 in Gaeta and later in various parts of Central and Southern Italy. However, pizza-like foods have been enjoyed since antiquity, with records of similar dishes found throughout ancient history. For instance, Persian soldiers serving under Darius the Great in the 6th century BC baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields. In Ancient Greece, a flatbread called plakous was popular, flavored with toppings like herbs, onion, cheese, and garlic.

The modern birthplace of pizza is the Campania region in southwestern Italy, home to the city of Naples. The early pizzas consumed by Naples’ poor were garnished with tasty ingredients like tomatoes, cheese, oil, anchovies, and garlic. Many believe that the pizza we know today was created by baker Raffaele Esposito in Naples for the royal visit of Queen Margherita in 1889. The queen’s favorite variety was called pizza mozzarella, a pie topped with soft white cheese, red tomatoes, and green basil. This particular topping combination was named pizza Margherita.

While pizza-like dishes have been enjoyed in various forms for centuries, the pizza that we’re familiar with today, complete with a yeasted flatbread crust, tomato sauce, and cheese, originated in Naples, Italy. It’s fascinating to see how this humble dish from Naples has evolved and spread to become a beloved food all around the world!

The perfect blend of a crispy crust, tangy tomato sauce, and gooey cheese is a culinary masterpiece that has won hearts globally. Today, we’re going to embark on a culinary journey to create an authentic Italian-style pizza right in your kitchen. So, roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!


Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour: This is the base of your pizza. It gives the pizza its structure and texture. The taste is slightly sweet and nutty.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt: Salt enhances the flavors of the other ingredients and makes the dough more pliable.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast and helps the dough rise. It also adds a subtle sweetness to the crust.
  • 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast: Yeast is a key ingredient that makes the dough rise, giving the crust its characteristic light, airy texture.
  • 1 cup of warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C): Warm water activates the yeast, helping it work its magic on the dough.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil: Olive oil adds richness to the dough and makes it tender.

For the Toppings:

  • 1 cup of pizza sauce: The sauce adds a tangy and savory flavor to the pizza. It serves as the perfect base for the cheese and other toppings.
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese: Mozzarella is the classic choice for pizza. It melts beautifully, creating that irresistible stretchy cheese pull.
  • Your favorite toppings: This could include anything from pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms, or even pineapple if you’re a fan of Hawaiian pizza!

Optional Ingredients:

  • Fresh basil leaves: Basil adds a fresh, peppery flavor that complements the richness of the cheese and sauce.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: Parmesan adds a sharp, nutty flavor that elevates the taste of the pizza.
  • Red pepper flakes: If you like a bit of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of your pizza.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Prepare the Dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the yeast with warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. This is proof that the yeast is active. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour mixture. Stir until a dough forms.
  2. Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. This step is crucial for developing the gluten in the dough, which gives the crust its chewy texture.
  3. Let the Dough Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
  4. Preheat Your Oven: While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to its highest setting, typically between 450-500 degrees F (230-260 degrees C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven while it preheats.
  5. Shape the Pizza: Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air bubbles. Transfer it to a floured surface and roll it out into your desired pizza shape.
  6. Add the Toppings: Spread a layer of pizza sauce on the dough, leaving a border for the crust. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella evenly over the sauce, and add your favorite toppings.
  7. Bake the Pizza: Transfer the pizza to the preheated oven (or onto the pizza stone if using) and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the cheese to set slightly, making the pizza easier to slice. Enjoy your homemade Italian-style pizza!

Fun Facts

  • Did you know that the Margherita pizza was named after Queen Margherita of Italy in the late 19th century? The toppings of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil represent the colors of the Italian flag.
  • The world’s largest pizza was made in Rome in 2012 and measured a whopping 13,580 square feet!
  • In Italy, pizza is often eaten with a knife and fork, not with hands.


Making your own pizza at home is a fun and rewarding experience. Plus, it allows you to customize your pizza to your liking. So, why not give it a try? You might just discover your new favorite pizza recipe!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here