Baking Pizza: Avoid These 9 Mistakes!

What comes to mind when you think of Italian food? Pizza of course. After all, you can’t go wrong with a really good pizza. If we don’t know what to eat tonight, pizza is always a good idea – in the corner of an Italian restaurant or in the comfort of the sofa at home with a delivery service. We are big advocates of DIY. However, baking pizza is also an art! Did you know there are 9 classic pizza mistakes that many home cooks make? We explain to you – so that a delicious home-baked meal can truly succeed.

Mistakes when baking pizza: number 1 – wrong flour

Everyone has flour type 405 in the pantry – and it is not surprising that such flour is used to prepare pizza dough. But if you value the original Italian dough, you are making the wrong choice. Flour is not just flour, and that does not only apply to pizza: here you can find out which type of flour is used for which recipe.

Italians use a completely different type of flour – like flour 0, also called tipo 00 in Bella Italia. This difference prevents an overly stretchy structure and makes the dough incredibly smooth.

However, this flour is not usually used alone for the flour, but is usually mixed with Manitoba flour. What is it again, you ask yourself? Manitoba flour is a flour with a particularly high gluten content and is generally suitable for all types of baking that require a long rise. The powder provides an elastic, smooth texture. The dough will be smooth and well-rounded. That’s how it should be! Right here in this recipe!

You can find both types of flour online, at some bakeries or at well-stocked specialty stores. If you want to bake pizza yourself often, you should think about buying it. The perfect base for your pizza!

Mistake number 2 – wrong amount of water

In addition to flour, water is essential to a successful pizza dough. It is especially important to find the right relationship. Many recipes recommend using 2/3 flour and 1/3 water. The bad thing about it: in this ratio, the flour is not only very dry but also very hard.

Better: 55 percent flour and 45 percent water. The consistency of the dough is more for advanced users, but the salty and sweet result of the baked pizza is worth all the effort.

Mistake number 3 – too much yeast in the flour

Let’s move on to the next important ingredient in pizza dough: yeast. Although the original Italian mother yeast is the first choice, the usual yeast from German supermarkets is also suitable.

But no matter which type you use, yeast has its own unique flavor—and that shouldn’t be ignored.

Fortunately, there is a simple guide: 1 g of dry yeast or 3 grams of fresh yeast is enough for 500 grams of flour. It is hardly worth mentioning, but it is important for the result.

But what to do if the yeast dough does not want to rise? Fortunately, we have help for this.

Mistake number 4 – There is not enough rest time for the dough

Yeast dough should rest – not big news. And especially when baking pizza, the right resting time is crucial for the perfect result. We will tell you exactly what to consider.

Find a comfortable 22 degrees in your home. This dough should rest, covered, for twelve hours. It’s true – it’s not exactly short, but according to heimgourmet.com, this tip comes from a famous Neapolitan pizza baker. Ideally, the dough should rest on a wooden cutting board, because this allows the dough to recover any liquid that comes out while it is resting. Fun!

Hands kneading dough on a floured work surface surrounded by typical pizza ingredients.
Is that still cooking or more of a workout for your upper arms? Pizza dough must be kneaded for a very long time. © Getty Images/ istetiana

Mistake number 5 – rolled too short

Now it’s time for the muscles! After the rest period, the dough must first be properly ground – and that (don’t panic) for 20 minutes. This is the only way to get the right consistency. Continue crushing from the outside to the center.

And look at it this way: With this kind of training, you deserve the joy of pizza…

Mistake number 6 – Baked too cold

This is a mistake that probably 99 percent of all hobby bakers make when baking pizza. At least if they have a completely normal kitchen. In a typical kitchen, there’s usually only one standard oven – and it won’t reach the temperature you need for a perfect wow pizza.

In fact, an oven temperature of 400 (!!!) is ideal for pizza – and it is difficult to achieve at home, which is why homemade pizza is baked at a normal temperature.

If you really care about the end result and often bake your own pizza, you should consider buying a stone or wood oven for your garden or patio. Otherwise, you too can come to terms with this little flaw. Perfection is a matter of opinion anyway.

Mistake # 7 – Tomato paste in the meat

Making the Pooh powder is a real gauntlet run in itself. But even if everything goes smoothly, one or the other hole is hidden in the next pizza baking process.

For example, how to make pizza sauce? Do you use tomato paste? Not a good idea! In fact, it can make the pizza too dry and chewy.

We have a better idea for you: reach for diced canned tomatoes (often called pizza tomatoes for a good reason). Add some chopped garlic, salt, pepper and some Italian herbs according to your personal taste. Of course, you can use fresh tomatoes. These should be cleaned well and free of green. Cut the meat and put it in a tin, then salt it. In this way, the tomatoes lose excess water, which can immediately flow through the sieve – and as a result, the dough will not be wet.

Mistake number 8 – overdoing it

The pizza topping is undoubtedly the highlight of the event. With great enthusiasm, some people tend to drink too much plastic.

This is not a good idea for two reasons: First, too much sausage, vegetables, and cheese means the pizza won’t bake properly and will squish instead of spread. In addition, the flavors of the ingredients do not match well with each other and they are quickly arranged with each other. Better: Limit yourself to three items per pizza.

Mistake number 9 – Pizza is filled too early

The dough is finally ready and rolled out, so most people slap the sauce, toppings, and cheese on the floor to quickly pop it into the oven. After all, the road to get here was long and arduous. However, this is not recommended – at least if you bake in a normal oven at normal temperature. Cheese burns quickly when the dough is not yet done. It doesn’t really fit…

Pizza dough with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil
Are all the ingredients right on the pizza? Not better – for good reasons. © Getty Images/ istetiana

Therefore, we recommend the following procedure: First, spread the sauce on the dough and knead it beforehand. In the middle of the baking time, the rest of the food such as vegetables and sausage can be added to the pizza. Cheese (especially mozzarella) shouldn’t be put on pizza until it’s gone.

This way the dough is crisp, the sauce is fruity, the other ingredients and the cheese is how it should be: soft melting and very creamy!


Unbelievable, but true: There are some mistakes that most people don’t think about when baking pizza. Our methods should help you get the best results the next time you try it in the kitchen at home. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!

Looking for some pizza recipes to apply your new theoretical knowledge? Then check it out here:

The little things in cooking and baking are often not on the radar. For example, did you know that you can make a lot of mistakes when cooking pasta? We will teach you more in our cooking school so that you are well prepared for your next cooking and baking project.

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