How to make the perfect pizza

We've teamed up with Italian eatery Prezzo to find out how to make the perfect pizza at home

Published 7th Jun 2016
Updated 7 th Jun 2016

Prezzo's executive chef Paul Lewis loves to include flavours from his travels in his dishes. We caught up with him to find out what he thinks makes the perfect pizza.

What is the perfect thickness for a pizza crust?

At Prezzo, we make all our crusts to a maximum of 5mm, as this ensures that they cook within 3 minutes and are perfectly crispy.

Our pizzas are traditional Neopolitan: stretched by hand, and cooked in an extremely hot oven until crispy.

What do you think makes the best pizza sauce?

Tinned tomatoes are the best type to use, as they keep their flavour for a lot longer - if you can get tinned San Marzano, they are the best. Apart from that, the secret to a great tasting pizza sauce is to keep it simple: tinned tomatoes (crushed by hand), olive oil, salt, finely milled black pepper and oregano.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Being a traditionalist, I love a classic Neopolitan margherita. However, I do love salsiccia piccante, which is young pepperoni style Italian sausage. This is why my second go to pizza is a Vesuvio, which is a margherita base with salsiccia piccante, finished with roquito chilli pearls; they give a great burst of flavour!

What’s the best way of including great Scottish produce in a classic Italian pizza?

Obviously Scotland has some of the finest produce in the British Isles. Scottish seafood is second to none - Scottish salmon makes a great pizza topping, as do prawns, and even lobster.

Scottish beef is also famous throughout the world, and a few strips of roast beef, just placed on a cooked pizza and heated briefly in the oven is fantastic.

Scottish cheese is growing in reputation: our favourite is the Mull of Kintyre cheddar, which has an amazing flavour. At Prezzo, we also use Scottish raspberries when in season- not on our pizza’s though!


Do you have any top tips for making a perfect pizza at home?

The first thing you should do is invest in a pizza stone. This helps you cook the pizza as we would in our traditional stone baked ovens.

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Secondly, make your own dough: use flour, water, sugar and yeast.

Fresh yeast gives a better flavour. Also if you use cold water the dough will prove slower, meaning that when you cook your dough it will rise more evenly and be crispier. It is preferable to make your dough the day before, and then let it rest overnight until it has doubled or tripled in size.

Finally, your oven can not be hot enough! We cook at 280-300 degrees centigrade - just be careful when removing the hot stone!

How can we make pizzas healthier?

Using low fat mozzarella, reducing the amount of salt and sugar in the dough, reducing the amount of salt or cheese sprinkled on the pizza, and using thinner pizza bases or less pizza dough are some of the ways we can make pizzas healthier.

Is there anything you can recommend as a pizza topping that people might not have thought of?

Grilled peaches make a great pizza topping, or just sliced peaches. They go perfectly with prosciutto, balsamic and Gorgonzola.

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What’s the most unusual pizza topping you’ve come across?

Prezzo once had a competition and one of the entrants presented a strawberry pizza with balsamic onions and smoked bacon. It might sound strange but it kind of worked! Unfortunately, it did not win the competition.

• Italian restaurant Prezzo offers a range of delicious dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients in a variety of locations across the UK including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. If you want to know more about Prezzo visit

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