What makes a good pizza?
To rank in our top pizza list, we judge the pizza based on the dough, the sauce, and the cheese. After this, we look at the ingredients and presentation.
All About the Dough
When trying a pizza, the first thing to look for is the pizza dough itself. When someone making a pizza knows what they are doing, they will focus on the right blend of flour and usually recycle ”mother yeast” sometimes for years or have a good fermentation process giving a great sourdough flavor to the crust.
Testing Your Dough Experience
You can usually tell if the pizza you are eating is made correctly after how you feel after eating it. If you are full all day and wake up bloated, usually you had a dough made with a chemical additive or synthetic yeast that was probably prepared within a 30 min timeframe from start to finish. Good pizza dough will take at least 24 hours to prepare using a natural yeast and flour and will be lighter on your stomach. You shouldn’t wake up bloated unless you’ve consumed multiple pizzas.
The sauce can be tricky as there is no universal recipe for sauce used in a pizza. Italian style will usually use crushed tomatoes while an American style will blend tomatoes and season it well. I am judging the sauce based on the overall flavor of the sauce and how fresh it is (not ketchup or Heinz from a jar).
Cheese Worth Tasting
Lastly, I am ranking restaurants who put emphasis on providing more than just shredded store-bought mozzarella and take the time to either make it in-house or bring in a higher quality cheese. The cheese should have its own flavor and personality and not be hidden in the overall taste of the pizza.
The Plastic Cheese Test
Many pizza places will use a local cheap shredded mozzarella and you can easily tell if this is done simply be not eating the pizza while it’s hot but by waiting maybe five min. After that time, the cheese would have already become a plastic sheet over the pizza and will seem like something not worth tasting. Sometimes its worth it not to listen to the chef screaming for you to eat it hot if you really want to test their cheese. Quality cheese will stay soft longer.