Pizza Glossary and Common Pizza Cooking Terms
Below you will find a comprehensive guide to pizza types and pizza cooking terms. Our pizza glossary is designed for the person that wants to cook award winning pizza recipes but is finding it hard to figure out the many different terms used in the art of cooking pizza.
This guide will help you make sense of it all complete with definitions to the many terms used by award winning pizza chefs to make some of the finist pizzas in the world. This will give you all the terms you need to make wonderful pizza recipes in your own home.
We hope this makes it easier for you and you try some of those wonderfully delicious pizza recipes found on the many pages of Great Pizza Recipes, So, if you were scared to try making your own pizza before because you could not figure out the many different terms used out there this will make it a snap. The list is alphabetical so it should be quick and easy to find what you are looking for.
Pizza A – Z
A firm, creamy and stringy cheese made from water buffalo milk with a delicate flavor and thin rind.
California Style Pizza:
A pizza with a light and airy yet crispy base and exotic toppings such as asparagus, shrimp and smoked salmon.
Chicago Style Pizza:
A deep dish pizza which has cheese under the toppings as well as sprinkled over the top. A Chicago style pizza base has high sides to contain the ingredients rather than having a crust that is thick all over.
An oven fired by coal. The intense heat (up to 800 degrees F) crisps the crust and keeps it chewy without drying it out. The crust of a pizza baked in a coal oven is deliberately finely charred.
The lip or edge of a pizza. Also known as the end crust.
Cracker Style Pizza:
A pizza crust made with under-mixed dough so you can still see bits of flour in it. The dough is fermented for several hours and Pizza Hut were famed for cracker crust pizzas in the 1950s.
A perforated or solid round metal pan with a sharp outer edge and sloped sides for baking pizza.
Focaccia Style Pizza:
A round, flat, bread base topped with oil and toppings but no pizza sauce.
Fresh Pack Tomatoes:
Vine ripened tomatoes packed during the tomato season.
A thin crust Sicilian pizza pie.
The air bubble network in bread dough. The holes allow the crust to puff up.
Also spelt Margarita, this is the classic Neapolitan pizza with a tomato, basil and mozzarella topping to represent the colors of the Italian flag.
Also called Napoletana, this is another classic Neapolitan pizza with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and oregano but no cheese. Anchovies often feature on marinara pizzas.
A soft cheese made from stretched curd which is a key ingredient in many pizza recipes because it is stringy and the flavor goes well with tomato.
What people in New Haven, Connecticut and some New York pizzeria workers call mozzarella.
Neapolitan Style Pizza:
A traditional Italian style pizza baked in a wood-fired stone oven.
New York Style Pizza:
A pizza with a thin, chewy crust topped with a thin sauce and a high butterfat cheese amongst other ingredients. Slices of New York pizza are wide and thin so you can fold them.
The quick increase in pizza crust volume during the first few minutes of the baking time.
Pan Style Pizza:
The pan used to cook this pizza has oil in it which fries the base of the crust, making it crispy and the dough is allowed to rise in the pan before baking, making it thick and deep.
Baking dough without any toppings on it to use at a later date.
Paper that is coated with silicone and treated with sulfuric acid, which makes the surface smooth, non-flammable and grease resistant. You can bake pizza on parchment paper to stop it sticking, especially if you do not have a peel.
Parmesan, or parmigiano reggiano, is the best known hard cheese in Northern Italy. It is also made in the United States and adds a good flavor to many different tyes of pizza recipes.
A spade-shaped tool with a long handle used to get bread or pizza out of the oven. Peels can be made of metal or wood. The wooden ones are usually for putting the pizzas into the oven and the metal ones are very thin and are for removing the pizza but these peels are interchangeable.
Pepperoni, which is a descendant of spicy Italian salamis, is the most commonly requested pizza topping in the United States and appears on one in three pizzas.
Roman style flatbread pizzas with are flavored with olive oil and salt and nothing else.
A circular or curved cutting blade with a handle that can cleanly slice pizza, brownies, lasagne and more. Pizza cutters are usually made of stainless steel. The wheel cutter and curved cutter are both designed to cut through pizza without disturbing the toppings.
Italian for female pizza chef.
Italian for male pizza chef.
A flat slab made of clay, an unglazed ceramic or soapstone tile or something similar on which pizza can be baked. Pizza stones are resistant to high temperatures and they mimic the effect of a traditional pizza oven. They are usually round or rectangular and 1/2 to 7/8 inch thick. Pizza stones can crisp a pizza base better than solid metal. Pizza stones need to be preheated for half an hour but they shorten the overall pizza cooking time.
To bake pizza dough for a few minutes before adding toppings to make the crust dry out or rise.
A blend of Swiss, provolone and white cheddar cheeses which is considered the key ingredient in St Louis style pizzas.
This Italian cheese is a stretched curd cheese which gets its name from the Italian word “prova”, meaning ball shaped.
This is a sharp and piquant Italian cheese which is cured for between five months and a year or sometimes more.
San Marzano Tomatoes:
Famous tomatoes grown in Italy’s San Marzano region. These have juicy, thick flesh and a low acid and sugar content, making them ideal for use in pizza sauce recipes.
A round or rectangular metal screen with a beaded rim on the outside. The air can circulate underneath the pizza to ensure even baking and a crispy crust. Pizza screens range in size from 6 inches to over 20 inches in diameter.
Another name for a slice of Sicilian pizza.
A rectangular pizza with a thick crust which usually has sauce all over the cheese.
A stuffed pizza resembles a Chicago style pizza but they have a medium thick dough topped with sauce, toppings and then cheese. A thin dough of layer goes over the top and then more sauce and cheese, making these pizzas multi-layered like a lasagna. Stuffed pizzas normally take about half an hour to bake.
Thick Style Pizza:
These are thicker versions of thin crust pizzas and are usually baked directly on the oven hearth or on a disk or screen. To make a thick style pizza, more dough is used and it is allowed ample time to proof before the sauce and toppings are added.
Fired, unglazed quarry clay tiles arranged in one or more layers can be used instead of pizza stones. They need to be unglazed for health reasons and you can get them at home and garden stores.
Thin Style Pizza:
Thin crust pizza dough is stretched by hand after being mixed. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These pizzas usually have a thin sauce and the toppings are not piled on too high.
A microscopic, single celled organism which turns starch and sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide, making dough rise.