If you aren’t familiar with pizza Cubana, be prepared to have your life changed! Once you try this delicious sweet and simple thick-based pizza, you won’t be able to get enough of it!
What Is Pizza Cubana?
Cuban pizza is pretty much like any other type of pizza across the globe. The biggest difference is the dough that you use to make it. Pizza dough is what mostly differentiates different pizzas from different regions.
You can make pizza Cubana using a pizza dough that is slightly sweeter than your average Italian pizza dough. And the dough is also thicker, making it more bread-like in texture than thin and crispy.
Another element that makes Cuban pizzas unique is their simplicity. The dish isn’t meant to be complex in flavor or intricate in texture. The pizza should be relatively quick to make and very easy to accessorize with simple toppings.
The most common toppings used for Cuban pizzas include classic ones. For a meat addition, you can use ham, chorizo, ground beef, pepperoni, shrimp, or lobster.
For a vegetable addition, you can add picadillo and green peppers. Of course, there are many more you can add. But these are traditional.
And finally, what no pizza can do without, you can add a homemade tomato sauce and some delicious melting cheese. If you are in Cuba, they only use grated Gouda. But in Miami, you will find that most pizzas have a mixture of Gouda and mozzarella.
Pizza Cubana can also be served in a unique way. Once the pizza is done baking, each slice is folded in half to create a pizza sandwich. It isn’t a must-do, but many say it is part of what makes a pizza Cuban.
How To Make Pizza Cubana – What You Will Need
My recipe consists of three main elements – the dough, the pizza sauce, and the toppings.
For the dough, I use a simple yeast-based pizza dough recipe. The way you roll it is what mainly makes Cuban pizzas unique. It should be about 1/2 an inch in thickness.
Then, I also made my own pizza sauce from scratch. This sauce can be made while the pizza dough is prooving (rests). It is easy and uses a few simple, yet flavorful ingredients.
And finally, to assemble the pizza, you can spread the sauce over the rolled-out dough and add the cheese and toppings.
Tips And Tricks For Making The Best Pizza Cubana
- I highly recommend investing in a pizza pan or pizza stone. These tools help your pizza dough cook more evenly, and quickly, and get a more crisp base.
- For a thin-crust Cuban pizza, you can roll the dough until it is about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. But, standard pizza Cubana is roughly 1/2 an inch.
- To add some texture to the base of your dough, dust the baking pan, pizza pan, or pizza stone with some semolina flour. The grainy texture adds flavor and a crunch to every bite.
- You can use any type of toppings that you’d like for this pizza. As I have mentioned before, Cuban pizza is usually very simple when it comes to the type of toppings that are used. So, don’t over-complicate things.
- To make the dough in advance, shape it on the pizza pan and place it inside the freezer for 1 hour. Once it is hard enough to handle without misshaping, wrap it tightly in plastic or saran wrap. Place it back in the freezer and store it for up to 3 months.
What toppings can you use for pizza Cubana?
If you don’t like the toppings I used for my Cuban-style pizza, you can always change things up. However, Cuban pizza is always simple. The toppings are more meaty and there are very few traditional vegetables you can add.
Where can you buy pizza Cubana?
There aren’t that many pizza shops that sell authentic Cuban pizza. Miami is likely the best place to look. Otherwise, you can try buying Cuban Pizza dough online.
Do you need to fold the pizza Cubana?
No, you don’t need to fold pizza Cubana, but it is a popular way to serve the dish. Actually, most people in Cuba don’t fold their pizzas. It is more of a Miami thing to do.
More Recipe You Can Try
How To Make Pizza Cubana – Easy, & Authentic Recipe
For the Cuban pizza dough
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated white sugar
- 1 cup water, heated to 110-120ºF (43-49ºC)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, softed
- 1/3 tsp fine salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the pizza sauce
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 1/2 can (7 ounces) canned tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp Italian herb seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced chorizo or pepperoni
- Dried oregano for garnish, optional
Make the pizza Cubana dough
- For this pizza Cubana recipe, start by making the pizza dough. First, whisk the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a small bowl. Then, allow the mixture to sit for 8-10 minutes or until it becomes foamy.
- Next, add the flour and salt to a large mixing bowl. Make a small well in the center.
- Then, add the yeast mixture and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients together until they form a dough.
- Once you have a dough, start kneading it for roughly 5 minutes. The dough is ready when it is soft and elastic. When you gently press the surface, the indent will bounce back almost immediately.
- When your dough is kneaded, shape it into a large ball. Then, place it in a greased mixing bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to proof for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
For the pizza sauce
- While the dough is proofing, make the tomato pizza sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Then, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove it from the heat completely and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Shape and assemble the pizza
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Then, remove the proofed dough from the bowl and place it on a pizza pan or pizza stone.
- Stretch or roll the dough until it fits onto the baking dish. It should be roughly 1/2 an inch in thickness.
- Next, add a generous amount of homemade pizza sauce and leave 1/4-inch space around the edges. Add your toppings to the cheese and make sure that they are spread evenly.
Bake the pizza Cubana
- Finally, bake your pizza Cubana for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Then, slice it and serve it immediately with some dried oregano garnish.