Solving the Pizza Puddle Problem

by Alex Sawatzky

One of my favourite pizzas to make at home is the classic Margherita. I love its simplicity: fresh mozzarella, a simple tomato sauce, and freshly torn basil leaves. So balanced, so fresha triumph.

If you’re like me though, you may have discovered creating a restaurant-quality Margherita pizza is not as simple as it looks. 

Let’s talk about puddles.

Those heavenly balls of fresh mozzarella are stored in watery whey and contain a substantial amount of moisture. In commercial pizza ovens that hit 800-900ºF, most of this water simply evaporates. But in a home oven that only gets to 550ºF, this evaporation just doesn’t happen at the same rate. 

The excess moisture from the mozzarella forms watery puddles that prevent the dough from cooking. And honestly, puddles just don’t look that appetizing. 

Fortunately, I’ve learned a little trick that will set your fresh mozzarella up for success.

Simply tear that ball of mozzarella into 5 or 6 pieces. Then let those pieces sit on a clean kitchen towel or in a fine metal sieve underneath something heavy-ish for about a half-hour before assembling your pizza. 

This simple extra step squeezes out the excess water and you’ll be amazed with the difference it makes. When you cook your pizza, there will be no more puddles. Just beautifully melted cheese, shining in all its delicate, moderately salty, slightly tangy glory.

Passionate about making great pizza at home, Alex Sawatzky is the official pizzaiolo for TOMME. Look for her pizza-centric blog posts each month on

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