Every time I have had a really good pizza (usually in Italy for some reason) there's one thing that stand out more than anything else and that's the crust. What I have noticed about those really good pizzas is that the crust have a very rough texture, almost like sand paper. I have tried to find a picture of this but it's hard to find any. This was the best I could find now:

enter image description here

You see all those white spots? (They are all over the pizza, not only on the bottom like in this picture) What are they and why do only a few pizzas have them? Is it a special kind of flour in the dough? Is it some other secret ingredient? Every time I see a pizza with this texture I know it will be a good one. Note: It's not just dusted with flour. It seem to be embedded and part of the dough.

2 Answers 2


Oftentimes, semolina is spread on the peel so that the pizza will slide off (known as launching). That could cause this phenomenon.

  • 1
    Semolina is common, as is corn meal either of which will look like this and be relatively neutral flavor. A good, hot pizza stone or brick oven will then sear the dough and give you this look.
    – dlb
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 21:42
  • I would add that it's not just plain cornmeal. Cornmeal is often very finely ground whereas semolina tends to be larger grain sizes. Most likely if you buy cornmeal, it'll have the texture of flour and you won't get those noticeable bits on the bottom of your pizza crust, it'll be as if you just sprinkled on some flour
    – cchoe1
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 1:19

That's semolina or cornmeal, and it's used to help the pizza slide off the peel. However, there's a bit of a correlation/causation issue here. The semolina/cornmeal doesn't add much to the flavor, but it's presence indicates the pizza was likely cooked in a hot brick oven or on a hot baking stone. When pizza is cooked in a pan, a think layer of oil is generally used to avoid sticking.

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