Pizza Tonight!

Okay! Show of hands: how many of you like pizza? Right, most of us do, don’t we. How many of you think that pizza was invented by Italian-Americans in the 20’s and 30’s? Yeah, I did too. It just didn’t seem that authentic to me. I’ve heard the stories about some guy opening a small place and inventing pizza. Well, I’ve found out that’s just not true. Here’s a little bit about pizza’s history.

Pizza is basically a flatbread, with stuff on it. If you took a pita and kept it flat, then piled gyro meat, onions, tomatoes, add zatziki  sauce, you would have something similar. So, pizza is a flat bread from the Mediterranean countries, specifically Italy. The word pizza is thought to be a corruption of the Latin word pinsa, which means flatbread.  Pizza has been around for a long, long time. Don’t laugh, but a pizza  from the Bronze Age, around 1700 B.C., was found recently. Talk about cold pizza, right? Anyway, pizza is an old food.

It didn’t start to look like modern pizza until the 18th and early 19th century that pizza really started to look like it does today. The Italians had tomatoes (an import from North America)  as early as 1530, but like most people of the time, they raised them as ornamental plants because they thought they were poisonous. Anyway, once the poor of Italy discovered that tomatoes weren’t poisonous Italian cuisine changed forever. Hurray!!!

Another thing that changed Italian cuisine forever and pizza specifically, was the importation of the Water Buffalo from India. Italians, along with several cultures, have the habit of taking the milk from a whole lot of animals and turning it into cheese. They have done so with Water Buffalo milk. It’s called mozzarella di buffalo and it totally transformed pizza. Fresh mozzarella makes an amazing difference on pizza. Really, everything on pizza should be fresh, when you get down to it.

Well I have a recipe for pizza that I like fairly well. I don’t use fresh ingredients, but they can be substituted in place of what I used. So, here it is.

Pizza

Crust Ingredients:

Bread Flour      48oz

Warm Water     28oz

Yeast                  1oz

Salt                     1oz

Olive Oil             2oz

Process:

Add water, flour, Olive oil, and yeast to mixer bowl. Mix on low for 4 minutes.

Turn mixer on to 2nd speed and add salt. Mix for 4 minutes.

Dump dough onto a clean surface and round. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

Scale out to 6oz pieces, round, put on a sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and proof in cooler for 20 minutes.

Remove from cooler and roll out thin. Cover with sauce of your choice add toppings like sausage or pepperoni, cover with cheese and bake in a 350 oven until done.

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Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 4:39 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We really need to work something out where I can photograph your food more often. You don’t even need to feed me.

  2. mmm…pizza…


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