The word pizza is believed to be from an Old Italian word meaning “a point,” which in turn became the Italian word “pizzicare,” which means “to pinch” or “pluck.” Pizza has been a basic part of the Italian diet for a long time. Most people associate pizza with Italie. It is also said that the idea of using bread as a plate cam from the Greeks.
Umberto I (1844-1900), King of Italy, and his wife, Queen Margherita di Savoia (1851-1926), in Naples on holiday, called to their palace the most popular of the pizzaioli (pizza chef), Raffaele Esposito, to taste his specialties. He prepared three kinds of pizzas: one with pork fat, cheese, and basil; one with garlic, oil, and tomatoes; and another with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes (in the colors of the Italian flag). The Queen liked the last kind of pizza so much that she sent to the pizzzaiolo a letter to thank him saying, “I assure you that the three kinds of pizza you have prepared were very delicious.” Raffaele Esposito dedicated his specialty to the Queen and called it “Pizza Margherita.” This pizza set the standard by which today’s pizza evolved as well as firmly established Naples as the pizza capitol of the world.
In the late 19th century, pizza was sold in the streets in Naples at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was cut from a large tray that had been cooked in the baker’s oven and had a simple topping of mushrooms and anchovies. As pizza became more popular, stalls were set up where the dough was shaped as customers ordered. Various toppings were invented. The stalls soon developed into the pizzeria, an open-air place for people to congregate, eat, drink, and talk.
Pizza migrated to America with the Italians in the latter half of the 19th century. Pizza was introduced to Chicago by a peddler who walked up and down Taylor Street with a metal washtub of pizzas on his head, crying his wares at two cents a chew. This was the traditional way pizza used to be sold in Naples, in copper cylindrical drums with false bottoms that were packed with charcoal from the oven to keep the pizzas hot. The name of the pizzeria was embossed on the drum. For many people, especially among the Italian-American population, the first American pizzas were known as Tomato Pie. Even in the present 21st century, present-day tomato pie is most commonly found in the Northeastern United States, especially in Italian bakeries in central New York. Tomato pies are built the opposite of pizza pies – first the cheese, then the toppings, and then the sauce. In case you would like to read more about the history of Pizza I Found this story on whats cooking America.
1 1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cornmeal
1. Before you start turn the oven on to 350F. When you are finished making the dough this is where I put the dough on top of the stove to rise.
2. Bread machine: Add ingredients to machine bread pan in order given or as per manufacturer’s instructions. Set to ‘dough’ mode.
3. Food processor: Place water, sugar, salt and olive oil in bowl of food processor and pulse to dissolve sugar and salt. Add yeast, bread flour and all purpose flour. Process until a soft ball forms. Remove from machine and allow to rest, covered with a tea towel, about 45 minutes.
4. Dough hook: Place water, sugar, yeast in bowl and let it sit for 5 min till frothy. Add olive oil to the yeast mix.
5. Then add the bread flour, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Knead with dough hook to form a soft, but not-too sticky dough (about 5 minutes).
6. Put a little olive oil in the bowl. Add the pizza dough and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Put the bowl on the preheated oven so the dough can rise.
Split the dough by 4 balls and cover with a towel and let it rise again for about 30 min.
By Hand: use only all-purpose flour. Place water, sugar, salt and olive oil in bowl and dissolve sugar and salt. Stir in yeast, all purpose flour and knead to form a soft, but not-too sticky dough (about 8-l0 minutes). Allow to rest, covered with a tea towel about 45 minutes.
(*) For a breadier pizza dough – depending on taste and recipe requirements, you can add an additional 1/4 tsp. yeast.
Deflate dough very gently before using and allow it to rest a further 15 minutes before using in a recipe. You may refrigerate dough in an oiled plastic bag for up to two days.
*Arrisje’s Recipe Card. Click on the pic below, save to your hard drive, print as a 4×6 pic.read more