The pizza is a tart of Italian origin made of wheat flour bread dough spread with tomato coulis, and other ingredients like cheese, salami, mushrooms, onions, ham or olives and baked in wood, gas or electric oven. Originally from Neapolitan cuisine, the pizza is one of the dishes of Italian cuisine that has established itself almost everywhere in the world, often adapting to local tastes.
It is a dish of artisanal processing in most cases, although the food industry has been presenting, since the 1950s as a food comfort in supermarkets. At present, several companies distribute it at home. The most accepted origin is in ancient Rome, where it was customary to make circular bread and after cooking, cut it into portions as with the current pizzas. Then it is possible to deduce that the origin of the pizza is due to the addition of extra ingredients on this type of bread.
The ancient Greeks covered the flat bread with oil, herbs and cheeses. The Romans developed the placenta, a flat bread smeared with cheese and honey flavored with bay leaves. The modern pizza was developed towards the seventeenth century in the city of Naples, where there are the first documentary references about the origins of a kind of bread topped with tomato. In 1889, the cheese was added.
It is said that at the time of King Ferdinand I (1751-1825), the queen had banned pizza at court. But Ferdinand, who fascinated her, mocked the order by dressing as a plebeian to sneak around a poor neighborhood of Naples, where this meal was prepared. Over time he confessed his taste and pizza became a great success throughout Italy.
The pizza is attested originally in the sense of focaccia, cake, from 997 in medieval era in a Latin archive document Gaeta Cathedral. It appears in 1535 in Neapolitan dialect in the work of Rimario de Benedetto Di Falco and from 1549 in Italian Florentine. It specialized in its present meaning since 1570. The exact etymology of the word is difficult to determine and there are several hypotheses about this.
The Italians also used the words focaccia and schiacciata. It is only at the end of the Second World War that the term pizza spread in Europe and the rest of the world. In the old German pizzo meant bite and piece of bread. In the twelfth century pizzo turns into pizza and indicates a small round and tender bread, typical of the Lombard towns.
However, flat breads are a tradition throughout the Mediterranean. Perhaps this bread that had an old Persian origin and was introduced in Magna Graecia in southern Italy by the first Greek settlers. In the third century, from the first history of Rome, mentions a round mass dressed with olive oil, herbs and honey, baked on stones. Archaeological excavations have brought to light shops with a great similarity to a modern pizzeria.
Until the introduction of the tomato, one of the main ingredients of the current pizza in Europe and its use in the kitchen at the end of the xviith century, the so-called pizza then had nothing to do with that today. It presented itself in different forms and several types of which the variety was not limited to fillings but also expanded the methods of cooking oven or fried in oil.
The pizzella is a kind of guard-bread, that appears in the collection of Neapolitan tales published in 1634. The texts specifies that the sweet pizzella was reserved for the courts and the salty pizzella was a sort of outdoor snack, reserved for the ordinary masses.
The pizza bianca was gradually dethroned by pizza rossa, partly because the first was too close to the many cousins in Italy. But it's more likely the mythical episode of the creation of the Margherita pizza in homage to Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889 must be the explanation of this substitution. The red pizza is made in a new process, with the Italian mass emigration, and becomes a symbolic flag of their nation.
Different ingredients such as meats, vegetables, fish and various cheeses can be used in the preparation of the pizza. The use of tomato sauce is not mandatory, in fact, traditionally, it is spoken of pizze rosse or red pizzas and pizze bianche or white pizzas according to the ingredients are placed on a layer of tomato sauce or directly on the mass of the pizza.
You can add fresh ingredients to pre-prepared and frozen pizzas, even if these are not margherita pizzas. You can add others, like an extra mozzarella, fresh tomato, peppers or season it with basil, oregano, garlic Or pepper and olive oil. The mass of the fresh pizza can be kept for a few hours in a cool and not excessively dry place.
In pizzerias it is common to have several pizza bases already shaped ready to put the rest of ingredients and bake. The ingredients, especially the tomato sauce, to have high humidity would soften the dough if they did not put just in the moment of baking the pizza.
In many countries, pizzas are sold in supermarkets as frozen or quick frozen food. All kinds of food technology has been used to create tasty frozen pizzas. The main obstacles have been to prevent the sauce from mixing with the dough and to produce a crust that could be frozen and then reheated becoming crunchy but not hard or stiff. Traditionally, the dough is pre-baked and the rest of the ingredients have been precooked although, lately, they have begun to appear pizzas with all the raw ingredients. The deep freeze allows pizzas with the thin but crunchy dough by not mixing ingredients that can be fresh and retain better their nutritional properties and flavor.
Depending on the type of pizza, fresh or frozen pizza, fine or coarse dough, depending on the coating ingredients) and the type of oven used in cooking (firewood, electric stone, household electric, etc. Or less wide. From the 60 to 90 seconds that marks the tradition of classic Neapolitan pizzas until about 15 minutes that can take baking a deep-frozen pizza. In practically all the elaborated pizzas appears in the package the recommended times of cooking.
The heat should come from both the top and the bottom of the oven. In electric ovens we will connect the lower and upper resistors. In wood ovens the dome of the wood will give heat by reflection and by irradiation of the heat absorbed. In furnaces with assisted ventilation (fan that moves and distributes the hot air inside the oven) it is convenient to switch off this function as it does not improve the cooking but it can dry excessively the pizza and especially the superior ingredients.
To cut the pizza and make portions you can use a cutter, a sharp disc attached to a handle and suspended by the center so that you can rotate by cutting the pizza by pressure without dragging the ingredients or tear the dough. In fast food type establishments it is common to purchase and consume pizza portions. Also when the format of the pizza is large and will be shared.
The traditional way to serve round pizzas is in triangular portions, the portions are usually one-sixth or one-eighth the size of the entire pizza. Rectangular pizzas, typical of pizza al taglio are usually cut into regular shapes (squares or rectangles). There are variants of pizza in different parts of the world, which employ different ingredients.
Pizza has become an international fast food, since the ingredients can be adapted to local tastes. Pizzas with non-traditional ingredients are known in the United States as gourmet pizza or California style. The Hawaiian pizza is a German invention, and consists of a base of cheese and tomato with ham sometimes bacon cover pineapple slices.
In the city of Buenos Aires there is a variant known as pizza de cancha or popular pizza consisting of the mass covered with tomato sauce, without cheese, and strongly seasoned. This type of pizza was sold by street vendors at the start of football matches, although over time its elaboration and marketing was extended to all the pizzerias in Buenos Aires.
It is also, of course, consumed in the restaurant called pizzeria, when pizza is the unique or main product of the menu, delivered or take away, but also in fast food chains like Pizza Hut, Speed Rabbit Pizza, La Boîte Pizza, Domino's Pizza, Pizza Delight in Canada and even dealer self-service. In USA is also celebrated the National Pizza Day.
Preparation Time: 60 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 265 calories per 100 gms
4 cups flour
1 tsp yeast
10 cubes cheese
10 cubed chicken pieces
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Pour half of the flour large bowl and salt, mixing by hand. Add the water bit by bit. After working the mixture for a few seconds, add the yeast and mix thoroughly. Continue to incorporate the remaining flour, combining it in a rocking motion. Once all the flour is absorbed, flip the dough on the table and continue to knead folding it over itself.
Work the mixture making sure that no lumps. Add the remaining flour, and sinking his hands clenched fist to work the dough mass. The result should be a dough elastic, smooth and not too moist. Let the dough rest for two hours, covered with a damp cloth, in a sheltered area. When finished, remove the dough and form dough balls of 200 grams each.
Knead and put them on a board, cover and let rest for at least 6 hours. At the end, on a board coated with flour, roll the dough balls so as to obtain the round shapes of the pizza.
Once the dough is ready, pass on a baking tray, spread the cheese in the center. Season with tomato, chicken, basil and extra virgin olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes in a hot oven at 200 degrees. Serve.