How to make a good pizza?
The history of pizza probably dates back as far as 12 thousand years, and its recipe was discovered by the inhabitants of today’s Middle East, from where the pizza spread throughout southern Europe and northern Africa over the centuries. Italy is indeed the birthplace of a real pizza, which we still know today.
It was in Naples, probably in 1889, that a festive dinner was held in honour of Margaret Sabaudzka, Queen of Italy. On this occasion, a cake in the colours of the national flag was served – white with mozzarella, red with tomatoes and green with basil. In honour of the queen, the dish was named Margherita, thanks to which pizza in its basic version gained recognition of the monarchess and the whole Italian people. Over time, the popularity of pizza has increased, with the addition of various additives.
Traditional pizza is made up of three basic ingredients, namely water, flour and, of course, salt, which gives it its taste. This makes it possible to prepare white, flattened bread, which is usually round in shape. In the past, bakers used to check the temperature of their ovens for loaves of bread of standard size and shape.
Today, cakes made from water, flour and salt are served on different continents and have different names. They are most commonly known as pizza, but in Greece they are served under the name pita and in German-speaking countries flammkuchen.
Types of pizza
Initially, there were three types of pizza to choose from in Italy:
- white pizza with olive oil and garlic,
pizza marinara – with tomato, olive oil, garlic and oregano,
pizza margherita – with tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil and olive oil.
A typical Italian pizza dough is thin and brittle. In Poland, however, fluffy dough is used more and more often, with a greater thickness than that which is prepared in Italy. A thicker dough can accommodate a larger number of different ingredients on the surface.
Traditionally, the pizza is prepared in a round form, baked directly in a wood-fired oven. However, it is possible to bake the pizza on a stone prepared for this purpose or in a roaster of the desired shape. In many restaurants and private homes, square or rectangular pizzas are baked.
How to make pizza dough?
At home we can easily make delicious pizza dough. You will need flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar and olive oil or oil. The proportions of the ingredients have a decisive influence on the consistency and structure of the dough. Flour with a high cereal content of 550, 650 or 720 is best suited for pizza dough. If white cake flour type 450 or 405 is used for the dough, the dough will be fluffy and soft. If you want to obtain a typically Italian crisp and thin pizza, use coarsely ground or mixed flour 00. Low types of flour will allow you to make a fluffy, thick pizza.
Very important in home pizza dough are yeast – instant, dried or fresh. Powdered yeast does not require any preparation of the leaven, so it is enough to add it to flour, sugar and salt, then pour water with oil and knead the dough. Fresh yeast, on the other hand, is better suited for thick and fluffy pizza. They require the preparation of a solution with warm water, oil and sugar.
If you want the dough to be fluffy, add more sugar than salt, and if you want to obtain a crispy, thin dough, add a teaspoon of sugar per teaspoon of salt. The addition of fat in the form of olive oil is very important for the consistency of the pizza dough. The oil will add moisture and crispness to the pizza. The dough moistened with oil after kneading will rise better and will not dry out. The water added to the yeast leavening must be warm, at a temperature of about 40-45 degrees Celsius. The dough with a large amount of water rises harder.