Thursday, May 22, 2014

A simple homemade Pizza

 I won't be wasting much time to introduce this dish which is the most popular dish in the world. It may be an ancient dish documented for the first time in Gaeta, Italy in 997 AD, but ever since the Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba pizzeria opened in Naples and ever since the American soldiers returned home from Europe after the world war II this dish has gained in its popularity and now....

  • Pizzerias are expected to purchase more than $4 billion worth of cheese annually
  • 94% of Americans eat pizza regularly and October is the US national pizza month
  • Pizza accounts for more than 10 percent of all food service sales
  • Over 5 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year 
  • In 1970 the average slice of pizza had 500 calories and now it's up to 850 calories!
  • 62% of all pizzas consumed have meat
  • The world's fastest pizza maker can make 14 pizza in 2 minutes and 35 seconds
  • The longest pizza delivery was from Cape Town, South Africa to Sydney, Australia in 2001
  • Most expensive pizza created was made by the restaurateur Domenico Crolla who created a $2,745.00 priced Valentine pizza which included toppings such as sunblush-tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, edible gold, lobster marinated in the finest cognac and champagne-soaked caviar
  • The most expensive pizza, commercially available, is a thin-crust, wood fire-baked pizza topped with onion puree, white truffle paste, fontina cheese, baby mozzarella, pancetta, cep mushrooms, freshly picked wild mizuna lettuce and garnished with fresh shavings of a rare Italian white truffle, itself worth £1,400 per 1 kg. Depending upon the amount of truffles available each season, the pizza is regularly sold at £100 each to customers of Gordon Ramsey's Maze restaurant, London, UK.
However I tried my hand in baking a simple pizza by whatever I found worthy to put on the crust. So here is the recipe


For the crust
Dried yeast
Lukewarm water
Salt to taste

For the topping
2 cups of tomato puree
Freshly ground black pepper
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Dried crushed basil
Dried garlic powder
Green bell pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Mozzarella cheese
Grated Emmental cheese

Let's make the crust

Add 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar and dissolve it in lukewarm water. Dissolve the dried yeast in this water and leave it aside for 6-8 minutes. 
Take two cups of flour. Season it with salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the yeast dissolved water. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix it. Knead the dough till you have a even elastic product.
Place the dough in a bowl and drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil. 
Cover the bowl with cling film and let it rise for 50 minutes to 1 hour. 
After the dough has risen, divide it into balls, dust the working surface and the rolling pin with flour and then roll out the dough. 

Before throwing it into the oven

Now to hide the crust, lets make the topping

Take two cups of tomato puree or passata in a sauce pan. Drizzle it with freshly ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon of virgin olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon of dried garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of dried crushed basil. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes while stirring it occasionally. 
When the puree has incorporated the flavors of garlic and basil, the sauce for the topping is ready. 
Add a thin layer of this sauce on top of the crust. Then cover this with a layer of smashed mozzarella. 
Place the lardon and green bell pepper on it.
Cover this with a layer of grated emmental. Garnish it with fresh basil leaves. 
Then put it into a preheated oven of 200-220°C for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness. 

P.S. Some other topping options to replace the lardons can be 

  • Sliced button mushrooms
  • Sliced grilled chicken (70% cooked)
  • Headless shrimps (remember to drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil and season it salt and pepper)

Voila now enjoy the pizza served with sprinkled Chili oil. Buon appetito!  

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