What do we know about the origin of pizza? The fact that the Italians invented it, although in fact the clever Greeks invented the prototype of the future pizza. In ancient Greece, they began to bake dough, and as a seasoning they used all that they had on hand. It was oil, and garlic, and onions, and herbs, and olives. Even Plato himself mentioned in the "Republic" about cooking flat cakes, which were refilled with butter, greens and cheese, and washed down with plenty of wine.
The ancient Persians were preparing something similar to pizza, it was a special kind of bread, which they richly decorated with cheese and dates. The Romans did not care at all about the low-calorie pizza, and as it should, they laid it out with honey and bay leaves. One legend says that the Roman legionnaires, returning from Palestine, told everyone about the recipe for unleavened bread with vegetables, which was called “picea”. Other sources say that the Romans simply changed the Greek pizza recipe, and began to add more cheese and other ingredients. Mark Portia Cato, the first Roman historian, mentioned the preparation of a flat circle of dough lubricated with olive oil, herbs and honey.
There is evidence that the very fact of opening a recipe belongs to the Roman commander Lucullus, who was considered to be a lover of parties and feasts. There is an expression "Lucullas feast", which means the triumph of food and gluttony. But there is still a contradiction in the fact that Lucull was the first to invent pizza, since tomatoes were not grown in Italy at that time, they were brought later from America. And tomatoes were already one of the main components of pizza.
Norwegians decided to argue that pizza is a purely Italian invention. Norwegian scientist Astrid Rydbergolts is sure that the Vikings were the first to invent pizza. As proof of this, he cites the frequent finding by archaeologists of ancient pans at the site of their settlements. In his opinion, it was the pans that served to make flat cakes with vegetables and meat.
The predecessor of this Italian pizza is focaccia tortilla. It is prepared almost as usual pizza, but without the filling. This flat cake was considered the usual food of the peasants and became the basis of the traditional pizza. The history of modern pizza begins counting 200 years ago from Naples, when bakers began to prepare a quick meal for the poor. Dough cake was covered with tomato layer, dried marjoram, smeared with vegetable oil on top and could add some cheese. So there was such a dish as pizza. Merchants put the dish in large boxes and carried it to sell outside. Sometimes, buyers did not have the money to pay the pizza in full and borrowed it. This pizza was called the eight-day.
Initially, the Italians recognized only two types of classic pizza - "Marinara" and "Margarita". Marinara is named after fishermen who loved to eat it for breakfast. But pizza Margarita has a very interesting story. She is called so in honor of Queen Margherita, who was the wife of the King of Italy, Umberto 1. Somehow the king and his wife, having arrived in Neapolitania, decided to have a good meal and entrusted the chefs to cook them many different pizza. Having worked hard, the cooks invited the royal couple to taste pizza. In total, they prepared three types of pizza, one of which consisted of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Not only did the queen really like this pizza, she also reminded her of the Italian flag. So this pizza was called Margarita. This pizza is the perfect base for any pizza, on top of which you can put everything you want.
Pizza Cooking Secrets
Classic Italian pizza is usually cooked on water with fine flour with the addition of bread flour. It is easier to cook homemade pizza, for this you will need dry yeast. You can take fresh yeast, just take into account their ratio, for example, 1 teaspoon of dry is 12 g of fresh yeast.
- For the preparation of two thin pizzas, you will need 250 ml of warm water, a pound of flour, 1 tsp of fine sea salt, and regular salt, 1 tbsp. spoon of sugar and 2 tsp of dry yeast. To make the dough smoother and more elastic, you need to add extra virgin olive oil to the pizza. For this recipe test, we will need 2 tbsp. spoons of olive oil. If we talk about flour, it is better if it is sifted, as this will make the dough more lush.
- In a saucepan or high cup, mix the flour and salt. Yeast should be pre-diluted with a small amount of water and sugar, and if you take dry yeast, you can immediately mix them with flour. Then, after the preliminary dissolution of the yeast, they should be allowed to stand for 5-7 minutes, then pour into the flour and salt, making a small depression in the flour and salt in advance. Now you can slowly pour the hot water by hand, kneading the dough to a soft consistency. Knead the yeast dough for about 10 minutes, until it becomes elastic. Then put the dough on a greased bowl, and cover with a towel or napkin, leaving to come up for half an hour in a warm place.
- After the time expires, the dough can be divided into two equal halves. Each part should be kneaded a little more, giving it the right look and stretching in a special form, which should be greased with olive oil and a little sprinkled with flour. Leave the dough again to approach for a few minutes, covered with a napkin.
- It is important to prepare the dough for homemade pizza with your hands, so it gets a better taste than if you prepare the dough with a food processor. Pulling the dough using the form should be very careful, slightly pulling in the center and pulling the dough to the edges of the form, making sure that at the edges of the dough was a little more than the middle. It is necessary to form protrusions at the edges by 2-3 cm. When the dough has already approached for the second time, you can put pizza filling on it. To do this, first put the tomato sauce, you can take the sauce from fresh tomatoes or canned, in which it is better to add a little fresh oregano or basil. If fresh greens are not available, then it can be replaced with a dry mix of Italian herbs, which is sold in many stores. The pizza sauce should not be very thin, and it is better to lubricate the dough with olive oil in advance.
- For homemade pizza, you can use a variety of products: chicken, pork, mushrooms, seafood, olives, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumbers and salami. Mozzarella is usually used as a cheese for pizza and can be replaced with parmedzhano. Mozzarella should be cut into very thin slices, or grind on a coarse grater. For real Italian pizza, it's best to take olives, or olives, capers and basil.
- After the pizza is decorated, it can be set to be baked in a preheated oven. It should be heated to 230 degrees and bake the pizza for about 20 minutes, periodically checking its condition. It is easy to determine its readiness, if you look at the edges of the pizza, they will become golden and crispy. Serve pizza to the table should be hot with a glass of good red wine.
Now you know how to cook pizza at home, which will be no worse than a pizza from a restaurant. Cooking pizza is a creative thing and you don’t have to adhere to any strict rules, you can adjust recipes yourself and show imagination in pizza stuffing, it’s quite possible that you’ll discover your signature pizza recipe.