How could we live without pizza? Pizza in Italy is essential, unavoidable. And as you probably know it is worldwide famous. Every country does it in a different way, but the real pizza we all know was born in Naples and Naples is the best place to taste it if you want to know the actual flavor of the most loved food of the world.
The etymologic reference we love most is:
Byzantine Greek and Late Latin pitta > pizza, cf. Modern Greek pitta bread and the Apulia and Calabrian (then Byzantine Italy) pitta, a round flat bread baked in the oven at high temperature sometimes with toppings. The word pitta can in turn be traced to either Ancient Greek πικτή (pikte), “fermented pastry”, which in Latin became “picta”, or Ancient Greek πίσσα (pissa, Attic πίττα, pitta), “pitch”, or pḗtea, “bran” (pētítēs, “bran bread”). [from Wikipedia]
The word also may have come from the Latin pix meaning “pitch”, others say that it originated in a Langobardic word bizzo meaning “bite”.
Anyway, Italy’s version of the dish, especially from Naples – as already said – is the one we are most familiar with, but a baked bread with toppings has many other precursors in other cuisines.
Anyway, the pizza we’re all familiar with did originate in Italy. Probably the baker Raffaele Esposito invented it, in Naples. In 1889, he made a patriotic pie topped with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes for Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita when they visited the capital of Campania region. It is rumored the Queen enjoyed the pie. We all still know that pizza as Pizza Margherita today.
That flat breads with a variety of toppings had been sold by street vendors of Naples for many years.
How to make a perfect homemade pizza
Unfortunately in our houses we don’t have a wood-burning oven. This affect the pizza’s cooking because the final result is strictly related to oven temperature.
But, anyhow, you can make a perfect homemade pizza with our tips. A soft and easy to digest pizza Margherita.
- 1700-1800 gr. of Flour
- 1000 gr. of Water
- 3 gr. of Brewer’s yeast
- 50 gr. of Salt
What to do and how if you want a pizza that deserves this name
First, water. Water should be fresh and cool. You can use tap water, if it is drinkable. In Italy it is.
Pour 1 liter of water in a bowl and dissolve 50-60 gr of salt in it with a circular movement of your hand. Then, you can add brewer’s yeast. In pizzerias they use a very little amount of yeast, 0,25 gr. per liter. At home you can use 3 gr. (during summer) and5-6 (during winter).
Add immediately the other ingredients. Flour. Make 2/3 of it (1200 gr.) rain from the above and knead the dough. When the dough is smooth with no clumps, add the rest of the flour slowly and keep kneading.
If you are now able to easily take your dough from the bowl, it is time to knead it on the table. Use your fists! Plunge them deeply in the dough.
If needed, add a little more flour. The pizza dough will be ready when smooth and wet but not sticky.
Stain a bowl with oil and put the dough in. Your dough need to rest for at least two hours. Cover it with a towel and choose a warm spot of your house.
When ready, make 4 bricks from the entire dough and make them rise again for 4-5 hours on your floured table. Cover them with a towel.
When the bricks are ready, stretch out each one of them in an oiled baking tray with your open hand.
Pre-heat your oven at the max temperature, season your pizzas and put them into the oven. One at a time.
Baking time will be 6-7 minutes. Pizza is ready when the border is golden-brown.
The perfect recipe is a bit long, but consider cooking as a game.Take your time! And do it with your family!
Here’s the state of the art of the homemade pizza!