Italians are famous for the The Roman Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, DA Vinci, Gondola rides, Ferrari cars, Opera and much more. Their county side, however, is breathtaking, like that of Tuscany with its beautiful trees, wine vineyards that produce some of the best wine that is imported, and not to overlook their world famous cuisine.
Italian food is one my favorite, Pizza, is loved by many folks young & old. Pizza a flat round dough, topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and/or various toppings. Pizza is then baked and served sliced.
However, there are also many types of pizza style bread all over the world such as the Armenian lahmajoun, which is Pizza topped with chopped meat and vegetable. The Arabic word is lahm bi ajin, (meat pies) that’s also well known the Middle East. Turkish pie or Turkish pizza is a meat or cheese -topped dough, the difference is that the bread is very thin but with the same concept.
The Lebanese Manouche’ and the sifiha also are very similar to pizza. Manouche’ can be made with cheese instead of zaatar. The French Pissaladiere, unlike the Italian pizza it’s different in that it’s somewhat thicker and the pie is topped with cooked onions, anchovies and olives. Hence, anything that’s round, doughy with toppings is some form of” Pizza”.
The secret of a great tasting pizza is in the crust, toppings are according to one’s taste. The oven is also important, for instance there is something about a brick oven that takes the pizza from simple to gourmet.
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 tbs of yeast
2 tbs of powdered milk
1/4 cup of light olive oil
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of sugar
In a medium size bowl, add in the flour, yeast, sugar, milk and salt, mix to combine. Add the oil to the flour and rub with the palm of your hands to incorporate together. Make a well, add in the water & slowly mix with a large spoon until all the water is mixed in. Knead the dough by hand, the dough should not stick to your hands and should be smooth & soft. Grease a bowl with a little oil, and leave in the dough to rise for an hour or so.
1 can of San Marzano imported plum tomatoes
3-4 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
For the pizza sauce, in a quart over medium heat add in olive oil , a few garlic cloves and a little crushed pepper for a couple of minutes (do not burn the garlic) add in one can of imported San Marzano plum tomatoes crushing them by hand. Simmer on low heat about 20-30 minutes.
Margarita Pizza Toppings
1 fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
1 prepared pizza sauce
1/4 cup of fresh basil
Divide the dough into 4 pieces, let it rest another 10 minutes. Roll out each dough into discs, brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil on top and bottom , bake the dough in a 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes, when pizza dough is cooked, take out of the oven and top with the sauce, cheese and finish baking until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven, add Parmesan cheese, the basil and serve hot.