You had me at – Pizza

I’m getting far too enthusiastic planning our Demonstration next week of Pizza and dough.  Dough is the basis of all breads, and pizza dough is one of the most versatile.  Toppings are always varied, but the favourite in our house is roasted duck, sliced, then added to the base with passata. Then topped with brie and mozzerella.  We had a similar one in Fat Freddy’s in Galway years back, and it’s stuck.

Pizza night
Pizza night

However it starts off very simply…

Pizza dough proving away nicely
Dough proving away nicely

I simply use a white yeast dough with a little olive oil added. *disclaimer* I make this in my kenwood.  Nigel makes it by hand. It doesn’t really make a difference which method is used.  The most important thing is to leave the dough to rest.

The pizza dough resting
The pizza dough resting

Pizza History

The word “pizza” was first documented in 997AD in Gaeta, Italy.  So it’s been around a while.  In fact ingredients added to dough, although maybe not just as a topping have been around longer than that.  The Ancient Greeks had a flat bread called plakous which was flavoured with toppings like herbs, onion, and garlic.  It wasn’t until the 16th Century in Naples that the tomato/ dough combination became popular. In 1889, a pizza was made in honour of Queen Margerhita of Savoy.  Made from tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, to represent the colours of the Italian Flag.  Even still, this dish was seen as “poor” food.

Purists, especially in Italy, consider the Margerhita and the Marinara (fish) types to be the only two acceptable varieties.  Mind you- the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana”(“True Neapolitan Pizza Association”), which was founded in 1984, has very specific rules that must be followed for an authentic Neapolitan pizza. These include that the pizza must be baked in a wood-fired, domed oven; that the base must be hand-kneaded and must not be rolled with a pin or prepared by any mechanical means (i pizzaioli— the pizza makers— make the pizza by rolling it with their fingers) and that the pizza must not exceed 35 centimetres in diameter or be more than one-third of a centimetre thick at the centre. The association also selects pizzerias all around the world to produce and spread the verace pizza napoletana philosophy and method.  So now!

Dough is often seen these days as the “bad” food.  Bread is not trendy, or apparently healthy.  I always proclaim the “everything in moderation”.   And when eating pizzas I tend to stick to thin bases rather than the double/ triple/ stuffed crusts.  Every once in a while this meal will not kill you! And I guarantee with so much washing up, it’s only really a meal for a weekend night.  Still, make them, don’t buy them- except in an emergency!

Homemade versus Delivery Pizza:

There is a time commitment, but the simplicity of the ingredients make it a far healthier option.

Let a margerhita with fresh basil transport you, airport hassle free, to Naples.

You can also put as many toppings on as you want without extra charges!

No soggy bottoms or luke warm pizzas to contend with.

You can eat it for breakfast!

Getting it onto the table is not dependent on the weather!

Sloppy Joe
Sloppy Joe

Contact me for information about Pizza and Dough Demos.



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