italian pizza history
Homemade pizza is much better tasting than either ordering a pizza or cooking frozen pizza because you can control the dough, the sauce and the toppings and make it exactly as you want it. You might be new to pizza making, in which case you are probably looking for some homemade pizza tips.
Pizza Dough Tips
If you are making a deep-dish pizza, you can use all-purpose flour. Artisan flour is good for thinner crusts. Using moist dough makes the pizza crust really soft and tender. If you want your crust thicker, you can let the rolled out crust rise, covered, for thirty minutes before adding the sauce and toppings. A pizza screen or pizza stone gives you a really crispy crust.
Pizza Sauce Tips
A tomato-based sauce is the most common type used to make homemade pizza and you can add garlic, crushed peppercorn, and oregano to give the sauce more flavor. Balsamic vinegar adds bite and you can try different herbs and spices in the pizza sauce for different flavors. If you do not want to make a tomato sauce, you could combine extra virgin olive oil with garlic and herbs for an oil based sauce or use flour, cream, and cheese for a white sauce. There are lots of different pizza sauce recipes to try if you do not want to use a readymade sauce.
Pizza Topping Tips
If you are using canned food as a topping or anything very moist, you will need to drain it well; else, it will make your pizza crust soggy. If you are using dried herbs, rub them between your fingers before sprinkling them over the pizza because this releases their flavor oils. Herbs are great on homemade pizza and you can try basil, oregano, cilantro and more, depending on the other toppings you are using. Remember that a teaspoon of dried herbs is equal to a tablespoon of fresh herbs in most cases.
Most pizzas feature cheese and you can choose from mozzarella, feta, fontina, Monterey jack, provolone, Gorgonzola, goat cheese and many more. Extra virgin oil is nice drizzled over a freshly baked pizza and it does taste different to virgin olive oil. These pizza tips are just suggestions and you can use whichever toppings you personally favor.
Pizza Cooking Tips
You can use a pizza stone or pizza screen if you like but it is not essential and you can make delicious homemade pizza recipes without either of these. You should cool your pizza on a wire rack for a few minutes when it is cooked to let the cheese set a bit and to keep the crust crisp. This is something you would definitely be taught in pizza cooking school. Do not leave it in the pizza pan to cool because the steam would be trapped between the pan and the pizza, making it soggy.
These homemade pizza tips are just a guide because everyone has their own preferences when it comes to homemade pizza recipes. You can experiment with different pizza dough recipes, use a different pizza sauce recipe until you find one you like and try different toppings for interesting flavor, texture and color combinations.
Pizza is a real delight to make because there are so many ways to make it and it can be as healthy or as devilish as you like!
Pizza is often wrongly classified as a fast food. Modern pizza variations, which boast deep stuffed crusts and lots of high fat cheese and meat toppings can be, classified that way but it is also possible to make healthy pizza dough and use healthy toppings. There is no need to find healthy alternatives to pizza because, made the right way, pizza can be a healthy meal itself.
Pizza makes an ideal lunch or dinner and you can even make a fruit pizza for dessert or an egg, vegetable, low fat sausage and cheese version for breakfast if you like.
One of the main pizza ingredients is tomatoes and these contain cancer-fighting lycopene. If you eat pizza once a week, you are far likely to develop stomach, lung, mouth, prostate, or colon cancer. Health studies have proved that you can lower your risk of esophageal cancer by nearly sixty percent by including tomatoes in your diet. Processed tomatoes, such as those found in pizza sauce, are even richer in lycopene because the antioxidant is concentrated.
A Healthy Pizza Crust, Sauce, and Toppings
It is important to use a healthy pizza crust recipe to get the most health benefit from your pizza. The foundation of your homemade pizza recipe is the crust and you can choose from different healthy pizza dough recipes. You might like to try a whole-wheat pizza dough crust because this is heart friendly and higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white dough. Making a thin crust cuts down on carbohydrates too and a lot of people prefer this kind of crust texture.
When you choose a pizza sauce recipe, you might like to go for a traditional tomato sauce because it is low in calories and fat. White sauces, which use cheese and butter, are high in fat. You might like to try a pesto sauce made with a little bit of olive oil.
If you want to know how to make pizza more healthy, it is important to pay attention to the toppings you use. Black olives contain ingredients that can lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Onions are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and chromium.
They can lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Red bell peppers are rich in vitamins A; B6 and C. Vegetables are delicious on pizza and are good for you too. Most vegetables have a negligible calorie content so feel free to pile them high on your pizza recipes.
Easy and Healthy Pizza Recipes
You are unlikely to get a healthy delivery pizza or frozen pizza because these are high in fatty toppings and low in vegetables and other nutritious ingredients. When you make a homemade pizza, you can control the fat content and the nutritional content of the ingredients you use. Homemade pizza works out much cheaper than take out pizza as well.
Homemade pizza is the tastiest kind because you can use your favorite ingredients. Low fat cheese and roasted vegetables make a great topping and you can add extra flavor with fresh herbs. Using turkey sausage or low fat ground beef means you can cut back on the excess calories you would find in a delivery pizza without sacrificing any flavor.
There are a lot of healthy pizza recipes, which are simple to make. Many people who want to enjoy a healthy diet or serve their family healthy meals automatically eliminate pizza from their weekly meal plan by categorizing it as a fast food. By using top quality ingredients, keeping the crust thin and the toppings healthy, you can make your own healthy pizza for the whole family to enjoy.
The type of pizza we know was born in Naples, which is in the Campania region of Italy. However, there have been many types of flavored flatbreads in ancient and medieval times which are similar to pizza so the exact origin of the pizza is not altogether clear and it is hard to say when the first pizza was invented or who invented pizza.
Bread is one of the oldest foods and people in ancient history would add other ingredients to bread to make it more interesting. This is perhaps the true pizza origin. The ancient Greeks used to top their bread with herbs, garlic, and onion to make it more flavorful. These types of flatbreads are from the Mediterranean region. Some people believe that pizza evolved from the Chinese green onion pancake, which Marco Polo introduced to Italy but the most likely pizza origin is ancient Greece.
The Addition of Tomatoes
What differentiates Greek flatbreads from modern pizza is the use of tomato as a topping. The ancient Greeks might have also used tomatoes if they had been discovered then. The tomato was brought to Europe from the Americas in the 1500s but many Europeans thought it was poisonous. By the 1700s, it was common for the poorer people from Napes to add tomato to their flatbread to make a type of pizza. This dish became popular and visitors to the area would visit the poor areas to sample it.
Italian Pizza History
Pizza was sold from street vendors’ stands until 1830. The first ever pizzeria was Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba in Naples and the first pizza made in this bakery was for sale to peddlers in 1738 but by 1830 it had expanded to a pizza restaurant. Pizza is still served on the premises to this day.
In the late nineteenth century, Queen Margherita made a tour of her Italian kingdom. She noticed peasants eating a large flat bread and was curious about it. The queen ordered her guards to bring her a pizza bread. She found it delicious and ate it whenever she was in the poor areas. This caused consternation in the court because it was thought unseemly for a queen to eat peasant food.
The queen ordered Chef Rafaelle Esposito from the pizzeria to visit the palace and make her some pizza. Rafaelle topped the pizza with tomato, mozzarella, and basil to represent the three colors of the Italian flag. This became the favorite pizza of the queen and Pizza Margherita is still popular throughout the world.
The Evolution of Pizza
The Italians experimented with different toppings. In Bologna, meat was used as a topping. Neapolitan pizza with garlic and cheese was also popular and fresh vegetables; spices and herbs were experimented with. The idea of baking pizza in brick ovens was developed at this time and the bread was made from flour, salt, yeast, and oil, much as it is today.
Pizza spread to England, Spain, France, and America in the mid twentieth century. Many European and American soldiers fighting in World War II tasted pizza for the first time and were delighted with it. More styles and flavors were developed. Square Sicilian pizza is an American invention. Authentic pizza from Sicily does not contain mozzarella and is not as deep as the American version.
The history of pizza is very interesting and another example of a “peasant food” evolving into something we all know and love today. Perhaps the fact that there are so many varieties of pizza is one of the best reasons for its continuing popularity all over the globe.
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