Pizza is a word not only known in many countries, but it is a food that is celebratory, comforting, or just plain tasty any time of the day or evening. It can be made at home, ordered or purchased in eating establishments or grocery stores. It has become one of the most popular foods in the world. Pizzas may be sold whole or by the slice.
Pizza has a long history, as do many foods. At one time, it had to be given as a toll to the bishop of Gaeta, Italy, if you were a tenant of certain properties. Every Christmas required 12 pizzas, plus a pork shoulder and a pork kidney. Easter required another 12 pizzas plus several chickens. We might recognize the flatbread but not the toppings.
The toppings are placed on a leavened flat wheat bread which also may be purchased frozen. Because of various dietary restrictions now, this base may differ. Over 61% of the population prefer thin crust bases. We may see or toss pizza dough into the air to spin. That is not just for show. The dough spreads evenly to create a uniform crust and reserves moisture. A gluten-free crust may be made using cauliflower.
A tomato sauce base is spread over the bread. It may be home-made or purchased. Many various meats, poultry, vegetables, or fruits may be used as toppings. Studies show 62 prefer of Americans prefer a meat topping while 38 percent prefer vegetables. Pepperoni sausage is the most popular requested meat. Earlier statics showed over 251,770,000 pounds of pepperoni being used every year. Not only can one find both traditional toppings such as various meats, but also seafoods and whatever vegetables and/or fruits you enjoy. Assorted herbs are also included on top of the assorted meats and veggies.
Many studies have gone into what cheeses go best on pizza as toppings. Mozzarella cheese tops the list. This variety accounts for nearly 80 percent of Italian cheese production in the United States. To make a stuffed crust, lay 8 string cheese sticks along the edge of the crust and fold the crust over them. Seal the dough with a little water to seal the cheese in.
Cut a cooked pizza with a pair of kitchen scissors. This prevents the melted cheese being dragged off by the round pizza cutters. They may also score the metal pan. To keep fresh tomatoes from adding juice to the pizza, place them in the salad spinner for a few rounds.
Construct the unbaked pizza onto parchment paper to slide the peel into the oven. The pizza will slide off the parchment paper and peel. A peel is the long handle flat paddle used to place unbaked pizzas into the hot pizza ovens and remove when baked. They do not need to be used when placing into a home oven.
Studies show 94 percent of us eat pizza regularly. The time when most pizzas are sold are Superbowl Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Thanksgiving evening and New Year’s Day. The first frozen pizzas were sold in 1962 and have been developing in some way ever since.
Pizza protocol is if pizza is served whole and unsliced, it is to be eaten with a knife and fork. If cut into wedges, it should be eaten held in the hand.
Something to think about: “Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.” Anna Quindlen
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon oil
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 package yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepperoni, sausage, or hamburger (pre-cooked)
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Mix the water and oil together. Add it to the dry ingredients. Knead the dough and mix well. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough. Place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Add the pizza sauce and meat of your choice. Bake at 450 degrees F until crust is brown. Just before crust is done, add the shredded Mozzarella cheese.
PARTY PIZZA BITES
1 cup (8 ounce can) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 English muffins, halved
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Spoon about 1 Tablespoon sauce mixture over each muffin half. Evenly sprinkle Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese over the top. Place muffin halves on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cut each muffin half in half. Serve hot.
1/2 medium chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 packages prepared biscuits
Saute onion in oil. Add the meat and cook until there is no redness. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste, stirring constantly. Add the salt, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. Let simmer 15 minutes. Place biscuits on ungreased cookie sheet, pressing into a saucer like container with fingers. Cover with the tomato filling. Garnish with cheese and mushrooms. Bake in a 400 degree F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes.