Food column: Pizza, pizza
1 package fresh Basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
5 Roma tomatoes
1 can San Marzano style plum tomatoes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, dried
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 1/3 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin
7 ounces mozzarella cheese, fresh
7 ounces warm water
1. To make the dough, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Mix until powder is thoroughly combined.
2. Slowly stir in warm water and splash of olive oil with a wooden spoon. Stir until the mixture becomes a dry, slightly tacky dough. Do not over stir it.
3. Place dough on (whole wheat) floured wood or stone surface. Knead for about three minutes. As you knead, mix in some of the flour on the surface. When finished, the dough should be elastic, smooth and not sticky.
4. Place dough in a greased bowl and lightly brush with olive oil. Cover with a slightly damp towel, and place in a warm area. Let the dough rise for about two hours.
5. Preheat oven to 550 degrees.
6. To make the tomato sauce, combine the canned plum tomatoes and three Roma tomatoes in a medium saucepan over medium-to-high heat. When mixture comes to a boil, mash the tomatoes with a masher.
7. Stir in the Italian seasoning, a few crushed basil leaves, salt, pepper, minced garlic, pepper flakes and a pinch of sugar. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer while the dough is rising.
8. When the dough is finished rising, separate it into two equal balls. You can refrigerate one of the balls for later, or use it immediately to make an additional pizza.
9. On the floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out dough. If necessary, you can use your hands to gently pull the dough thinner. You can also throw it up in the air while spinning it, but this should be done with great caution.
10. Grease a pizza pan, and use a brush to coat olive oil on both sides of the dough. Place the rolled out dough onto the pizza pan.
11. Apply a thin layer of pizza sauce to dough, starting at the center and working outwards. Top with sliced mozzarella cheese, then sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.
12. Bake for about eight minutes or until the pizza crust is golden. Slice and serve immediately.
ANGIE'S FRUIT PIZZA
2 packages Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 package blueberries
1 package raspberries
2 kiwis, sliced
1 package strawberries, sliced
1 star fruit, sliced
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 pineapple, sliced
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
1 teaspoon apple juice or fruit juice
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse all fruit and allow to dry.
2. Roll out cookie dough, and apply an even layer to a greased baking pan.
3. Bake cookie dough in pan using package instructions or until it is lightly golden. Once dough is baked, remove from oven and allow to cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand-mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar together. Keep in mind the frosting doesn’t need to be too sweet, since the fruit is also sweet.
5. Spread frosting on cookie dough layer in baking pan.
6. In a small mixing bowl, stir together honey and apple juice for glaze.
7. Arrange all fruit on top and drizzle with glaze. You can have fun here and be creative as possible. You can also experiment with different kinds of fruit and proportions to make this your own masterpiece. Avoid using any fruit that tends to brown easily and doesn’t keep well (i.e. banana and apple).
Pizza may have originated in Italy, but it has become an American favorite.
According to PMQ Pizza Magazine, the United States pizza market grew to $45.1 billion in 2018, and there were 75,243 pizzerias in the U.S. alone. The fact that a pizza magazine exists speaks to the immense popularity of pizza. The worldwide pizza market has also expanded to $134 billion in 2017.
There are many variations of pizza in the U.S. and worldwide. Popular American pizzas include Neapolitan, California-style, Chicago deep dish, Chicago thin crust, Detroit-style, New England Greek style, New York thin crust, St. Louis-style and tomato pie: New Jersey style.
Around the world, there are other variations of pizza such as the Chinese bing, Indian paratha and naan, Finissh rieska, German zwiebelkuchen and many others. There is something universally appealing about the combination of crispy bread, grease, cheese and savory toppings. Who doesn’t love pizza?
I am also proud of this Italian delicacy as a descendent of Italian immigrants. While the exact origins of pizza are not clear, it is generally believed to have come from the Roman empire. Modern pizza was conceived in 16th century Naples with the combination of galette flatbread, tomatoes, cheese and herbs.
Tomatoes were not widely known to Italians then, but they were recently brought back from the New World. As pizza evolved in Italy, the margherita pizza became a symbol of Italian pride by representing the national colors with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
Pizza was finally introduced to Americans in the late 19th century, when Italian immigrants brought their beloved food with them to the East Coast.
Until the mid-20th century, pizza was limited to small pizzerias and home kitchens. This changed after World War II, when service people returned from Europe with a newly acquired taste for the Italian treat. Since then, pizza has proliferated and become a multibillion dollar industry.
As much as I love pizza, I have to admit that I have not tried to make it from scratch. It never seemed complicated to make, but I always opted for the instant gratification of delivery or pre-made pizza.
This column has been an opportunity to prepare new recipes, so I decided to try making my own pizza. I found a great recipe for margherita pizza on Pinterest, and I am pleased with the results.
My close friend, Angie, also loves pizza and wanted to join me for this meal. She suggested making her fruit pizza for dessert. Over many years, her family has perfected a fruit pizza recipe, and we decided it would go well with the margherita pizza.
Fruit pizza is yet another delightful variation of the many pizza recipes out there.
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