Have you ever seen something that started off small, like a brand name, then all of a sudden it blows up and becomes world trending because someone popular tried it out. Yeah, that’s what happened to pizza.
The pizza pie is one of the worlds’ most popular foods. Everyone loves it. I know I do. I must have Italian blood somewhere in my family line because it’s my next favorite food right after pasta. The thing is though, (insert dough pun), that this popular food came from humble beginnings.
Quick History of Pizza
Pizza started out as a simple, affordable food for the Lazzaroni, the poor, working class in Naples. It wasn’t until the dish was tried by King Umberto I and Queen Margherita, who were travelling through Naples in 1889 that pizza was recognized for what it really was, a magnificent melody of flavors! The rest is history.
Pizza has since travelled around the world and has impacted the culinary tastes of millions. The Italian dish has also changed in its travels, picking up various alterations its’ the toppings. There are so many that I can’t even list them here. And there are some controversial arguments about this too, as to what actually belongs on a pizza.
But the toppings aside, hat I would like to bring up in this episode is the foundation, the base to what actually makes a pizza; The Dough. Here are 4 types of pizza doughs you have to try!
There are a multitude of doughs that have risen since the start of the pizza craze, but some people claim that nothing beats the Original! The basic Neapolitan pizza pie crust is one that is thin and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The dough consist of very few ingredients- very fine flour, salt, water and yeast. That’s it. No oil, no sugar, no special spices. It’s super simple, yet super delicious. The secret is in the long fermentation process, which breaks down the starch into sugars and creates gluten that gives the dough the stretchiness it needs to rise and get all that lovely charring in the oven.
The New York Style
This is a dough that is a strong contender for the top spot of being the best. Although it is something of an offshoot from the original, this dough is similar. It has all the ingredients of the original, with the addition of oil and sugar. The oil gives the dough a softer, chewy texture, although still being thin. The added sugar allows for a more even browning of the crust, that some prefer over the uneven char of the Neapolitan. This type of dough may take longer to bake that the traditional because of the added oil.
The Sicilian style
This is one that I think I’ve eaten before without actually knowing it. The Sicilian style crust is thicker, softer and oilier than the previous mentioned. The ingredients are the same as the New York Style, but the ratio of the ingredients is what makes this type of dough different. It typically has up to 70% more hydration, which is water, than any other dough. With the dough having so much liquid, kneading it is out of the question. The dough is made in a stand mixer and is then poured out onto a heavily oiled baking sheet. It’s left to sit for a few minutes and the dough pretty much spreads itself out to fill the square sheet. Yes, this pizza square, not circular. What is also different about this pie is the finished result. Because the pan it is baked in has so much extra olive oil then the bottom of the pizza basically fries. The result is the bottom layer of the crust being a golden brown that is full of flavor from the olive oil. This dough recipe is one that is quick and simple to follow and complete.
The Seasoned Style
Now I’m not exactly sure where this dough originated, or when it became a thing, or if it even is a thing, but I’m just going to throw this one out for you guys. This is a dough that I have tried personally, and I have to say it is my favorite by far. The dough has all the ingredients of the other I’ve mentioned on this list, but like the name implies, it is seasoned. What I added in to make this absolutely delicious crust is parsley flakes, oregano, thyme and rosemary. I don’t know if it’s my inner Italian coming out, but I always have those four ingredients in my kitchen. When baked, this pizza crust is medium, not too thin, with a beautiful golden color, and fragrant enough to smell from a block away. I might be partial for mentioning this, but I’d choose this type of pizza dough over anything else.
Of course, there are many other types of dough out there that I haven’t given mention to. But what have tried? What is your favorite? I’m interested to know.