Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pizza Making (Simple Process Analysis)

The Perfect Pizza
Are you sick of those same old lame five dollar pizzas? Do you enjoy a pizza with dough that tastes like cardboard? Do you really prefer a pizza that has been sitting on a warmer for an hour? These are just some of the reasons why they say, "You get what you pay for." The process of making a pizza is a process that has been perfected over hundreds of years by the finest chefs.  These chefs all agree the process needs great diligence and care.  They also say that the freshness of all the ingredients that go into the perfect pie is the most important factor.
The first step in making a pizza is to make the foundation; the dough.  In order to make dough you must start by sprinkling yeast into a bowl containing 1 ¼ cups of warm water.  Next, add 2 cups of sifted flour and stir until blended, when blended add another 1 ½ to two cups of flour until the mix becomes to stiff to stir with a spoon. Begin to knead the dough on a floured surface for about 15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  The dough is nearly finished at this point, place the dough ball in a bowl with a small amount of oil making sure to cover the surface of the ball.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store it in a warm place for about 45 minutes.  At this point the dough should be about double the size.  You can now divide the dough into pieces large enough to cover the size of your pan. 
            No pizza can be considered delicious without the perfect complimentary sauce.  I recommend a very standard sauce that can be customized to better meet your taste.  The sauce is very simple made up of three ingredients.  A ratio of six to one of cans of tomatoes to sticks of butter and one medium sized onion diced is all you need for a very satisfying pizza sauce.  Simmer the tomatoes, onion, and butter for an hour.  When done simmering mash the sauce with a hand blender or whisk.  This is where the sauce can be customized with garlic, oregano, parsley, Romano cheese, and Parmesan cheese which are all very good ingredients to add.
            Everyone loves a rich, satisfying, gooey cheese atop a delicious perfectly crafted pizza.  Experts agree that five cheeses have the perfect melting characteristics for a pizza.  The traditional cheese used in most pizza parlors is Mozzarella cheese.  Mozzarella has long been used because of its mild taste and low melting temperature and works perfectly for a mild tasting pizza.   A more daring pizza artist may opt for a cheese with a more individual flavor such as Asiago, Provolone, Romano, or Parmesan.  These cheeses range from slightly stronger to very strong.  What cheese you prefer is up to you and numerous cheeses can be mixed and matched.  Sprinkle an appropriate amount of cheese on the pie and you are ready for cooking. 
            Many pizza parlors say they have the perfect oven for pizza making whether it be convection, brick oven, stone oven, or wood oven.  These ovens at times can reach up to one thousand degrees and often times pizzas are made at temperatures near that.  You’re home oven should do fine in this case.  Pre-heat the oven anywhere from 400 to 500 degrees based on the thickness of your crust, the thicker the crust the lower the temperature.  Place the pizza in the oven and wait.  An approximate cook time for a plain cheese pizza will be about ten minutes.  Remove the pizza when it appears like the crust is a golden brown and the cheese begins to bubble.  You have now created a pizza fit for the finest Italian food connoisseurs.


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