This delicious Italian dish is thought to have been created by Raffaele Esposito, a baker of Naples. This came about in 1889 when the Italian king of that time, Umberto I, paid a visit along with his queen, Margherita. To mark the occasion, Raffaele Esposito, who was the owner of Pizzeria di Pietro, a restaurant, baked a special bread which he named 'pizza'.
It was in the 19th century that this food item arrived on American shores along with the Italians who migrated here. It is said that Chicago got its first taste of pizza when a hawker, carrying a metal washtub on his head, walked along the streets of the city calling out for people to buy pizzas for two cents a piece. This used to be how it was sold in Naples; in cylindrical drums made of copper that had a double bottom where burning charcoal could be packed so that they could be kept warm.
- 2½ cups, of flour
- 1 (25-oz.) package of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon, white sugar
- 1 cup, warm water
- 2 tablespoons, olive oil
- 1 teaspoon, salt
Preheat the oven to 450 ºF. Take a medium-sized bowl and pour the warm water in it. Add the sugar and yeast to it and stir till they dissolve. Allow it to stand for about 10 minutes, until it turns creamy. Next, stir in the oil, flour, and salt. Beat this mixture until it becomes smooth. Keep it aside for about 5 minutes. Place this dough on a surface that is lightly floured, and pat it into a flat circle. Put this rolled dough on a pizza pan that has been greased lightly. Spread with whatever topping you want and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
Garlic and Onion-Flavored Dough
- 2½ cups, of flour
- 1 package of dry yeast
- 1 cup, lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons, vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon, garlic powder (salt-free)
- ½ teaspoon, onion powder (salt-free)
- 1 tablespoon, honey
Put the water and yeast in a glass bowl and mix them well. Add the other ingredients, kneading them all thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to sit for about 5-10 minutes. Flatten the dough on a greased pan. Spread whatever topping you want and bake for 12 minutes at 450 ºF.
Herb and Garlic Dough
- 2 cups, flour
- ¾ cup, warm water
- 1 tablespoon, olive oil (extra-virgin)
- 1 teaspoon, basil leaves (dried)
- 1 teaspoon, oregano leaves (dried)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 teaspoons, active dry yeast
- ¼ teaspoon, salt
Put all the ingredients in a bread machine at dough setting and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. In the mean time, preheat the pizza tiles or stone to 450 ºF and prepare the toppings you want. After the bread machine completes its dough cycle, remove the dough and place on a lightly greased surface. Knead it for a while and cover with a towel and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Then, roll the dough into a flat, circular shape and place it on the preheated stome. Next, brush the top with some olive oil, spread your topping, and bake for about 15 minutes, until the top becomes bubbly and the bottom gets brown.