Pizza , a simple word that contains a universe of sensations , flavors, culture, history and creativity. Pizza is one of those things capable of uniting and dividing entire peoples and professionals at the same time, but which undoubtedly gives a touch of happiness to everyone with every taste.
There are many types of pizzas, and they differ not only in the toppings and cooking methods but also in the type of dough . In fact, it should be noted that pizza usually means that (sublime) mix of flour, yeast, oil, tomato, mozzarella and basil, but to be honest, pizza means, depending on the region in which we are located , also another type of preparation, or focaccia or flatbread, which is sometimes stuffed inside and not on the surface.
Pizza: variety, procedures and results
Whether it's the classic Neapolitan pizza with high edges , or the Roman one, thinner and crunchy , passing through the shovel pizza , with pan , tasting or American , the secret to obtaining a real culinary work of art lies in the dough . It should be noted, however, that the official internationally recognized pizza is the Neapolitan one, the round dough disc with high edges, which are formed thanks to the particular manipulation of the dough, and strictly cooked in a wood oven.
If the Neapolitan pizza is universally recognized due to its high and full-bodied crust, perhaps not everyone knows that there is a pizza from Caserta, a preparation in which a particular style is recognized: it is made of small dimensions and the border is particularly wide , alveolate and soft; a characteristic that is obtained thanks to a leavening method of the dough , of at least 48 hours, and a very long manual processing. The pizza al pala or by the meter is instead made with type 0 flour and exclusively with extra virgin olive oil , becoming thin and crunchy. Seed oil is alternated with olive oil to make Roman pizza, for which soft flours are preferred; the result is a thin and fragrant pizza , also in the "white" version, ie without seasoning, and perhaps stuffed with mortadella as the Lazio tradition dictates.
Despite the small number of ingredients and the relative ease of preparation therefore, there are multiple indications, tricks, systems and traditions to make a dough that works and that gives the pizza that aspect, that flavor and that typical consistency that make it a very appetizing super food. Although delicious in every version, what makes a pizza perfect is the success of the basic preparation, that is the dough. Let's find out what the various types of dough are and learn how to make an excellent pizza even at home .
How to make an excellent "homemade" dough
To make the dough for the classic Neapolitan pizza perfectly you will need to have flour , very little yeast (only 3 grams) and water; the flours used by the Neapolitan masters are of medium strength, which can be found on the market with words and abbreviations with numbers between W 280 and W 320. The stronger the flour, the more it will be able to absorb water. The yeast is preferable to choose it fresh, but if it is not possible you can also use the dry one. water also has its essential importance: it must not be cold or sparkling but natural, with a ph no higher than 7 and at a temperature of about 20/22 degrees.
To knead you can use a planetary mixer, very convenient especially because it is equipped with a hook whisk, specially designed to give the dough the right ventilation; but you can also proceed by hand if you are a little more experienced. To understand if the dough is ready, simply check by tapping it with your fingers: it must be moist but not sticky, smooth and elastic. The leavening phase can vary from 2 to 6 hours, much depends on the ambient temperature at that time; it goes without saying that in winter, generally, it will take a little longer. The drafting of the dough is also to be done strictly paying attention to elasticity: if the dough "comes back" while it is being rolled out, it means that it is not sufficiently leavened. To obtain the high edge typical of Neapolitan pizza it will be sufficient to push the air outwards, and to handle the dough with decision, rotating it to obtain a homogeneous effect. The center of the disc must be half a centimeter high, while the edge 2.
The cooking of a pizza usually takes place in a wood oven, in which it takes less than two minutes to obtain the right color, fragrance and typical "bubbles", thanks to the high temperatures reaching over 400 degrees; Of course this is not always possible but luckily there are specific ovens on the market for cooking pizza doughs, which quickly reach very high temperatures and allow you to replicate the effect of the wood oven.
To prepare a dough different from the typical Neapolitan one, you can vary using 00 flour or half 00 and half Manitoba flour. The precautions in the temperature of the water must always be adopted: too cold water will prevent leavening while too hot water breaks down the leavening agents, making the effect of the yeast itself null. For optimal cooking it will be sufficient to set a temperature of 300 degrees, both in the traditional oven and in the special pizza ovens.