It is a great day indeed, to have pizza. Not that we need any excuse to have pizza, of course. But hold the toppings, please! As today (5 Sept 2019) is a day to celebrate the classic cheese pizza and sometimes the simple things are the best. Looking for a taste of the history of this wonderful baked pie? Perhaps, it is time for a trip to the United States Pizza Museum located in Chicago, and there’s also another museum located in Philadelphia called Pizza Brain.
Why we love cheese pizza
It is a great excuse to get some of that cheesy goodness of cheese pizza in your tummy. It’s not healthy for you but today calls for a celebration. As they say, a cheat day once in a while won’t hurt, just as long as moderation is practised.
The wonderful thing about cheese pizza is that there are many variations to this classic recipe and a different combination of cheeses gives this popular dish a distinctive flavour. The different types of pizza crust also make a big difference as some people prefer the classic hand-tossed crust while others prefer the crust to be thin and crispy.
History of Pizza
For the past 7000 years, humans across all regions of the world have been making pizza-like foods, namely flatbreads and over-baked breads with various toppings. The Romans also had a similar bread-like food that was made with oil and cheese.
The actual word “pizza” was first documented in 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy and followed by various parts of Central Italy and South Italy. Pizza is a baked pie which originated from Italy consisting of a bread-like crust covered with a layer of seasoned tomato sauce, cheese and other toppings such as sausages or olives.
The word pizza is believed to be derived from an Old Italian word with the meaning “a point” which became the Italian word “pizzicare,” which has the meaning of “to pluck” or “pinch.”
Homemade Pizza Dough
Celebrated National Cheese Pizza Day by making your very own homemade pizza dough. Here is a list of ingredients that you will need.
- Yeast – Instant yeast helps to shorten the time. A standard packet of yeast will do.
- Water – Using warm water can cut down on the rising time for the dough. About 40 – 45C will do, anything above 55C is too hot.
- Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose flour to make the pizza crust. Bleaching the flour will affect how much water the flour absorbs as bleaching causes some of the protein in the flour to be removed.
- Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is recommended as it adds a wonderful flavour to the pizza dough. It is helpful to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings as it prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
- Salt – It is important to add flavour.
- Sugar – Small amounts of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and helps to soften the dough.
- Cornmeal – Dust the pizza pan using cornmeal to give the crust some extra flavour and crisp.
Pizza Baking Equipment
For baking pizza, there are 3 essential tools that you will need.
- Stand mixer – An electric stand mixer is not exactly a necessity, but it will help a lot especially for beginners that are trying to bake pizza for the first time. Experienced bakers can simply knead and roll the dough by hand.
- Pizza pan – Baking a pizza using a pizza pan or baking sheet is perfect for beginners. However, pizza fans may try using pizza stones, baking stones and pizza peels.
- Pizza cutter – It helps to cut the pizza into perfect slices as it is sharp and easy to use.
Finding Cheese Pizza in Malaysia
There’s plenty of pizza restaurants all over Malaysia. Readers may try out the classic franchises such as Pizza Hut or Domino’s Pizza. Mikey’s Original New York Pizza is recommended too as they have something called, Pizza Bianco which combines four kinds of cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, ricotta and grana padano. There is also a new outlet of US Pizza (SS15) open that is packed full of hungry pizza fans all day.
Discover more pizza restaurants on foodpanda and celebrate today with a pizza enjoyed in your own home!