How to Make an authentic Italian Pizza?
When I was in Italy, we would only eat out to enjoy something that we didn’t cook at home – pizza. So when going for a pizza meal, it was important to get good reviews from trusted peers because they understood the elements that are important in creating a totally delicious Italian pizza.
Here are the elements that Italians look into when eating pizza:
1. The Yeast
Yeast is an essential part in traditional Italian food. It is the ingredient that is added into the flour, water and salt to make pasta, breads and pizza fluffy. Even if Italian pizzas are thin, they still contain yeast.
Now Italians like to eat their pizza as a whole, meaning one whole pie. So it is important that they digest the dough well, which depends on the kind of yeast used and the manner it is prepared.
Many pizza makers and pizza lovers use Brewer’s yeast or lievito di birra, which requires minimal process for fermenting the dough. Some use the Natural Yeast or madre, which allows for at least 8 hours fermentation time in dry temperature, and then store in the fridge for a few more hours for completion in order to help improve both its flavor, its browning characteristics and to make it easier to digest.
These two yeasts are easily digestible as compared to instant yeasts, which does complete the dough’s fermenting process shorter, but allows more gas build-up in the stomach.
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2. The Flour
There are several types of flour and in this case it is the gluten content and the end texture that Italians consider.
Cake flour is very soft and fine and they contain low gluten content. This kind of flour adds crispiness to the crust. The other types are the bread flour and “00” or Tipo 00 which may have high gluten content, yet add chewiness to the pizza. It’s ideal for making Neopolitan Pizza or Pizza Napolitana, which has a distinct style of being thin in the middle and puffed around the rim.
3. The Toppings
Most Italians eat fresh cooked food made with fresh vegetables, well-aged meaty cold cuts and farm made cheese that have quality certification. Therefore, they highly consider the toppings used on the pizza.
Many of them prefer the traditional Margarita, with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil because of the sheer combustion of flavors and the ease of savoring such minimal toppings in every bite. Yet even with these basic ingredients, they have the capacity to evaluate the freshness of the toppings.
The tomato sauce has to be plump and natural as possible, the mozzarella should be robust, and the basil has to be fresh.
With these basic ingredients, anything else added alongside deserves fresh ingredients to deliver a crisp and chewy cheese slice.
4. The Oven
Italians like the hint of the earth into their pizza, which is why they go to pizza places that have brick oven pizza that is burnt with wood. Industrial ovens make pizza easy and fast to make but agreeably, oven-baked pizza does taste and smell much better.
Italians basically go for food that taste good and that they could digest easily. So if you’re in or going to Italy and you want to try good Italian pizza, go to well-populated pizza places that use brick oven, as they most likely serve the most delicious and easily digestible pizza in town.
Otherwise, it may also help you to enjoy your pizza wherever you are by considering these elements or its digestibility factor like the Italians do.