PIZZAS & THEIR MIRACLES
“Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.”
― Amy Neftzger
“There’s very little in my world that a foot massage and a thin-crust,
everything-on-it pizza won’t set right.”
― G.A. McKevett
The luxury of pizza..
When my siblings and I were growing up, eating pizza was a big luxury for us.
Not because it was expensive, but really because my dad, a true-blue Singaporean with deep preferences for Asian tastes, was just not a big fan of bread or cheese. Actually, maybe that might be an understatement.
You see, there are a couple of things associated with Western food – such as bread and cheese and potatoes – that my parents (especially my dad) just never got about being very fond of. I’m not sure how extreme his dislike for cheese can go, but I’d bet you an entire pizza that he might only eat pizza if there wasn’t any other choices of food left in the world.
Suffice to say, Ronald, Valerie and I only had our coveted fill of pizza when my dad went on a business trip, and my mum would sneak us out on a secret rendezvous to the nearest Pizza Hut outlet where we stuffed ourselves full with these slices of bread-and-cheese heaven – whether it was the Super Supreme, Hawaiian, stuffed-crust pizza or Italian-style crispy thin pizza. And we’d always end our pizza expeditions the same way – so full and stuffed from eating our fill to last us through the next pizza drought.
Pizza heaven in Argentina.
Now that I’m based in Argentina, where the majority of citizens in the capital city Buenos Aires (also known as Porteños) are of Spanish and Italian descent, it is no wonder that pizza is virtually available every two blocks. I’ve gotten used to eating pizza at least once every two weeks.It’s a common food that Argentines order to be delivered, and often a quick solution when you’re feeling lazy to cook and want something easy to eat.
MAKING PIZZAS FROM SCRATCH
A couple of weeks ago, Juan and I were having dinner at a good friend’s house, and Augustina taught me to make these pizzas. I’d been wanting to make my own homemade pizzas for the longest time, and with her advice stuck in my head, I made these delicious pizzas last week with some expert help from Fran, Juan’s brother.
THE PROCESS OF MAKING PIZZA
Using pizza bread flour and water, I rolled the dough into a ball, kneading it into a ball and letting it rise.
When the dough had doubled in size, I separated it into two pieces, and rolled each into a ball, then flatted it with a rolling pin, and placed it on a pizza tray.
After adding the toppings, just wait and let your pizza cook!
HOMEMADE CARAMELIZED ONIONS & NAPOLITANA PIZZA
(Makes 2 large pizzas)
1) 500g of pizza bread flour (Blancaflor brand – or any brand you have available)
2) 300ml of room temperature water
3) 2 large onions, peeled & sliced into thin strips
4) 500g of mozarella cheese
5) 3 A5-size sheets of ham
6) 2 round tomatoes, cut into round slices
7) 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
8) 300ml of tomato sauce for pizza
For the pizza ingredients:
1) Peel and slice the onion into thin strips
2) Saute the onion strips in a bit of oil until they start to caramelize
3) Slice tomatoes into thin round slices
4) Cut mozzarella cheese into small pieces
To make the pizza dough:
1) Mix the pizza bread flour with a little bit of water, adding more water as the flour absorbs it to form dough
2) Knead the dough well and then roll it into a ball
3) Place the ball of dough in a bowl and cover it with a cloth for 30 minutes (until it almost doubles in size)
4) Pre-heat oven to 220 deg celcius
5) Split ball of dough into two pieces, flattening and using each piece of dough for each pizza
6) With each piece of dough, create a thin, flat circle large enough for your pizza pan
7) Grease the pizza pan with a thin layer of oil and place the circle of dough on it
8) Spread enough tomato sauce on the dough to cover its surface
9) Toast pizza dough in oven for 10 minutes until dough is slightly dry and toasted
10) Remove pizza dough from oven, and spread another layer of tomato sauce
For the caramelized onions pizza:
1) Arrange ham slices over the toasted circle of dough, then add caramelized onions, then half the mount of mozarella
2) Bake pizza in oven until cheese has melted and pizza bread is well cooked and crispy
For the Napolitana pizza:
1) Arrange mozarella over the toasted circle of dough, and place in oven until cheese is melted
2) Once cheese is melting, arrange tomato slices over the cheese
3) Sprinkle dried oregano evenly over the tomato slices