Pieces of History - Pizza & What It Means to Italy

By: Hunter Steffek


Brief Background and History

Naples is often considered the birthplace of pizza in most food historians point of view. This is where pizza culture and the creativity around it blossomed. To this day in Naples, there is a deep respect for the craft and art of pizza making. With any craft there are masters and many of the world's most respected pizzaiolos or ‘Pizza Chefs’ find themselves in Naples, or in surrounding Italian cities and towns. This love and respect towards pizza followed Italian immigrants globally though, and today we find strong cultures and followings of pizza styles all over the world. A beautiful aspect of pizza and food culture in general is that a passion for a dish can be found in the streets of its hometown, or a fine dining establishment across the world. There are no boundaries or border.

This globetrotting of pizza culture has birthed a deep passion, and creativity for the art of pizza as well as shared bits and pieces (literally) of culture and history with the world. Pizzaiolos around the world are experimenting with the flavors, form, and the complete make up of a pizza. In the United States you will see the battle over Chicago Deep Dish, versus a nice slice of New York Style Thin-Crust. In Naples, pizza is going to be much different than your typical slice found in Rome. Not just in flavor, but in the dough’s hydration & texture, in the freshness of ingredients, and in the shape.

The reason to bring this all up is because no pizza choice is wrong as long as it is satisfying you and your needs. Whether you are wanting to make a simple thin crust cheese pizza (NY Style), a fresh margherita pizza (Neapolitan), or just a thick-pillowy pizza pie. Any of these can be accomplished with TerraMar Import’s gourmet ingredients and products that can create the most authentic pizza for any meal.

Authentic Pizza Recipes with Gourmet Ingredients

To show the same sort of respect and passion towards pizza, The TerraMar Imports team has curated some recipes for you all to become a pizzaiolo in your own home. With these options in both style of pizza and flavor profile, the goal was to utilize some of the amazing gourmet ingredients that we carry that match the flavors and style of the pizza’s.

Featured TerraMar Products

Amelia's Italian Pizza Sauce

Crafted in Naples by experienced artisans, this pizza sauce recipe has all of the wonderful flavors to make an authentic pizza from Naples. Many at-home chefs recommend adding plum-like tomatoes due to their excellent flavors that can match many pizzeria’s flavors.

Amelia's and Co. Pizza Sauce from Naples Italy

“Coratina King” Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Any amazing pizza is going to need a perfect olive oil to pair with it. Olive oil for pizza acts as a foundation for the dough, sauce, and many pizza lovers love a drizzle of it on their pies. The "Coratina King” Extra Virgin Olive Oil (by Oilala) will be a perfect match for any pizza lover and it will help bring out rich Italian flavors to every aspect of the dish.

 Coratina King Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Puglia

Ingredients For Dough:

800g Bread Flour

512g water (64% hydration)

3-4g active dry yeast

16g fine sea salt

Roman or Pan Pizza Dough:

600g bread flour

432g warm water

7g active dry yeast

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

12g fine sea salt

Ingredients for Sauce/Toppings:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 3 balls of mozzarella di bufala campana/Or Shredded Dry Mozzarella depending on your style
  • fresh beautiful basil
  • extra virgin olive oil for topping

 Italian Pizza Dough on a wood rolling board

Neapolitan Pizza Dough Method:

Note: For Roman Dough/Pan Pizza, complete Step 10 (Final Proofing) inside the pan you would bake the pizza in. The assembly of the pizza would happen inside the pan too.

  1. Heat water to 95F.
  2. Add instant yeast, stirring together, and let sit for 5 minutes at room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together Bread flour and fine sea salt.
  4. Add all the water to the flour and mix by hand until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Remove dough onto a work surface and knead using the slap and fold method for 1-2 minutes or until the dough starts to turn smooth.
  7. Transfer the dough back to the bowl, cover, and let rest for 15 more minutes.
  8. Slap and fold again for 1-2 minutes, roll into a taut bowl, and place back into a bowl coated in extra virgin olive oil. Completely cover with plastic wrap and fridge for 14-18 hours.
  9. Punch all the air out of the dough. Divide dough into 5 even pieces (250 g each). Push out all the air and fold all the sides in before rolling into a taut ball seam side down.
  10. Add to a proofing container (or rimmed baking sheet dusted with flour), cover, and let proof at room temperature for 3-4 hours.

Assembly and Baking:

  1. Heat your oven to the highest temperature it can be, at least if you are looking for the leopard spotting and cooked look pizza is known for. The highest temperature also ensures that your crust will be perfectly crisped for the pan styles. Important reminder to put your pizza steel or stone in while you preheat to help bring this to temperature quicker if you are utilizing one.
  2. Assemble your pizza with desired cheeses, toppings, and whatever else you desire.
  3. Insert pizza onto pizza steel or stone, or just insert the pan you are baking it in. Standard ovens bake at 500-550 Fahrenheit so for the pan style pizza you will keep this in for 20-25 minutes depending on your preferences, and for the thin-crust/neapolitan style you will want to keep an eye on it. It should take less time (10-15 minutes).

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