My pizza techniques is inspired by the Neapolitano and New York style pizza.
I make it with 4 basic ingredients:
- bread flour dough
- marinara/pizza sauce
- fontina cheese
- sliced pepperoni topping
I usually create my own marinara sauce for the pizza. For this video, I forgo the homemade version that takes 2 to 3 hours to cook, and opted for the ready-made pizza sauce. I have tested many ready-made brands, and it taste just as good as the homemade ones. I wanted to keep the pizza making simple, time efficient, and straight to the point, without too many extra steps involved in its preparation.
UPDATE: I received many emails asking of all the ready-made pizza sauces available, if I have to choose only one, which would I considered as my favorite? If I have to choose only one ready-made, it would be – Prego Pizza Sauce, Pizzeria Style.
To make pizza, I use an 11″x17″ baking sheet. A round pizza pan or any type of non-stick low profile baking pan or cookie sheet can be use. Just make sure it is able to withstand extremely high heat, at least 500 degrees. If you have a small oven, the dough and other ingredients can be divided into 2 separate baking sheets or pans. You can cut the recipe in half to fit a smaller serving size pan.
Pizza will taste delicious whether it is plain with just cheese or enhanced with additional toppings. Mozzarella is the classic cheese of choice for pizza. Personally, I prefer fontina cheese. It has a creamy texture like the mozzarella, with a subtle sharper flavor, best described as a cross between a provolone and gruyere cheese. When added to pizza, it provides a slightly smoky edge to it. Although, fontina is an Italian cheese, the Swedish and Danish fontina cheeses are just as good.
The difference between the two are:
- fontina is slightly aged cheese with a delicate tart flavor
- mozzarella is fresh cheese with a very mild milky flavor
I decided to add pepperoni slices, since it is the most popular item requested at any pizzeria. Pepperoni is an item that is readily available for purchase at the supermarket. It is also an ingredient that is quick and easy to add with no mess or need to measure. There is no limit as to how many pepperoni slices or other ingredients, you want to add.
My pizza making has influences from the Neapolitano style of pizza making. Also, it is my favorite type of pizza that I have been making since I was 12 years old. The Neapolitano consist of 3 main ingredients:
- Mozzarella cheese
- pizza dough
The dough is made with 4 basic ingredients:
- wheat or high protein flour
The Neapolitano pizza dough proofing (rising process) and kneading is traditionally done by hand. Once proofed, it is flatten and formed into a very thin layer with no assistance of a rolling pin or other gadgets, only your hands. With the rack positioned to the lowest level in your oven, it is then baked at extremely high heat (500 degrees or highest temperature in your oven) to create a crispy bottom crust, while the toppings remain soft and chewy.
There are different type of pizza style across the United States:
New York Style – Neapolitano thin crust pizza made with a marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Chicago Style – deep dish thick and chewy crust pizza made with a chunky marinara sauce and cheese. The dough has oil and/or butter as part of its ingredient to create a crisp, yet chewy type of crust.
California Style – nontraditional pizza that uses toppings such as:
- barbecue, chipotle, pesto, creamy garlic, peanut sauces
- crushed nuts
- mayonnaise, mustard, etc.
- goat, gorgonzola, feta cheeses
- Thai chicken, fruit-smoked pork (ie: apple bacon), strip steak, bacon cheeseburger, etc.
- fruit and salad vegetables (lettuce, bean sprouts, zucchini, pineapple, etc)
Detroit Style – twice baked, thick crust deep dish square pizza (similar to a Sicilian pizza) topped with:
- kalamata olives
- marinara sauce
Hawaiian Style – thick crust pizza with:
- mozzarella cheese
- marinara sauce
- Canadian bacon, sliced ham or bacon
Ironically, Hawaiian pizza is not popular or widely known in Hawaii. It was created in Canada.
New Haven Style – thin chewy crust pizza (also known as “apizza”). It is made with:
- pecorino romano cheese
- olive oil
- chopped garlic
- littleneck clams
New Haven Style pizza does not have any mozzarella cheese or marinara sauce.
St. Louis Style – thin crunchy crust pizza, similar in texture to a cracker and made with no yeast. It is topped with:
- Provel processed cheese (a fusion of provolone, swiss and cheddar cheese)
- marinara pizza sauce, heavily seasoned with oregano
Toppings for pizza is based on the individual’s palate preference, such as:
- meats – beef, chicken, ham, bacon, sausage, pork, lamb
- seafood – anchovies, shrimp, clams, lobster, tuna, etc.
- cheeses – ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, provolone, provel, feta, etc.
- vegetables – onion, bell pepper, mushroom, broccoli, bean sprout, spinach, etc.
- fruits – olives, tomato. pineapple, etc.
I refrigerate any leftovers (if there are any). I reheat it using the midway level toaster setting of my toaster oven, never in a microwave. I like the crust to remain crispy, not soft, when reheated.