The term 'Pizza' was first used in a latin document from the Italian town of Gaeta in 997AD. in the document the tenant of a certain property was to give the Bishop of Gaeta 'Duodecim pizze', "Twelve Pizzas", every Christmas day and another twelve pizzas on Easter Sunday.
Has anyone else got a picture of the Bishop looking like Friar Tuck?
Remove from the oven while sizzling, cut your Pizza and eat it. Cool enough to not burn your mouth but hot enough to make you go 'Haw,haw,haw' to try and cool it is perfect. Now repeat.
A Pizza of Dreams
Put the Pizza on the tray or Pizza stone in the oven. Do this quickly so as not to lose heat from the oven. In a wood fired oven it will take 90 seconds to cook. In your oven, even at max temperature it could take up to 10 minutes. When the edges are begining to turn brown and the toppings are sizzling it is ready!
Get your oven turned up to max! A wood fired pizza oven cooks at around 400 degrees at the floor and in excess of 900 degrees in the dome. So the weedy little domestic oven just can't compete. So have it at its maximum and let it heat up.
If you have a Pizza stone (a pottery flat disc about 13" in diameter) put it in the oven to get really hot! If not use your heaviest base baking tray. Key thing is let it get hot hot hot! The heat of the tray or Pizza stone is what helps cook the base.
Don't be tempted to overload your pizza. It may seem like a good idea to put everything on that you like, but this really is a case of 'less is more!'.
Dont overlap ingredients as you want the heat getting to everything evenly, if you over-do the toppings and overlay things it will be soggy and too heavy. A few of your favourite things placed carefully on top will lead to a better tasting, healthier Pizza.
Don't leave the base with it's sauce and cheese waiting too long to top it off with your favourite toppings. The dough will abssorb the sauce and it will make the base soggy and the topping dry.
Whatever Pizza you are making you need a bit of cheesy texture. So on top of the tomato base sauce a light sprinkling of grated Mozzarella. You can buy a bag of ready grated with some Cheddar mixed in for more flavour.
Put the Pizza base on a well floured tray, it is important that you can keep the base moving. Try using a little semolina, it is less messy and gives the base a lovely texture when cooked.
A nice, tangy Tomato base. Not too runny but not too thick. Somewhere between a tomato puree and chopped, tinned tomatoes in consistency. Then, most importantly, not too much! For a 10"-12" Pizza allow about 1 good table spoon of base sauce and spread it over the base, but not right up to the edges.