Pizza a la Giovanni

Pizza a la Giovanni

Source:  Giovanni Cir. 1970’s
(Giovanni had his own Pizza ristorante in San Jose, CA)

Personal Notes:
I met Giovanni in 2009 at the organic vegetable stand that we frequent on Saturday’s.  He was a nice older Italian man, with a heavy accent.  Being from 100% Italian descent, I was interested to talk with him, learn where he came from, etc.
We scheduled a luncheon with him and my family.  He stated he was a retired pizza maker, and that he would make the pizza. Agreed….
Now, I’ve been making, or trying to make pizza for years, and though it was good, when I tasted his pizza, I realized I had a lot of work to do.
His dough was truly perfect!  Being that I use 100% organic ingredients and he uses restaurant grade pizza flour probably with starters and enhancers in them, could be in part some of his success.  However, since I switched to his method, I have had a huge improvement in baking my pizzas.  Every time I make it, and we eat it as a family, the comment is:  “It’s like Giovanni’s” – that is all I need to hear!  Giovanni and the family continued our Pizza pleasure on a regular basis.  He taught me a lot about food, wine making, vinegar making, making grappa, and just learning to enjoy food as a culture.  Enjoy.


Makes 2 large pizza’s

900 gr. flour Salt
1 cube. fresh yeast Olive oil
1 potato cooked and mashed with skin off water

Begin to boil 1 potato until soft and ready for mashing. Prepare the yeast with about 1 c. water (luke warm).  Add yeast and water together, and let yeast dissolve and bind with the water.  In a large bowl, add flour, salt, olive oil, and mashed potato.  Add water-yeast mixture and combine and kneed until a nice supple ball is formed.  This should take about 5-10 min.  Cover and let rise, minimum 2 hours. (or put in a clean plastic bag and put in refrigerator)
When dough is ready, cut in half, and on a floured surface, begin to form into a large flat circle.  Use your fingers, not a rolling pin.  Just begin to push from the center, and form a large round shape. When dough is the size of your pizza pan, place on pan.  Begin with olive oil on dough, then tomato paste, then sauce, cheese, and toppers. Bake @ 200ºC or 375ºF until pizza is brown and crusty.  Usually 20-25 min.  cut and serve.

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