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