While the origins of pizza are not exactly clear, the popularity of modern fast-food pizza began in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when chain restaurants began serving it in mass quantities. Many people view pizza as a complicated dish to create, but anyone with rudimentary cooking skills can successfully make their own homemade pizza. Whether commercial or homemade, pizza needs the same kitchen equipment, just on a larger or smaller scale.
While it is possible to create pizza dough entirely by hand, it is extremely labor-intensive and creates no better crust than that made in a mixer. Commercial pizza restaurants use large mixers that mix up to 50 lbs. of dough at once, while home cooks can use stand mixers or even handheld versions to do the same mixing and kneading.
A pizza maker must cut pizza toppings into uniform pieces in order for them to cook correctly on top of the pizza. A home cook only needs a sharp knife. Pizza shops may use commercial slicers and electric choppers to work quicker and more efficiently, but these are simply more elaborate versions of the basic knife.
Spoon or Ladle
Almost every pizza begins with some sort of sauce on the crust, and the cook must spread the sauce in an even layer in order for the crust to cook evenly. The tool of choice is completely up to the pizza cook and what feels best in his hand. Any spoon, ladle or other tool that holds sauce and can be used to spread it around will be sufficient.
Pizzas will cook on a variety of surfaces, but the resulting product will differ depending on the baking method. Stones were originally the cooking surface of choice for pizzas, and high-end restaurants still use them today, creating a slightly smoky flavor to the crispy crust. Early pizza chains used screens, and they are still popular today in many places. Deep-dish pizza and homemade pies are often created in solid pans, while removable crockery is an addition to the home arsenal that mimics the texture of the stone-baked pizza.
No matter what ingredients you have or the method you will use to cook your crust, all pizzas need to be baked in an oven. A closed-in area that will retain heat, delivering it to all parts of the pizza at once, is crucial in making a successful pie. Whether you use your home oven, a commercial version with a conveyor belt or a barbecue with the lid closed, each of these oven structures can make pizza in the same way.
- Photo Credit pizza image by Magalice from Fotolia.com
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