Did you know pizza was a patriotic treat invented to display the colors of the Italian flag under Queen Margherita? Hence, Pizza Margherita. In fact, over there in the roots of original pizza, there are only a couple ingredients, and there are now very protective regulations about its creation and service. What, no Taco or Supreme? I must eat it all the the restaurant…no leftovers? They’re not playing around!

Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day  by Jeff Hertzberg — what is that about? Though I haven’t given it full lab work, I suppose it is feasible after the author’s caveats.

You’ve premixed a big batch of dough (eight 12” pies) ahead of time and stored it in your fridge, where it will keep well as a living, breathing, yeasty organism for up to a couple weeks.  You’ve preheated the oven to 500 degrees. You’ve rolled the dough out by hand super thin.

When ready to rock, claw out a wad of that goo, sprinkle with a few yum-yums and slip it off your pizza peel onto the white-hot stone.

The simple genius of it is, even with your most unsatisfactory efforts you’ve STILL got a pizza for pretty much no money. Five pounds of flour is a little over a dollar.

The author mentions in the forward there is a remarkable dearth of recipe books focusing exclusively on pizza. While it could use more photos, there are a lot of great ideas in here, even if you’re not going to pursue the five minute-approach.

Try a topcoat of tomato slices when people are foisting them on you. How about corn or rye flour in the mix when you want a hint of a Reuben sandwich or tortilla taste?

I saved someone else’s bread maker from the landfill and run it on half a cycle. It isn’t five minutes, but I’m not exactly being gouged 24 dollars either.  It’s funny how the barometer for culinary forgiveness gets fudged when it was your hands kneading the dough.

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