Pizza Experts

Oh, no, Mark Bittman, my Italian grandmother is rolling over in her grave – how could you recommend using a food processor to make pizza? In his article for the New York Times – For Chefs at Home, A Pie Above the Rest – Bittman proclaims that the best pizza only needs “…some confidence, practice, and a food processor.” The sacrilege reminded me of Jon Stewart’s ridicule of Donald Trump eating pizza with a knife and fork – another no, no.

Pizza can be anything from an English muffin covered with ketchup and sprinkled with Parmesan out of the plastic container to the thick-crusted Sicilian breads with home-made tomato sauce and slices of real mozzarella and aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. When in Italy years ago, the pizza on the plaza was different to my American palate, but never a food processor in sight – I could see the cook making it.

My Italian ancestors passed on a recipe that keeps satisfying – an egg, a little olive oil, some whole milk, yeast proofed in warm water – mixed with flour – by hand. Part of making and kneading pizza is the satisfaction of working the dough (imagining it to be something or someone else). Turning on a food processor just doesn’t relieve suppressed anger – better than punching a pillow.

So, keep your food processor, Mark Bittman.

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6 thoughts on “Pizza Experts

  1. kbosin

    ok, then…. I’ll got there, but I always make pizza dough in the food processor (gasp). GIve me a recipe or words to make me think I can do it without.

    1. RFW Post author

      Whatever recipe you use for the processor would probably be fine. Just substitute your hands for the blades. The secret is to have all ingredients at room temperature. Those humid days back East always worked great for rising dough. Mix flour gradually into liquid warm (not too hot;not cold) ingredients, first with a spoon, then folding in flour by hand until it forms soft dough. Lift dough off bowl and Pour a little olive oil into bottom of the bowl- flip dough ball so both sides have some oil coating it. Cover with moist towel and let rise until doubled. With floured hands, knead the dough gently or not depending on your mood. Grease pan with olive oil and either roll out the dough in the pan or use your fingers to stretch it out to corners. After you have all your toppings on, drizzle a little olive oil on top.
      Hope it works for you!

      1. kbosin

        ok, room temp sounds like the main thing. I’ll try it, which is perfect timing, since my food processor cracked up. Literally. Thanks!

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