The Ancient Greeks had a flat bread called plakous which was flavored with herbs and garlic, and they say the original pizza was created in Naples but surely that isn’t fact. The chewy style in Napoli is most likely indigenous to the south of Italy and resulted due to several factors; water, climate and the specific type of grains used. Moreover the Marinara and the Margherita, has more to do with the materials available and nothing else.
The pizza Margherita was supposedly created to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita”. This pizza was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, to represent the national colors of Italy as on the Italian flag.
If you travel in Italy you can enjoy pizza almost wherever you go but the styles vary from place to place depending on the background of the Pizzaiolo. In Rome you can try Pizza alla Romana scrocchiarella, a crispy thin crust, and what they call Roman-style pizza. Pizzarium, one of Rome’s known Pizzaiolo uses organic stone ground flour,sour dough starter, and prolonged fermentation. Visit them if in Rome on Via della Meloria 43.
The largest single component of flour is starch, approximately 70%, moisture is 13%, fats or oil 1.5%, Sugar 2.5%, and Mineral Salts 0.5%. When it comes to making pizza, the flour we use seems confusing but it isn’t. There are many stories about flour and what to use and not to use. Frankly it all depends on what you consider the standard. The flour when it’s finely ground has a lower gluten content than most flours so may Pizzaiolo mix flour to get the balance between soft and hard flours.
Too soft isn’t right for Napolitano pizza and too hard gives the wrong result. It is a matter of finding the right mixture. So when you buy flour for pizza or bread as they call it in Italy, the “00” refers to the texture of the flour. Italian flours are classified by numbers according to how finely they are ground, from the roughest ground “tipo” 1, to 0, and the finest 00. Lower-protein flours are often labeled as “grano tenero”, while the higher protein flours “grano duro.” are used to make dough for pizza.
Flour from hard wheat has a higher protein content and stronger gluten-forming protein, are more commonly used for yeasted products with a chewy crumb. Flour from soft wheat has less protein, low gluten strength, and is are better for products like cakes, and biscuits all of which have a very fine crumb.
As important is how you store flour and the ideal temperature for flour storage is approximately 17C. Above this temperature shelf life will shorten, and whole meals and grain flours can turn rancid due to the fact that they contain fats and oils. Do not be tempted to put new flour on top of flour already in a container.
Pizzerie in Rome
Antico Forno Urbani
Piazza Costaguti 30 (Ghetto)
Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice 44 (Testaccio)
Dinner only and closed Sunday.
Via del Leoncino 28 (Spanish Steps)
Lunch & Dinner and closed Wednesday.
Pizza topped with onions, beans and sausage.
Via Ozanam 30-32 (Monteverde)
Tuesday – Sunday and dinner only
Considered to be one of the best pizzeria in Rome.
Via Valle Corteno 31 (Montesacro)
Via Giuseppe Lunati 25/31 (Portuense)
Sunday – Friday and dinner only – closed Saturday.
Extraordinary dough and toppings.
Via dei Chiavari 34
Fantastic bread, but also amazing pizza by the slice.
Pizzeria alle Carrette
Via Madonna dei Monti 95
Thin Roman crust.
Via Statilio Ottato 114 (Tuscolana, Metro: Subagusta)
Viale Trastevere 53 (Trastevere)
Dinner only and closed Wednesday.
Via Giovanni Branca 88 (Testaccio)
Open daily 12 noon to 23h00
Pizza by the slice
Forno La Renella
Via del Moro 15 (Trastevere)
Daily, 09h00 – 0100.
Large loaves of rustic bread and pizza.
Via del Porto Fluviale 22 (Ostiense)
Reserve a table at lunch. You can have either Roman or Neopolitan style.
Via della Meloria 43
Via Merulana 54
A bakery and pizza by the slice.
Via di San Cosimato 9