There are various types of pizza that are very popular around the world. But Artisan Pizza stands out because of the texture of the crust and the way it is made. Artisan Pizza is a homemade pizza made from scratch.
New York, Chicago, Hawaiian, and the other pizzas are mostly done with the help of machines for mass production, but making pizza at home can be attainable without the help of machines.
Artisan is defined in the Webster dictionary as “a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson” however, there are differences between a craftsperson and an artisan.
Some dictionaries may define craftsperson as someone who has mastered an art form and does it consistently to produce a large number of the product and make it consistently.
Artisan, on the other hand, is a person who has mastered an art form via various apprenticeship and applies the different skills into different products through masterful handcrafting.
Therefore, Artisan Pizza is a pizza – no matter the kind, that is made entirely by pure human skill and by hand. The word Artisan Pizza was only coined about a century ago as all pizzas were made by hand before that.
When the demand for pizza went higher, the machines started to come in handy as they produce efficiently and via bulks. Machines can produce as many pizzas in a day but are also limited to some extent.
Artisan bakers and customers who love authenticity often find mass-produced pizzas not to meet their expectations. See, machines produce what they are programmed to, so if you put a specific ingredient in the machine, then that would be the only product that it provides.
When making pizza the artisan way, you have the freedom to choose whatever ingredients you like to meet your expectations. Making your pizza depends on the kind of dough that you want, and artisans are the experts on this.
Making artisan pizza requires a hot oven for it to cook the right way. It uses the temperatures as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit on the oven to make the crust crisp and chewy.
That is a typical way of making it. However, you may choose not to do that depending on how you prefer your crust to be.
The Artisan Dough
Making your dough by hand has the benefit of creating the right balance of ingredients that meet with your preferred thickness, crisp, or softness of the dough itself.
There are only about three to four main ingredients in making the artisan dough: flour, water, yeast, salt, and of course, time.
See, making the dough can be as simple as it is, there is no need to add flavors in it since you can leave that to the sauce and toppings later on.
All-purpose flour and bread flour are still two of the best choices out there to make your dough. All-purpose flour is often chosen by bakers for that crispy crust and low starch, whereas bread flour, on the other hand, has more sugar than all-purpose flour.
But don’t get fooled, all-purpose flour still has sugar in it but just a little less than that of bread flour.
Artisan dough is more watery than the typical pizza dough, it requires a lot of water, and so it makes the dough sticky that is why it is handled and kneaded via hand to attain consistency.
Machines have a hard time balancing the ingredients if the dough is too wet as these machines are only programmed to process a specific amount of flour, and a specific amount of water.
The best and most crucial ingredient in the dough is the time put into it. No matter what your components are, it would help if you took the time to prepare and knead the dough for a good 5 minutes.
So, when making the dough by hand, make sure that you put the time in mixing the ingredients and giving it a proper massage to attain consistency.
Artisan dough is typically wetter than the conventional doughs that are used for mass production. Therefore, hand skills are needed to handle the dough well.
If you put the wet dough in a machine, it will not mix the ingredients well and leave the mixture with the inconsistent distribution of the ingredients.
Another thing about the dough is fermentation. You should prepare the dough at least 24 hours before baking and letting it rest for fermentation.
In making a perfect handmade dough, fermentation is an essential part of the process, especially if you put yeast in the mixture.
Fermentation is a process of turning the yeast, starch, and sugar into other simpler forms. For example, sugar is converted into carbon dioxide, among other things, with the yeast reacting on it. Why is that important, you may ask?
Well, producing carbon dioxide is what makes your dough rise as it is resting. When baking the dough, the additional warmth causes carbon dioxide to rise and expand even more.
Aside from the physical form that you will benefit from fermentation, letting your dough rest adds more texture and flavor into it, compared to a dough that was not allowed to rest, which will only produce less taste, flavor, and Quality.
So remember, the longer you let your dough rest or ferment, the more taste and flavor you are going to get, and the better the Quality of your dough will be.
Sauce and Toppings
Making your sauce and toppings is not that hard. You have all the freedom to choose what you want to put on your pizza. The only secret is keeping them fresh or picking your ingredients while they are still fresh.
Artisan bakers usually go to the market every morning to pick up the ingredients that are needed to make the pizza. The repeating process of making dough, picking up ingredients every day, and baking as ordered is the secret of making the pizza a one-of-a-kind.
Just make sure to make your pizza as fresh as you can.
But pizza is not a pizza without cheese. If you are confused as to which kind of pizza fits your recipe perfectly, do not worry.
You can use almost every kind of cheese in your recipe, here are a few of the cheese that you may use when making your pizza: parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta, gouda cheese, goat cheese, and so many more.
The choices you have in the case of the different cheese used in a pizza are endless. You use whatever cheese you want to use. As for the fats that you can use, olive oil is standard, but you can also use peanut oil, duck oil, and lard as well.
Artisan vs. Traditional Pizza
There are debates around the internet on whether which pizza is better – Artisna or the traditional pizza. Traditional pizzas are said to be better in terms of accessibility and efficiency with time.
This argument is made under the notion- which is better for your family when you go out on pizza night. Traditional pizzas are in almost every corner of the streets, and it makes them accessible for sure.
In terms of Quality, there is no doubt that artisan pizza is a better pizza than the traditional ones.
Traditional pizza is a combination of ingredients, set for the machines to process, and most of the time, these ingredients are frozen and are not picked fresh from the market or gardens.
Quantity-wise, traditional pizza is more efficient as it is produced because of the high demands.
However, if you want a pizza that made with authentic, high-quality ingredients, it is best if you picked the ingredients yourself so you know they are fresh and make the pizza by hand.
There are cases where some restaurants or pizzerias label their pizza as artisans but fail to prove otherwise.
They just use the label to justify a higher price than what they present to their customers who have no idea whether they are producing authentic handmade pizzas or the other way.
Pizza Ovens that produce Artisan Pizzas
You might be wondering if you can make an artisan pizza at home? Well, the answer to this is YES, and it is way easier than you think.
If you have your dough ready, then all that you have to do is to roll out the dough on a pizza peel and get it loaded with the sauce and toppings that you need.
You have so many portable outdoor ovens that you could use, like the Roccbox and the Ooni Pro pizza ovens.
These pizza ovens are said to reach temperatures like 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and you can cook a pizza under a minute inside them.
The pizzas come out well cooked with a fantastic leopard spotting. The crust is slightly sweet, chewy and crisp, giving the entire pizza the much-needed texture.
If you are looking to get an affordable pizza oven for yourself that would help you make the best pizzas out there, then you should check out our post on the Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens.
These ovens can cook more than just pizzas inside them. You can bake bread, roast meat, and prepare a lot of other dishes inside the ovens.
Emergence of Machines
With the modernization and technological advancements growing faster than ever, the food we eat is becoming less and less healthy as the market is prioritizing quantity over their Quality.
Machines are developed every day to ease the workloads and make the production faster. Pizza is not an exception in this change. Pizza is one of the most popular cuisines known around the world.
Due to this demand, pizza is mass-produced for hundreds or even thousands of customers daily. In this case, Quality is second to quantity.
If you want to make a pizza on your own, you are not limited to just using your hand and skills; after all, it is not only the way of making the pizza that makes it artisan but the authenticity and freshness of the ingredients that you use.
What’s important is making your dough by hand, kneading and handling it with care to make it as consistent as you want it to be.
Using tools in mixing the sauce and preparing the toppings is also a right way for you to make your pizza in a lesser amount of time. Using tools and machines does not take away the authenticity of the pizza, but you have to make it with the right skills.
There is no denying that machines are taking over most of the work done by people because they are faster and consistent in their programmed set of actions.
You can combine your skills and handling with machines to make an authentic pizza that matches your preferred way of pizza.
Will Artisan Pizza evolve?
As ironic as it is, artisan pizza is just emerging. The rise of the machines made the traditional pizza more accessible, but the people who love authenticity still seek handmade pizzas.
In the market, artisan pizza will always evolve together with the traditional pizzas. There are a lot of new ingredients, and handmade pizzas can be the first to introduce them.
Homemade pizzas are still a little less known compared to the traditional ones. Again, with a little bit of introduction and awareness, it will undoubtedly take a massive leap from being barely known to be the standard for many customers and bakers.
There are ways that were introduced later on, in which the handmade pizza is cooked with the help of modern tools.
For example, baking the pizza does not require pizza stone anymore. So, you can make an authentic recipe by the use of modern ovens instead of wood-fired ovens or brick ovens. Pizza stones are also not required as well.
Most people ask if they need a pizza stone to cook their pizza, but most chefs who cook handmade pizza do not require the use of pizza stones.
They suggest that you can use a cast iron pan in making pizza, heat the pan on your stovetop, and then transfer it to the oven for the pizza to bake.
Artisan pizza is an excellent way of making pizza, but it is not as easy as you think it is, especially if you are making it for commercial purposes.
It takes time to practice and master the techniques used in making one. However, it is not limited to top chefs around the world; you can make your handmade pizza with practice and learning from the best.
Homemade pizza will evolve with the rise of tools that are used for more manageable tasks that can be done at a shorter amount of time, and using these tools can be positive too.
Making these authentic pizzas is about the ingredients- how fresh they are, and how you make them.
Using tools and machines will not diminish the authenticity of your pizza as long as you have mastered making your dough into the perfect handmade dough that was kneaded and balanced with the ingredients along with the time and the effort that was put into making it.
So, these are a few interesting things about Artisan Pizzas. If you have any other info to share then do write it in the comments below and share it with us!
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