5 Globally Inspired Ways to Make Pizza at Home

Become a global pizzeria tonight and take on one of the many varieties of iconic pie. The History Channel says that as Italians immigrated to America, they brought their culinary traditions — like pizza — with them, which later spread around the country. This process repeated itself around the world, and various cultures have since put their own stamp on the humble slice. Add another layer to this tradition of adaptation by making one of these five styles of pizza tonight.

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1. Pizza Margherita

Paying homage to what some people call the birthplace of modern pizza, we’ll start off this tour in Naples with pizza margherita. The Guardian reports that in 2009, the dish was awarded protected status by the European Union; it must have tomato, basil, and genuine mozzarella cheese, be no more than 14 inches in diameter, and have a thickness of 1 to 2 inches. Gourmet, via Epicurious, has this easy-to-follow recipe for pizza margherita, which serves 6.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoon)
  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • ¾ cup warm water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil

Toppings

  • 1 (14 to 15 ounces) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 basil leaves, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

Directions: First, make the dough. Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and ¼ cup warm water in a large bowl and let stand until surface appears creamy, about 5 minutes. If mixture doesn’t appear creamy, discard and start over with new yeast. Add 1¼ cups flour, remaining ½ cup water, salt, and oil, and stir until smooth. Stir in enough flour (¼ to ⅓ cup) for slightly wet dough to begin to pull away from side of bowl.

Knead on a floured surface, lightly re-flouring when dough becomes too sticky, until smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes. Form into a ball, put in a bowl, and dust with flour. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1¼ hours.

While the dough rises, make the tomato sauce. Pulse tomatoes with juice in a blender briefly to make a chunky purée. Cook garlic in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until fragrant and pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée, basil, sugar, and ⅛ teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about ¾ cup, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and cool.

Heat pizza stone for at least 45 minutes while dough rises. Put stone on oven rack in lower third of electric oven (or on floor of gas oven) and preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. To shape the dough, do not punch it down. Dust dough with flour, then transfer to a parchment-lined pizza peel or large baking sheet. Pat out dough evenly with your fingers and stretch into a 14-inch round, re-flouring fingers if necessary.

Assemble pizza, spreading sauce over dough, leaving a 1-inch border (there may be some sauce left over). Arrange cheese on top, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Slide pizza on parchment onto pizza stone. Bake until dough is crisp and browned and cheese is golden and bubbling in spots, 13 to 16 minutes. Using peel or baking sheet, transfer pizza to a cutting board. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with some basil leaves before slicing.

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2. Pissaladiere

The Kitchn calls pissaladiere France’s answer to Italian pizza. The crust has more in common with a tart than a crunchy, thin version. Typical toppings include anchovies, black niçoise olives, and caramelized onions. Laura Calder’s Cooking Channel pizza has all of those elements and makes around 8 appetizer- or first course-sized servings.

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1⅓ cups flour, plus more if needed
  • 1½ teaspoons dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • A grinding of pepper

Toppings

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½ pounds onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained, then halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced (optional)
  • About ¼ cup nicois olives, pitted

Directions: To make the dough, make a well in the flour. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and set aside until dissolved and slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat the egg and salt into it, and pour into the well of the flour. Gradually mix with your fingers, drawing the flour in to make the dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour, if needed. Cover and set in a warm place to double in bulk, about 1 hour.

To prepare the topping, heat the oil in a saute pan and add the onions, herbs, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When the dough is ready, punch it down and roll it out like pizza dough. Lay the dough on a baking sheet. Top with the onions. Lay the onions on the tomato slices in rows. Arrange a lattice of anchovies and fill spaces with olives. Grind over pepper. Let sit 15 minutes for the dough to rise up again a bit. Bake until the crust is done, about 30 minutes.

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3. Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)

A flatbread topped with lamb and tomatoes is how Turkey puts its own spin on pizza. Traditional Turkish Cooking says that the “crust” is a very thin, crispy flatbread, and the dish is meant to have a little kick. Saveur‘s take on it serves between 4 and 6 people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups flour, plus more
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces ground lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 plum tomato, grated
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • ½ serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced

Directions: Combine sugar, yeast, and ¾ cup water heated to 115 degrees Fahrenheit in a small bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and stir to form a dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, divide into 4 portions, and roll each portion into a ball. Transfer dough balls to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. In a large bowl, combine oil, tomato paste, parsley, cayenne, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, and stir vigorously with a fork. Stir in lamb, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and chiles, and season with salt; set topping aside.

Put a pizza stone in bottom third of oven and heat oven to 475 degrees. Working with one dough ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 10-inch disk. Brush off excess flour and transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons topping onto dough and, using your fingers, spread topping evenly to edges. Season with salt. Holding parchment paper by its edges, transfer to baking stone. Bake until dough is golden brown and topping is cooked, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and topping; serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Thinkstock

4. São Paulo-Style Portuguese Pizza

Give pizza night a double dose of international flair by making your dinner in the Brazilian style, which has been influenced by Italy and Portugal. SeattlePI has all you need to know for topping a Neapolitan pizza crust in the Brazilian style; you can use the previous pizza margherita crust, or follow this recipe from the Food Network.

Ingredients:

  • Neapolitan pizza crusts
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Fresh scamorza or mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 hard boiled egg, sliced
  • Ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Oregano
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions: Place pizza stone in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Form a thin round pizza crust. Top with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Lightly sprinkle some shredded scamorza or mozzarella cheese onto the pizza. Next, top with ham, hard-boiled egg, onion, olives, oregano, and black pepper. Slide the pizza into the oven on top of the pizza stone. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until pizza crust is golden brown.

Source: Thinkstock

5. Hawaiian Pizza

You won’t be leaving the country — just the mainland — when you bake a Hawaiian-style pizza. This pie has popularity that extends beyond the U.S., too. According to King Arthur Flour, Hawaiian pizzas are the most popular variety in Australia. SparkRecipes started with Papa John’s Hawaiian pie and created this recipe for 8.

Ingredients:

  • 1 premade pizza crust

Toppings

  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned, drained)

Sauce

  • 4 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cored
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions: Set a large frying pan over medium heat, spritz with nonstick cooking spray, and add bacon. Cook bacon for 8 minutes, flipping every 2 minutes to keep it from curling up. Place bacon on paper towels to drain. The bacon should still be flexible and soft; it will crisp up on the pizza. Tear into small pieces.

Place tomatoes in a blender along with all the spices, salt, sugar, and oil. Blend till smooth and pour into pot. Cook on medium high for 30 minutes or until reduced by half. While the tomato sauce is cooking, dice the onions and drain the pineapple. Roll out the dough into your desired shape and thickness. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place ½ cup of sauce on pizza. Sprinkle on ½ cup of cheese, 1 cup of pineapple, and bacon pieces. Sprinkle on remaining ¼ cup of cheese.

Bake in oven for 14 minutes on middle rack. If you prefer a browner pizza, broil pizza for an additional couple of minutes, watching to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it looks good and brown, remove and let sit for 10 minutes to let the cheese firm up a little. Slice into eight pieces.

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