The history of the Capricciosa
The Capricciosa pizza is a delightful and popular pizza variation that boasts a colorful array of ingredients. Its name, “Capricciosa,” translates to “capricious” or “whimsical” in Italian, a fitting description for the diverse and flavorful toppings that adorn this classic dish. This mouthwatering pizza hails from Italy, a country renowned for its rich culinary traditions. It is believed to have originated in Naples, a city famous for its contributions to the world of pizza. The Capricciosa pizza was created to celebrate the harmony of different ingredients, showcasing a fusion of flavors and textures that Italians hold dear to their hearts.
The foundation of a Capricciosa pizza typically consists of a thin, crispy crust. Tomato sauce forms the base, providing a tangy and savory undertone to the dish. What sets the Capricciosa apart are the toppings: a symphony of ingredients that include ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and black olives. Sometimes, a drizzle of olive oil and a dusting of oregano or basil are added to enhance the pizza’s aromatic complexity. Below is a step-by-step how to make the best homemade Capricciosa pizza.
For the Pizza Dough:
- 1 pound (about 3 1/4 cups) of all-purpose flour
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 1/4 cups of warm water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
For the Pizza Toppings:
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce or pizza sauce
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4-6 slices of ham
- 8-10 whole small mushrooms, sliced
- 8-10 black olives, pitted and sliced
- 8-10 artichoke hearts (canned or marinated), drained and halved
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Dried oregano and fresh basil leaves (optional)
1. Prepare the Pizza Dough:
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil.
- Mix everything together until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for about 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
2. Preheat Your Oven:
- Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can reach, typically around 475°F to 500°F (245°C to 260°C). If you have a pizza stone or steel, place it in the oven while it preheats.
3. Prepare Your Work Area:
- Divide the risen dough into two equal portions for two pizzas. Roll out each portion into a thin, round pizza base.
4. Assemble the Capricciosa Pizza:
- Place the pizza dough on a pizza peel or an inverted baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the pizza dough, leaving a small border for the crust.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
- Arrange the toppings: Place slices of ham, followed by the sliced mushrooms, black olives, and halved artichoke hearts.
5. Bake the Pizza:
- If you’re using a pizza stone or steel, carefully slide the parchment paper with the pizza onto the hot stone or steel in the oven. If not, place the pizza on a preheated baking sheet or pizza pan.
- Bake the pizza for about 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
6. Finishing Touches:
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pizza, and if desired, sprinkle with dried oregano and fresh basil leaves.
- Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before slicing it. Enjoy your homemade Capricciosa pizza!
Homemade Capricciosa pizza is a crowd-pleaser with its flavorful combination of ingredients. You can adjust the toppings to suit your taste, and with the right dough, it will rival the best pizzerias in town.