Genuine Italian Pizza Dough
The following is one of my many simple recipes taken from my ebook "Living the Italian Lifestyle."
The secret to a good pizza is making genuine Italian pizza dough. Can this only be learned through years of experience? Absolutely not. All you need is the right formula, the correct ingredients, and a good working oven. You can literally make the dough in five minutes time.
Lucia's Genuine Italian Pizza Dough and Pizza
The cooking time is 20 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 2 medium-size pizzas.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
3 full cups of flour (type 0)
1 cube of fresh yeast
Lukewarm water (1 cup approx)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Dash of salt
Tomato sauce or peeled tomatoes (1 can or 16 oz)
Olive oil (3 tablespoons)
Dash of salt
Dry mozzarella (1 pound)
Butter for greasing pizza pans
Heat 1 cup of water with the fresh yeast. The water should be only lukewarm and not hot. Use a fork to break up the yeast as best as possible in the water.
In a mixing bowl, add flour and make a hole in the middle where you will then add the water and yeast mixture slowly, working the flour first with a fork and then slowly with your hands. The mixture should be sticky and not dry. If it is dry, add more lukewarm water. If it is too wet, add more flour. The consistency is key. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to help knead the dough. Leave it in a ball in the same mixing bowl and cover with a clean damp kitchen towel.
Let rise at least 1 hour, but 2 hours is best.
After dough has risen, you should knead it some more by putting some olive oil on your fingers to work it.
Butter the pizza pan and then drizzle flour on it. You can now shape the dough on the pan. Use a bit of olive oil to help you shape it, making sure it does not tear. The dough should be thin but not so thin as to tear.
Next, spread the tomato mixture (tomato, olive oil, salt) on the dough evenly.
Lastly, evenly scatter grated mozzarella cheese over pizza. Drizzle with very little olive oil (always extra virgin olive oil).
Bake in oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until crust is golden color. Enjoy.
I really was not aware that my restless and anxious feelings were mostly caused by myself and by my attitude. I believed that "outside factors" were the cause of most of stress. I realized after many many years that the Italians around me had the same stresses that I had and many had much worse situations to deal with. How then I asked myself are they able to be so resilient? I wanted what they had and I was on a quest to find it.
In my program "Living the Italian Lifestyle...Anywhere," I discuss how the first step to living a slower and simpler life is by doing an honest self assessment. There are worksheets one can print or download and spaces where you judge how you do certain activies as walk, talk, eat, exercise, sleep, and many more. When I did my own assessment I was amazed how my anxiousness translated into almost every area of my life. It affected how I communicated with my children, how I ate, how my thought patterns were. It was a huge eye opener for me and really showed me how I needed to take steps to change things.
Certain things made me realize it was time to slow down. When my youngest child was a toddler he made me notice that I was multitasking and it was a no no. I was helping him put on his sweater while he was still putting on his pants. He basically told me I was making him fast, which translated was I was making him nervous. Not only was I making him nervous but I was teaching him what not to do.
Another bad habit of mine that showed me I needed to slow down was that I was impatient when others would talk. I found myself interrupting with an answer even before the other person finished the question. Bad.
I burned soup because I was multitasking. How do you burn soup? Well you leave the water in the pot so long that it just dwindles away until you have a burning pot on your hands.
Another obvious sign was I was constantly checking emails, social media sites and online newspapers. Here again one of my children was smart to point out that mommy is always on her phone so why cannot he always be on his nintendo? The online newspaper reading was not only frequent but would create mental baggage that would upset my sleep.
There were so many signs that I needed to slow down and that I was causing this situation not any outside source. It was then that I began to look at the Italians and really analyze some of the ways they approach life and the slower Italian lifestyle.
I am no cleaner then the next person but I have learned that doing certain things will save me loads of time. Decluttering is one of those tasks which may seem daunting but if you do it correctly will not only be a source of peacefulness but will also in the long run free up your time.
If you think about it you realize that clutter is a worldwide problem. All of our neighbors across the globe deal with this issue. You deal with it at home, in your automobile, at your office, everywhere.
Italians may have the heads up on clutter just because homes in Italy tend to be smaller and lack built in closets. Garages are smaller and many do not have garages. So space is limited meaning you just cannot physically stock up on things. After years in Italy I realized I would have to do away with all those things I just don't need or use because frankly there was no space for them and because they translated into heaviness and busyness.
I decided I would declutter in one day. This is how I did it and this is how you can do it:
I took on one small area at a time. For me it was my kitchen. I took three large bags : one was the recycle bag, one was the donate bag and one was the throw away bag. I then went through all the visible shelves and took off everything that was not necessary to cooking. I eliminated :
-all those knick knacks that collect dust and grease
-decorative bowls that cannot be used for food because of possible lead poisoning
-tickets to past events I had kept as momentoes*
-tea set I had bought in China (possible lead poisoning)
-gadgets I had never used
I then went into the drawers and did the same. I was on a mission. Here I eliminated stained table covers, place mats, cloth napkins.
I then finished off with the pantry. Here I went wild and eliminated all those expired items that were just sitting there.
The kitchen was done and it took less then 30 minutes.
I took my same mission to the bathroom, the living room, the bedrooms. I finished the entire house in one marning and one part of the same afternoon. I spent a maxium of 3.5 hours total.
You can declutter in one day. I did it. I suggest that you do it in parts. For instance do one room and then go take a break and do something else. Go outside. Then pick up and do another room. This way it will be less daunting and even enjoyable.
The real joy comes at the end when you look around and really feel lighter!
* I suggest that you take a picture of a momento and then eliminate it. It is not the thing that gives us great memories but the good feelings we get when we look at it.