With tears rolling down her laughter-flushed cheeks, Wifey chuckled, “Babez, so you don’t know there is an Artisan way of making pizza and the Regular way!?”
Being a quarter Italian, a quarter Irish, a quarter African American, and a quarter Chinese, I always thought I knew all there is to know about pizzas-Pepperoni pizza, Hawaiian, Mozzarella, Margherita, Barbeque Chicken, and Vegetarian.
You name them, I knew them and had eaten them at one time or another. Well, that is until Wifey thought she had contracted COVID-19 and, as one of her “last meals”, she asked me to get her a pizza-but, not just any regular pizza-an Artisan pizza!
Oblivious of what an Artisan pizza was, but too ashamed to admit that the “Pizza Papa from Paparazzi” did not know what Artisan pizza, I dug in my heels, and insisted that I was going to get her a regular pizza! However, she would have none of it and kept demanding she was going to have an Artisan pizza, while I insisted she would have no such thing!
Before we knew it, we were having an Artisan vs. Regular pizza back-and-forth.
Suddenly realizing that I was ignorant of what she meant by Artisan pizza, it was at this point that Wifey burst out laughing, while embarrassed me, a few seconds later, I stormed out of our bedroom-I had to internet research ASAP what she was talking about and at least share with you what I discovered about what Artisan and Regular Pizzas are.
What is Artisan Pizza?
Apparently, pizza comes in a wide variety of forms and styles. To name a few, there are California-style, Chicago-style, Neapolitan, and New York pizza – and Artisan pizza.
If you’re looking for a pizza with a crispy crust and plenty of toppings, look no further than an Artisan Pizza. The term Artisan refers to a manual and traditional way of making something, often without the use of machines.
Artisan pizzas are hand-tossed and made to order for the freshest taste. The result is the perfect handmade pizza.
It goes well with sauces, cheeses, and toppings to suit any palate. Among the most popular Artisan pizza is the New York Style Crust with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and black olives.
What is Regular Pizza?
Regular pizza is a classic favorite. As the name suggests, it is your regular/standard 12-inch, individually sized pizza made with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and pepperoni. It’s a savory meal that is perfect for a night in.
It too has the familiar thin crust, cheesy pizza that you find in your giant pizza chains. With tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni, this 12-inch-plus, individually sized pizza is perfect for when you’re craving a savory meal.
In terms of taste, there’s nothing like a regular pizza. Regular pizza is reliant on the quality and flavor of the toppings in comparison with Artisan pizza, which gets its medals from the texture and quality of the bread dough.
The comparisons don’t end there. Let’s take a look at what makes these preparatory methods unique.
Artisan Pizza Materials and Features
Starting with a white, wheat, or whole wheat crust, the thin crust of Artisan pizzas is baked to perfection in an oven with just the right amount of sauce and cheese.
Thereafter, you can add to your Artisan pizza your favorite toppings, including artisan pepperoni, grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, onions, and more. Finish with your special sauce and hand-shredded mozzarella cheese.
The dough is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, with just the right number of toppings to give it flavor.
The secret ingredient that differentiates Artisan pizza and Regular pizza is the same special ingredient that is used to make grape juice into wine or cow’s milk into cheddar cheese. That ingredient, of course, is TIME.
The motto for Artisan pizza is fresh ingredients, which includes making fresh bread, and we all know how long that can take. The dough which has extended fermentation is more flavorful. This process can take up to a full day, or even more.
Regular Pizza Materials and Features
If you’re craving a hearty meal that’s easy to prepare, then this is the pizza for you. This pizza is made with fresh dough and is topped with a blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
The crust is crispy, and the cheese is gooey. With the perfect number of toppings, this pizza is sure to satisfy. Regular pizza tends to follow a certain traditional recipe with minor tweaks to what you can add or remove.
Similarities and Differences
When it comes to a regular pizza, you know you are going to get pineapples in your Hawaiian pizza no matter where you order it from. However, with Artisan pizza, the recipe is a bit more flexible in terms of what you can top your pizza with.
I once ordered a pizza with sweet and sour chicken, pineapples, avocado slices, mozzarella cheese, bacon, and sausage. And to top it all off, they asked if I could name it! I did not hesitate to call it – Slice of Eden. I’m pretty sure whether the name caught on though.
Artisan pizza doesn’t use a similar amount of toppings as you would find in Regular pizza, such as figs, olives, and extra cheese. With a lot of people now educated on healthier food choices, Artisan pizza tries to offer a healthier alternative to Regular pizza, which means cutting back on cheese or taking a minimalist route with toppings.
The other thing to note is that Artisan pizza is about using fresh ingredients, whilst Regular pizza is okay with using frozen or partially prepared ingredients.
2. Types of Flour
When it comes to Artisan pizza dough is made from baking flour whereas Regular pizza dough is made from wheat flour.
Baking flour contains fewer calories because it is made from a common flower called semolina, which is derived from cornmeal Baking powder is commonly added to the mix, in Artisan pizza dough, to give it an appetizing aroma and flavor.
After I purchased some cheap ingredients from the supermarket, I proceeded to make my own dough. But just as I was about to pop it into the oven, it is then I realized that a regular stove wouldn’t work if I wanted to make a proper Artisan pizza.
These types of pizzas require an aluminum oven, which doesn’t come cheap. This is because they can produce at very high temperatures and are mostly found in professional kitchens.
A standard home oven can heat up to 550 degrees F, while a wood-fired oven can heat to 1000 degrees F. You could always go the traditional route and build a wood-fired brick oven, but that is tricky if you stay in an apartment like I do.
With Regular pizza, you can use regular ingredients, and simply throw it into your regular oven. You don’t need to invest in an expensive aluminum oven. This also translates into the difference in prices in shops. Artisan pizza is generally more expensive than regular pizza.
For a meal that is classified as “fast food”, there is nothing fast about making pizza. The whole process from kneading the dough, stretching it, spreading your ingredients, and baking the pizza can take anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes for a regular pizza.
Artisan pizza takes significantly longer if you factor in the dough fermentation process. Apart from that, it takes slightly longer to bake in the oven. There are some exceptions if you use a wood-fired brick oven.
Because of the high temperatures and the way the bricks store heat, it typically takes a few minutes for Artisan pizza to bake. Less time in the oven also means the ingredients of Artisan pizza preserve valuable nutrients, consequently making it healthier to consume.
Back in the good old days pizzas were 100% handmade and were considered art. Over time, the introduction of automatic equipment and tools has revolutionized the making of pizza.
Today, most pizzerias rely on machines to do most of the prep work for them and pizza making has become a heavily commercialized industry. Fortunately, the traditional way of making pizza is not entirely dead. To differentiate mechanized types of pizza from the traditional pizzaiolos refer to their creations as artisan pizzas.
When it comes to Artisan pizzas, you can choose from any available toppings to create your own personal artistic masterpiece. Conversely, the wheat-based leavened dough makes Regular pizza easier to freeze and packages for easy-to-make homemade pizza.
Artisan pizza apparently tastes the best when wood-fired, so it is recommended one be used as extreme heat is the key to a great tasting pizza.
After buying Wifey an Artisan pizza, the following morning, she was as right as rain-she had been cured. Obviously, not by the pizza, though its healthy nutrients had been contributed. Since then, my pizza of choice has been….yes you’ve guessed it-Artisan pizza!