Pizza has been part of the Church for over 1000 years! That’s right – the first pizza delivery was to a Catholic bishop in the 10th century.
Pizza was a common food fare of the papal court, and in 1570, Pope St. Pius V served an interesting pie: topped with rose water, and sugar.
The recipe for Pius V’s favorite pizza comes from the most popular recipe book from the Italian Renaissance, “Master Work on the Art of Cooking.”
“To make a layered pizza in another way.”
“Paste together three pounds of flour, with two ounces of yeast starter (bigo, i.e. dough from a previous bread batch), and four ounces of crumb of bread that has been soaked in warm water, and enough salt. And when everything has been blended together put it to rest, covered, in a warm place to rise, as one does with bread. Then one kneads it another time on the table for the space of half an hour. Burdening the dough, little by little, with two pounds of fresh butter. Mix until all the butter has been incorporated into the dough and the dough has become soft. Split the dough into two or three pieces and with each of these pieces make the pizza in the tart pan, where there is fresh butter, and put them to cook in the oven with melted butter on top. Make several holes with the point of the knife on the top, in order that it does not puff too much. And when it is nearly finished cooking sprinkle with sugar and rose water. This pastry should be cooked slowly and served hot.”
Watch how to make the pope’s pizza!