Pizza Cubana is a Cuban Pizza that is distinguished by the dough thickness and the simple sauce. This Cuban recipe makes the dough a little thicker than in other pizzas and the sauce is not seasoned. The Cuban Pizza is not generally a fancy pizza style but it’s simple, comforting, and easy to make.
You can build the Pizza Cubana with a base topping of tomato sauce and a combination of gouda and mozzarella cheese. The wide selection of additional toppings usually includes ham, chorizo, pepperoni, shrimp, ground beef, lechon asado, lobster, picadillo, bell peppers, and sliced bananas.
Once this Cuban pizza is prepared, it’s usually folded and eaten like a sandwich. In restaurants, you can order it picada style, a Cuban way of saying sliced pizza.
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For the Dough
- 1 packet active dry yeast 2 ¼ teaspoons
- 1 cup warm water 110-120°F
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce or pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup gouda cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- ground beef
- lechon asado
- bell peppers
- sliced bananas
For the Dough
- Whisk together yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- Mix together flour and salt. Add olive oil, yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together.
- Knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes until it’s soft and elastic. Place the dough in a greased mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
For the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with olive oil. Place the dough into the pan. Stretch the dough by gently flattening the dough ball. Use a fork to poke holes across the surface of the dough.
- Brush the dough with olive oil.
- Spread tomato sauce evenly on top of the dough.
- Add mixed cheese, distributing it evenly over the surface.
- Add toppings of choice on top of the cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, and the crust is golden brown.
- Remove the pizza from the oven, and transfer to a cutting board.
- Slice and serve immediately.
History of the Pizza Cubana
The Pizza Cubana originated in Havana and is believed to be perfected at Varadero Beach in Cuba.
According to the Miami New Times, No one knows where or when the Cuban Pizza was invented. Manuel Montes de Oca, whose family owns five eponymous eateries across Miami, says his father, Manolo, was one of the first to make the dish in Cuba before coming to America.
In addition, Ramon Rodriguez Jr., who today owns Rey’s Pizza, says his father also made Pizza Cubana in Havana well before Castro’s revolution in 1959. Ramon Sr. baked inch-thick pies topped with ground chorizo and shrimp in a tangy tomato sauce.
The two families, the Montes de Ocas and the Rodriguezes, are the heart of Cuban Pizza industry. Their American journeys seem to have begun in May of 1980.
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