Louis Ghelfi’s Original Bar Pizza Recipe

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This is from an article published by The Brockton Enterprise in 1998 by Mike Reardon.

Try this pizza recipe sometime and see if you recognize the taste:
Take about 7.5 ounces of crushed tomatoes and three tablespoons of tomato paste. Mix with two cloves of garlic, chopped fine; one tablespoon of oregano; one teaspoon each of parsley and sweet basil; and a pinch of salt and pepper.

To make the dough take one cup of luke warm water; one package of Fleischmann’s active
dry yeast; three cups of Gold Medal All Purpose Flour; and three teaspoons of olive oil.

First, combine the warm water, yeast and olive oil. Then add the three cups of flour. Stir until
it all blends into a ball.

Put the dough into a bowl or pan. If the dough rises, just stick your finger into the middle of it
and it will go back down.

Spread 7.5 ounces of the dough in 10-inch pie pans or 20 ounces of dough on a 12 by 18
inch cookie sheet. Before that, lightly grease the bottom of the
pan with olive oil.

Put the sauce on the dough and then spread about four ounces of Wisconsin cheddar
cheese on top. You can add anything you want – mushrooms, sausage, peppers, whatever. If
you use meat, don’t put it on the pizza until about five minutes before it’s done.

Cook the pizza at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. The bottom of the crust should be golden
brown when the pie is done.
Rest easy, this hasn’t turned into a cooking column. How disastrous would that be? Let me count the ways.

This recipe was given to me by Louis Ghelfi, 81, formerly of Bridgewater, now of Holiday,
Florida. Mr. Ghelfi says this is the recipe that revolutionized the pizza business in Southeastern
Massachusetts.
“No matter where you get a pizza, they’re practically all from the same recipe,” Mr. Ghelfi said “The only difference is that one cook might cook it better than another one.”

It was 1941 and Mr. Ghelfi was working as a part-time bartender at the Brockton Cafe when the pizza cook Frank Celia quit when he couldn’t get a raise. The owner of the restaurant, Fred Deftos asked Mr. Ghelfi if he could make pizza.
Mr. Ghelfi’s mother, a native of Parme, Italy, had a recipe and the young man went to work. The
recipe became a hit and restaurant owners and cooks came from all over the city and neighboring
towns to get the recipe.
Mr. Ghelfi is a generous man and he readily gave out the recipe. He says it took about 10
years for this recipe to blanket almost every area restaurant that served pizza.
To this day, Mr. Ghelfi said his recipe is used all over Brockton, Whitman, Bridgewater, East
Bridgewater and Holbrook, among other area towns. He is the father of local pizza.
“The recipe spread like wild fire,” he said.

Amazingly, Mr. Ghelfi never opened his own pizza Place. After getting out of the service follow-
ing World War II, he worked for Bridgewater Brick Co. and Stoughton Sand and Gravel.

“I was stupid,” Ghelfi said “My wife wanted me to open a place in Holbrook. But, I was one who didn’t care to work inside. I was always an outside person. I chose to stay working at my main jobs.”
Other members of the Ghelf family got into the pizza business.
Mr. Ghelfi said, in 1970, his brother Joe was one of the first people to start pizza delivery service to Bridgewater State College. He said his brother Al introduced the family recipe to the Wooden Nickel in Bridgewater and Central Pizza in Middleboro among other establishments.
According to Mr. Ghelfi, to this day, there are several area establishments still making a lot
of dough off his pizza recipe. But, he says, he’s not bitter.

A polite man, the thing that bothers Mr. Ghelfi is that only three people out of the dozens he
has given the recipe to have bothered to say thank you.
“All I’m doing this for is recognition,” Mr. Ghelfi said. “Here I am, an unknown. If it wasn’t for
me, none of them would be where they are today.
“Although I never became a wealthy man, deep in my heart, I am very grateful to share this
recipe with all who have shared in it,” Mr. Ghelf said. “The good Lord has given me what money
cannot buy. He gave my wife Evelyn and I our health.”

For a complete list of everything you need to make south shore bar pizza at home, visit my buyers guide here.

Louis Ghelfi’s Original Bar Pizza Recipe

Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 40 mins Servings: 4 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Sauce

Dough

Louis Ghelfi's Sauce

Louis Ghelfi's Bar Pizza Sauce

  1. Louis Ghelfi's Bar Pizza Sauce

    Take about 7.5 ounces of crushed tomatoes and three tablespoons of tomato paste. Mix with two cloves of garlic, chopped fine; one tablespoon of oregano; one teaspoon each of parsley and sweet basil; and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Louis Ghelfi's Bar Pizza Dough

  1. Louis Ghelfi's Bar Pizza Dough

    To make the dough take one cup of luke warm water; one package of Fleischmann's activedry yeast; three cups of Gold Medal All Purpose Flour; and three teaspoons of olive oil.


    First, combine the warm water, yeast and olive oil. Then add the three cups of flour. Stir until it all blends into a ball.

    Put the dough into a bowl or pan. If the dough rises, just stick your finger into the middle of it and it will go back down.

    Spread 7.5 ounces of the dough in 10-inch pie pans or 20 ounces of dough on a 12 by 18 inch cookie sheet. Before that, lightly grease the bottom of the
    pan with olive oil.

  2. Assembly and Cooking

    Put the sauce on the dough and then spread about four ounces of Wisconsin cheddar cheese on top. You can add anything you want - mushrooms, sausage, peppers, whatever.

    If you use meat, don't put it on the pizza until about five minutes before it's done.


    Cook the pizza at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. The bottom of the crust should be golden brown when the pie is done.

Keywords: bar pizza, barpizza, original bar pizza, cape code cafe,
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