Saturday, July 20 2024

Pizza bianca (white pizza) is a simple and delicious savory leavened dough, typical of the Roman gastronomic tradition, from which it takes its very name “Pizza bianca romana.”

It is prepared with few ingredients: flour, water, yeast and is simply topped with a drizzle of oil and grains of salt!


Once baked in the oven, it turns into a product with a high and soft texture like Focaccia but light and honeycombed like Pizza with a crispy bottom and an irresistible golden surface!

Ideal to be eaten plain, instead of bread; or as tradition commands, it is opened in half and stuffed with mortadella!

A unique goodness that has been the pride and boast of the Capital for more than two thousand years and has become a street food of excellence!

Follow this Recipe with all the step-by-step tips and you will make the typical white pizzetta just as good as the one bought in the best bakeries in Rome!

 

 

 

Servings:12

INGREDIENTS:

Poolish (pre-dough):

  • 1 cup (approximately) of all-purpose flour for bread and pizza
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (approximately) of water
  • About half a teaspoon of fresh beer yeast (equivalent to half a teaspoon of dry yeast)
  • About half a teaspoon of salt

Dough:

  • 1 cup (approximately) of all-purpose flour for bread and pizza
  • A little more than half a teaspoon of fresh beer yeast (a little more than half a teaspoon of dry yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • About half a teaspoon of salt

For topping:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A few grains of coarse salt

 

METHOD

First, prepare the poolish, the pre-dough, by dissolving the yeast in the water and mixing all the other ingredients (preferably with a mixer) until you get a very liquid and fluid cream. If you use dry yeast, add it directly to the flour!

Seal the bowl with plastic wrap around the edges and let it rest at room temperature (70 F) for 8 to 10 hours.

(In summer it can be ready in as little as 7 hours).

The pre-dough is ready when small bubbles form on the surface and small dimples can be seen in the center.

Finally, proceed with the dough.

Add the fresh yeast to the poolish bowl, mix well. If using dry yeast, mix it with the flour.

Then add all the flour (except one tablespoon that you will set aside), mix vigorously with a spoon; when the liquids are well absorbed, gradually add the oil, continue to mix vigorously with the spoon, and finally add the salt.

As soon as the dough is completely blended, pour it onto a work surface.

At this point, knead the dough.

Using a rolling pin or spatula, overlap one side with the other, using a little flour on the side.

Repeat this for the four sides of the dough and repeat 4 more times, then 4 more by tapping several times on the table.

At first the dough will appear very loose, which is normal!

Wipe the rolling pin from time to time, preferably with a knife, so as not to lose a single crumb of dough.

Avoid touching with your hands and proceed with rhythmic, vigorous movements.

After 10 to 15 minutes, the dough slowly begins to take shape.

The dough should bind and string together, that is, “stretch” without breaking.

Finally, when you have finished kneading, place the ready dough in a 8-12 inches airtight container sprayed with 1 tablespoon of oil.

Then close it with an airtight cap and let it rise in a dry place, away from drafts, at a temperature of 79-82 F for 5-6 hours.

The time depends on the temperature and season; look only at the volume of your dough and not the time!
The dough should quadruple in size. Place a mark, a rubber band to evaluate.

When the dough has risen, transfer it to a work surface such as a wooden cutting board that you can move, well floured.

Dust the dough with flour (you need a lot of it), make two folds from the top.

Then two more folds from the top, again with flour, and let rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 480 F, place the baking sheet on which you will bake the white pizza in the oven and let it warm to the bottom of the oven.

Then, after the resting time has passed, roll out the dough with flour. Roll it out a bit, tapping it with your fingertips without popping bubbles, and leave it quite high if you want large air pockets!

Transfer the pizza to the hot baking sheet.
Then drizzle the surface with extra virgin olive oil and a few grains of coarse salt.

Finally, bake in a preheated static oven at 480 F for 5 to 6 minutes on the bottom touching the base.

The pizza will magically puff up after a few seconds.
Transfer it to the middle rack and complete baking for another 5 to 6 minutes until golden brown!

Transfer it to a cutting board and wait for it to cool before cutting!

Here is the Pizza Bianca Romana ready!

Enjoy it hot!

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