I am a pizza lover, a pizza fan and maybe a pizza addict too. I have tasted my fair share of pizza during my time here on planet earth and I can proudly say I have tasted it all. Thin, thick, soggy, crispy, too thin, too thick, too crispy... Yes there is such thing as too crispy.
Pizza is good, but home-made pizza is even better. I have always been convinced of this, and after discovering this new recipe I’m sharing with you here today I am now certain of this.
On top of loving pizza I absolutely love making it. I have been doing it all my life. Even as a kid I vividly remember making pizza for the whole family, and when I say whole I mean the extended family; cousins, aunts and uncles. All of them. And I loved it. At the time I didn’t even use a recipe, flour, water plus yeast, a little olive oil and salt and I was ready to go. Kneading the dough was something I enjoyed so much, and I still do. It’s very relaxing for me.
Since that time I have made pizza on many many occasions. It is always a great idea when you invite friends over, even a better one when those friends come in very large groups. It’s something you can share, it’s the kind of food that knows no timing that needs no plates or forks and you can almost make pizza out of everything. Pizza is awesome.
A came across this recipe a while back when researching focaccia on the internet. It turns out that Rome has a king and his name is Gabriele Bonci. I haven’t tried his pizza personally but I have made one using his recipe and it was magic. Really. So for those of you that don’t live in Rome, myself included, I bring magic to your kitchen.
Give it a try it will be worth your while I promise. You only need to plan a day in advance. This is how long our pizza dough needs to rest before being cooked. And this is why it tastes so good. Because for 24 hours flavors develop slowly. Patience is the key to success. Like the best bread, pizza dough shouldn’t be rushed.
It makes 8 medium size pizzas.
Flour 1 kg (tipo 0 or tipo 1 –Italian flour)
Water 700 g
Olive oil 40 g
Dried yeast 7 g (a pack usually weighs 7 g)
Salt 20 g
The flour. I live in France and used T65 flour. If you live in the states you might want to use bread flour. However if you the possibility of buying Italian flour it will change the final result. I did this twice, once with French flour and then I had to try it with the Italian one. Even though the first version was really a good and made an incredible pizza dough, I strongly recommend that you use the Italian flour if you can find it. If you are in Argentina you can use Haring 00 or 000.
In a bowl mix the flour, the water and the yeast using a spoon. Once it has begun to form lumps add the oil and the salt. Continue to mix and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Don’t worry if the dough seems too sticky and watery. This is the way it’s supposed to be.
Now the kneading part. This is an important part of the process as we don’t want to overwork the dough. The proper way to do this is to fold the dough in half over itself towards you. Grab it and turn it 90 degrees and fold again. Repeat the operation again and again. Folding and turning. You’ll notice that it will become less and less sticky. I repeated the aeration for at least 30 times.
Add a little oil to a clean bowl and transfer the dough onto it. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Transfer onto your working surface and fold the dough onto itself once again. Transfer to the bowl and let it rat for another 15 minutes. Repeat the operation 3 times. By the third time the dough will have changed its texture and it will no longer be sticky.
Transfer to the bowl, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Even though this is all about the dough, in the meantime if you want to prepare a killer tomato sauce you can check my recipe for tomato sauce here: Gnocchi alla Sorrentina
The only thing I did differently is that I added dried oregano to the sauce after cooking it. But this is completely up to you.
For the Finishing Touches
Now we are ready to roll out through dough.
Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature.
Pre heat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius.
Prepare your baking trays. Paint them with olive oil using a brush. If hounding have one use a paper towel to cover the tray in olive oil. A very light coat.
Divide the dough in 8 (or in as many pizzas you want to prepare. Depending on the size of your trays)
On a floured surface (quite a lot of flour, we don’t want it to get stuck) roll the dough. How!? Using the tip of your fingers press down the borders of your pizza and the middle of the pizza. You’ll be amazed at how well the pizza dough rolls out using this technique. Always pressing the dough with the tips of our fingers. Flip it over and repeat the procedure. First press down the borders and then the center of the pizza. Flip it over once again! Make sure the flour underneath is evenly distributed. Continue compress down the pizza dough. It’s a very gentle movement, it’s as if you were massaging the dough.
To transfer the dough to the baking tray, place your arm across the dough. Fold it onto your forearm with your hands facing down and use your other arm to grab the other half of the dough. Place it on the trays and distribute the dough so that it covers the edges of the tray.
Now cover the dough with the tomato sauce.
Cook in the bottom part of the oven for 15 minutes and then move to the center rack and cook for 10 more minutes. I added the mozzarella at this point, once the dough has started to color at the bottom and looks almost done. I say mozzarella because as I was focused on the dough, I did not go crazy with the toppings. You can go crazy here!!
You can now enjoy the best pizza ever.
I did not eat 8 pizzas!! So what I did was cook all of them only with the tomato sauce and then let them cool down and freeze them. To eat them, simply remove from the freezer add the toppings of your choosing and cook.