TRADITIONAL homemade pizza
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Ingredients for about 7 round pizzas (230 g each) or 2 pizzas in a 40X40 cm baking pan (800 g each):
The dough ingredients
|Bread flour or Anita’s Mill "00"||300 g|
|AP flour or Anita’s Mill "00"||700 g|
|Dry yeast||3 g|
|Water 1st mix-lukewarm||300 g|
|Water 2nd mix-very cold||300 g|
|Semolina for stretching|
Dough Ingredients suggested
00” Canadian floour
Here on the left, there is one of the best Canadian flour on the market to perform this recipe. the same flour can be used for both: the 1st and the 2nd mix (Poolish and Rinfresco).
Anita’s Mill is based in Chilliwack, BC. They mill their local grains in small batches, following a slow and traditional process, keeping temperatures low for best results. They make this fabulous organic 00 flour for pizza that I used in many recipes with great results. By clicking on the image you can buy it on Amazon.ca
Dry yeast can be active or instant. The former needs to be activated in water before been used, the latter can be added directly on the flour. For this recipe, it does not matter which one you are going to use, but I like to suggest the Instant because it fits in a wider range of recipes. By clicking on the left image you can buy it on Amazon.ca
Semolina for stretching
Dusting flour for stretching the dough can be chosen based on your preference, I like to use Semolina flour double grind. This kind of flour is coarser compare to the All-Purpose flour. It is easy to dust away after the stretching is complete and it leads to a final product more rustic on the edge (cornicione)The regular semolina is mainly used for the pasta production, this one (the double grind) appears in many bread baking recipes (e.g. the Altamura bread, or the focaccia Barese). By clicking on the left image you can buy it on Amazon.ca
For this recipe, I will use a “metodo indiretto” (not direct method). The ingredients above will be kneaded in 2 phases: I will call the first phase poolish and the second rinfresco.
300 gr bread flour
300 gr water (lukewarm)
3 gr dry yeast
Beginning with the water (lukewarm), add the yeast and mix until it dissolves. Then add the flour and continue to mix with a fork until you get a creamy but compact mixture.
Cover the mixture with a transparent film (or a damp cloth) and let it rest for about 4 hours, after which you will notice bubbles on the surface and a considerable increase in volume.
The Poolish is ready at this point and can be moved to the second phase.
700 gr AP flour
300 gr water (cold)
20 gr salt
Place the poolish in a large bowl and add the ingredients in this order: flour, water, and shortly after beginning to knead (let’s say after 10 seconds), add salt.
As soon as the mixture starts to be compact and less sticky, move it on to a flat surface (which could be wood, steel or marble …) and finish kneading vigorously.
following you can see a quick video about the rinfresco kneading
Commercial flours may have varying absorption rates depending on the humidity of the environment in which they are stored. For this reason, it may be necessary to add a few extra grams of water or flour to reach the desired consistency. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and even significantly alter the recipe that I have presented to you: Make it yours! Take note of your changes each time.
Now that the final dough has been obtained, let it rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes. Give it one last energetic knead and let it rest in a covered bowl for another 40 minutes.
After this time it is ready for the staglio (cut and shape):
Cut the dough into 7 equal parts (of 230 grams each) and begin to form balls (panetti) by spinning the dough under the palm of the hand.
Place the panetti far away from each other in a covered container. Stored the container in a fridge (+ 3 / 4 C) for 16 / 24 hours.
In the absence of a suitable container, you can place each ball in a plastic bag, while leaving a little air inside, so as not to prevent the increase in the volume of the product as a result of leavening.
After the maturity time in the refrigerator, remove the panetti and leave them at room temperature for 2/3 hours before stretching them out.
The main ingredients for this pizza are: tomato sauce and fior di latte, but you can add some more, based on your preference.
San Marzano tomato can
The king of the pizza ingrediets is the tomato sauce and when you use a good quality tomato you do not need much more to add to it.San Marzano Tomato DOP is the way: just open the can, hand squeeze the tomato, add some salt and spread on the pizza base.By clicking on the left image you can buy it on Amazon.ca
Fior di latte
Best cheese to use is fresh fior di latte. the amount per pie is usually between 80 g to 110 g per a 30 cm pizza diameter. Baking in the home oven can be longer than a professional one, so I suggest to cut the cheese and add it only in the last 2 minutes of the baking time. You can use buffalo mozzarella cheese too: in this case, add it only for in last 1 minute of cooking time. If you decide to use a harder or aged cheese, like cheddar, you may need to cook it on the pizza from the start. Just play around to find the best time to add the cheese, to achieve the best melting result.
the way you take out the dough ball from the container is a crucial move. With the help of a dough cutter and lots of flour, 1st detach the dough ball from the container: gently scrape under the sides of the dough, moving all around it, and only when it is completely released from the surface it is laying on, pick it up on your dough cutter and move it on your floured working surface. Do it trying to create as less damage as possible to the dough: it fermented and leavened, waiting for this moment, you want to start tossing it with all its beautiful structure still in place.
Remember: to obtain a final round shape pizza, you must start stretching a round shape ball. If your dough is not round, gently tap its sides with your palms, through the centre, recreating a round shape, then move to the next step.
The stretching method I want to introduce you is divided into 2 steps:
STEP1 – COMPRESSION
Flour on top of the dough.Using your fingers, strongly press all the centre of the dough. Just by pressing in different areas, the dough will start to get bigger. You are not stretching it at this time, only pressing with your fingertips. This is the time when you decide how thick you would like to have your cornicione, so decide the distance to keep from the perimeter of the pie based on your preference. Never press the edge, a flat edge will turn out into a burn line. When the circle is big enough that your hands can fit in it, pass to the 2nd step.
STEP2 – STRETCHING
Stop pressing and just stretch the dough with a circular movement. on a little cone of flour spin the dough in a circular motion, working with your fingers near the edge, without pressing the rim. Press less as possible, just enough to keep spinning: now you are working to stretch the dough by using the centrifugal force. When you reach the size you want, dust the flour away and start topping.
toppings go from the heavy amount from the side, to light amount in the centre: in this way, the slice will not be too heavy on the tip.
The baking part has to be done at high temperature, according to the kind of toppings you decided to use
This is a very personal part… yes, every step is, but this is the one with more room to play around. In Italy, we do not cut the pizza into a slice before serving it, even if currently is quite trendy to make “pizza gourmet” by cutting the pie in slices and add extra fresh toppings on each one.