CANOTTO (say ‘ka-no-toe’).
The translation is “inflatable dinghy.”
Canotto is a very recent pizza style.
The word “Canotto” refers to the puffy cornicione (crust).
This kind of pizza requires good baking and stretching skills: the cornicione must be full of air, with lovely giant bubbles inside (or a kind of “spider net”). Not too doughy, or dense or heavy. The most common way to create a Canotto style pizza is by using a preferment called Poolish. The high hydration in the dough is the secret for a puffy Cornicione.
We are talking of a dough hydration around 70%.
PS: I’ve to say that some famous pizzaiolos make the Canotto by using a preferment called biga.
So, there are no rules, like for the Neapolitan style.
The debate: Canotto pizza vs Neapolitan
The purist Neapolitan Pizzaioli won’t even consider the Canotto as a Neapolitan pizza or something close to it. This debate between pizzaiolos is probably (in my opinion) giving popularity to the Canotto pizza trend.
Carlo Sammarco was probably the 1st pizzaiolo who believed and worked on the Canotto style. In a recent interview, he said:
“I took the unloved crust and I made it my trademark”.
Nowadays many other famous pizza chefs are working in this kind of fluffy, huge, cornicione creation. Just to mention some of them: Salvatore Lionello; Marco Quintili; Vincenzo Capuano; Francesco Martucci; Diego Vitagliano; Angelo Pezzella; Raffaele Bonetta; Giuseppe Pignalosa; Sasa’ Martucci…
Caputo flour recently came out with a brand new flour mix, called “Nuvola” (translation cloud). Nuvola is a flour, properly designed for a “Canotto final result”. The fact that even the famous Caputo mill is working to explore this new trend… makes me think that, maybe, the Canotto pizza style is something bigger than what it looks.