Pizza in the Style of Rome

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Pizza
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Roman pizza, also known as pizza in teglia (pizza in a pan), is fermented longer than normal pizza dough and is topped with fresh, simple ingredients.

Baking in a pan allows the crust to become crispy while the inside crumb stays tender. Some versions of pizza in teglia are very, very thin and crispy – this version has more depth to the crust, and is adapted from Gabriele Bonci at Pizzarium in Rome.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

A steel baking pan, 15×10″
A kitchen scale that measures in grams
A mixer with a dough hook

INGREDIENTS

727 g King Arthur bread flour
509 g water (room temp)
29 g olive oil, plus more for drizzling
18 g sea salt
5 g instant dry yeast (IDY)
28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
2 large balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
fresh basil

Make The Dough

1. In the mixer bowl, add water and then IDY. Stir to dissolve. Add in flour, then salt, then oil. Turn on the mixer to speed 1, and mix until ingredients are just combined – around 30 seconds. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 20 minutes. Turn the mixer back on to speed 2, and mix for 5 minutes. The dough should start to look smooth, but will still be sticky. Scrape the dough into a plastic bowl, and let rest at room temp for 1 hour. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for 18 hours.

2. Four hours before bake time, remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for two hours.

3. Scrape dough onto heavily floured surface, and split in two. Sprinkle top of each dough ball with flour. With heavily floured hands, gently shape each ball into a tighter shape, resembling a rectangle. Try to get the surface as smooth as possible by tucking the dough underneath itself. Drape both dough balls with plastic wrap, and let sit for two more hours. They should nearly double in size.

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Make The Pizza

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and place a rack in the middle position.

2. Drizzle a small amount of oil into the baking pan, and rub into the bottom and sides (don’t forget the corners).

3. Place the dough on a heavily floured wooden peel. Gently press on the dough ball with your floured fingers to spread it out, trying to keep the rectangular shape. Once it has spread out to almost the size of the pan, slide it from the peel into the pan. Stretch the sides and corners to reach the edge of the pan, trying to keep the dough as even as possible.

4. Ladle half the tomatoes onto the dough and spread to edges, leaving 1 inch exposed. Add basil leaves. Place mozzarella evenly throughout, and sprinkle 1/4 cup pecorino over top. Drizzle with oil, and bake in oven for about 10 minutes, until edges are nicely browed and the cheese has melted.

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Topping Variations

Bianco (white)

To the naked dough in pan, simply drizzle a good amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sea salt. Bake.

Mortadella and Cherry Tomatoes

To the naked dough in pan, place fresh mozzarella, roasted cherry tomatoes, sea salt and basil. Drizzle with oil and bake. When pizza is finished and out of the oven, cover with dressed, fresh baby arugula (or caramelized onions), then gently drape very thin slices of high quality mortadella over the whole pie.

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16 Comments

  1. Paulie Gee says

    John,

    I recently returned from Rome and two amazing stops at Pizzarium. Probably the best pizza I’ve ever had.

    Ciao,

    PG

  2. JDV says

    Paulie – I hope to visit Pizzarium soon as well. Bonci’s use of grains and flours from Molino Marino, coupled with natural leavening, must make for an incredible product that must be tasted in Rome. There is alot of insight on his process in his book Il Gioco della Pizza, which can be purchased on Amazon.it.

  3. Chris says

    Where did you find those pizza pans? they look more heavy duty than your average baking sheet…

    • Chris – Search “blue steel baking sheet” on Amazon. I have the 15×11 size.

  4. Chris says

    Hey john,

    I’ve made this now twice with great results, really delicious pies. If I wanted to use my starter as the yeast culture in the dough do you know what amount or percent I could use? Or would it change the entire methodology and make the levain style of fermentation necessary?

    Cheers,

    Chris

    • Hi Chris – You can treat this dough like bread when using active starter, and use a room temp ferment. You can go 20% levain for 8 hours ferment, or 10% for around 18 hours (depending on room temperature). The pictures you see above are actually from an 8 hour dough with 20% levain.

      • Chris says

        Do I need to adjust the intial water content down from 509g to compensate for the additional water in the 100% hydrated and fully active starter? I know in the Tartine book Robertson gives his hydration as lower 70-something, but I did the math out and found that it is actually higher because he doesn’t account for the levain’s water. I was hoping to be able to use this method for a dinner on Thursday for so out of town friends and just wanted to clarify this small observation before I over hydrate this dough and find myself SOL. Thanks again, great stuff.

      • Chris – Very good question. There are different opinions out there, but when you create a levain, and the mixture is fermented, the levain becomes an ingredient itself. I guess technically it will raise the hydration in the strictest terms, but in my opinion it does not contribute to the hydration as it applies to making a dough.

        Actually my suggestion to you would be to raise the hydration to 75% for this approach. Make the levain according to Chad’s instructions and go from there with this recipe.

      • Chris says

        Hey John,

        My dough is fermenting away in the fridge and looking great. I bought Bonchi’s book and despite its relatively poor translation from Italian its worth the $14 I paid for it – some interesting ingredient ideas, some seem a bit odd “Ricotta, Persimmons, ‘Nduja, and Hazelnuts”, but hey he is a master.

        Bonchi gives three dough recipes in the book that I figured I would pass along for your enjoyment…

        White: 1kg “0” Flour / 700g filtered water / 40g olive oil / 20 g fine sea salt / 7g instant yeast.

        Mixed Grain: 500g Buratto flour / 250g light spelt flour / 250g farro flour / 700g water / 100g natural yeast or 4g instant yeast / 40g olive oil / 20g fine sea salt

        Whole Grain: 500g Buratto flour / 500g whole grain farro or light spelt flour / 800g water / 150g natural starter / 40g olive oil / 20g sea salt

        I’ll send some photos of my pies when they come out of the oven. I am thinking the classic tomato, fresh mozz, and the last of the basil from the garden and a ricotta/chevre, zucchini, mint and purple basil.

        thanks for all the help

  5. Chris says

    Awesome, I had a feeling you were using a starter, the dough looks too supple and beautiful to be from commercial yeast. Thanks for the tips

  6. shaun says

    Hi John great job! Where can i purchase online those thin pizza pans in your photos ? I cant find them anywhere.

    • Hi Shaun – Search “blue steel baking sheet” on Amazon. I have the 15×11 size.

      • Shaun says

        beautiful! Thank You my friend. I read there is a certain process on how to upkeep them or “break them in” by not washing them? If you dont mind, I rather follow what you say then on some forums. How do I use this properly and how do i clean this properly?

        much appreciated.

        Shaun

      • Shaun – You want to oil them heavily on first use. Do not wash them afterward, just wipe them clean and scrape off crusted bits. Subsequent usage will allow you to use less and less oil, and they will essentially become non-stick. Never wash them. If you rinse them, dry immediately and do not scrub them with anything.

  7. Shaun says

    Hello JDV,
    Have you compared Organic King Arthur Bread Flour and regular King Arthur Bread Flour? Is there a big difference ?? Which do you use? Also which brand of IDY do you use?

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