the pizza bianca recipe: make it and eat it like you were in Rome
authentic Italian recipes: pizza bianca
Usually, when you make pizza bianca at home, the result is far, far away from that oily, delicious and crunchy slice you savor while walking through the narrow streets of Rome.
But there’s a gentle and genius chef that shared his knowledge, and above all, made it possible to have just the same pizza, when homemade.
the pizza bianca recipe
Here’s my recipe: I put together chef Bonci’s techniques, tips around the web and on my cooking books, and some common sense.
Read on to have authentic pizza bianca right out of your oven, plus a few tips to eat it like an Italian.
- 500 gr (17.6 oz) of Manitoba flour or very strong canadian wholemeal flour
- 400 gr (14 oz) of cold water
- 15 gr (0.5 oz) of sea salt
- 3 gr (0.11 oz) of dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil + something more for the bowl and the pizza surface
- A few tablespoons of semolina flour to work the dough
- Dissolve yeast in 50 gr (1.8 oz) of the water.
- Place flour and half of the remaining water in a large bowl. Mix coarsely with a FORK (it’s important you use a fork).
- Add the yeasted water and fork mix again.
- Add oil, salt and the remaining water and (fork) mix.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let sit for about 10 minutes in the hottest spot of your house.
- Pour the dough on a work surface and fold it over itself: first, the external edges vertically towards the center, and then the top edges horizontally towards the center.
- Sprinkle the bottom of the bowl with oil and return the dough to it, folded part down.
- Cover the bowl with plastic paper and refrigerate it overnight (in the lowest shelf) or at least for 12 hours (and up to 24).
- Line an oven tray with parchment paper. I used a perforated baking sheet pan to help heat reach the bottom of my pizza as well. The important thing here is to use a thin tray, not a heavy, thick one.
- Pour the dough over the baking sheet (help yourself with a spatula) and tap it with your fingertips to spread it evenly through the surface.
- Let it rest for at least 2 hours.
- Sprinkle the surface with a few tablespoons of olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of salt.
- Preheat oven to 250°C (480°F). Set it on ventilated + bottom heat for the first 10 minutes.
- Bake the pizza for 10 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 220°C (430°F), not ventilated and bake 10 minutes more.
- Bubbles will form on the surface, and that’s ok. The result you are looking for is a spotted golden surface.
Serve the pizza hot, sprinkled with rosemary, or…
5 ways to eat pizza bianca like an Italian
Pizza bianca is treated more as bread, than pizza, or let’s say as both.
- The Roman style: hot, with mortadella*.
- Dessert style: with a huge amount of Nutella.
- The Neapolitan style: with scarola (or other green leafy veg) ripassata (sautéed in olive oil, garlic and chili or black olives).
- The Italian Bar Style: with Emmental cheese and prosciutto cotto, toasted.
- The Roman style 2: with prosciutto crudo and fresh figs.
*pizza e mortazza
If you’ve ever visited Rome you hardly left without having a piece of pizza bianca.
You may have or have not had it accompanied by the institutional Roman topping: mortadella. If not, pizza e mortadella, in Roman dialect pizza e mortazza, is your next food goal.
Remember: pizza must be hot, you can choose between plain or pistachio spotted mortadella, and you can lay it over the pizza or inside it after cutting it in half, sandwich style. I add rosemary, and you should too ;-).