The pizza bianca romana recipe to replicate at home the greasy delightful that accompanied you through the discovery of the eternal city.
Don’t forget to complete your pizza bianca experience with real mortadella!
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Usually, when you make pizza bianca at home, the result is far, far away from that oily, delicious and crunchy slice of white pizza you savor – wrapped in brown paper that hardly holds the grease from your pizza – while walking through the narrow streets of Rome.
But Gabriele Bonci, the pizza bianca (and rossa, red) hero of the capital, has revealed to the world a few tricks go get quite, almost there, same results.
I put together chef Bonci’s techniques, tips around the web and on my cooking books, and some common sense. My pizza bianca romana recipe is superb!
Read on to have authentic pizza bianca right out of your oven, plus a few tips to eat it like an Italian.
pizza bianca recipe
- 17.6 oz Manitoba flour or very strong Canadian wholemeal flour 500 gr
- 14 oz cold water 400 gr
- 1 teaspoon sea salt 15 gr - 0.5 oz
- 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast 3 gr - 0.1 oz
- 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 let heat reach the bottom of my pizza 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.
5 pizza bianca topping ideas
Pizza bianca, in Rome, is consumed more like bread than pizza. Here are a few ideas to enjoy it:
- The Roman style: hot, with mortadella (pizza e mortazza).
- Dessert style: spread with a huge amount of Nutella.
- The Neapolitan style: with scarola or other green leafy vegetables, ripassata, sautéed in olive oil, garlic, and chili, sometimes with the addition of 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, it’s impossible you left without devouring a slice of pizza bianca. You may have or have not had it accompanied by the Roman institutional topping: mortadella. If not, pizza and 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 the cold meat on top of the pizza or inside it after cutting it in half, sandwich style. I add rosemary, and you should too.
Enjoy your pizza bianca recipe!