Recipes from New Pizza

SMOKED LEG HAM, MUSHROOM AND SAGE

Smoked Ham Mushroom Sage

This is a lovely combination of flavours, especially between the smoked leg ham and the sage. Don’t buy pre-packaged ham, but rather have it sliced off the bone and ask for it a little thicker for texture.

Makes one 30 cm (12 inch) pizza

250 g (9 oz) ball of basic pizza dough (see pages 74–77), shaped (see pages 80–83)
50 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil, for frying, plus 1 tablespoon for drizzling 
12 large fresh sage leaves
80 g (3 oz/¹⁄³ cup) tinned San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
100 g (3½ oz) fior di latte mozzarella
90 g (3½ oz) smoked leg ham, shaved 
90 g (3½ oz/1 cup) thinly sliced button or small cap mushrooms
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO ASSEMBLE / Place a large tile in your oven for the pizza, then preheat to full heat (without using any fan-forced function) for at least 20 minutes (see page 89). Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan and fry the sage leaves until crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on some paper towel.

Hand squeeze the tomatoes; it doesn’t matter if there are pieces left and they’re not completely uniform. Spread the squeezed tomato onto the shaped pizza base, leaving the edges clear to about 3–4 cm (1½ inches). Thinly slice the mozzarella and scatter evenly, here and there, on the tomato. Scatter the ham and mushrooms evenly over the pizza. Season with a little salt and a couple of turns of the pepper mill and cook in the oven for 3–5 minutes until cooked, turning to get an even colour. Once out of the oven, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and scatter the fried sage on top.


Basic pizza dough Direct method
The direct method for producing pizza dough is the easiest because all the ingredients are mixed together at about the same time. This is the method that the large majority of pizza-makers use because it’s simple and quick.

For our recipes, however, we extend the maturation phase of the dough in the refrigerator so the final cooked pizza is easily digested and the flavour of the wheat maximised. Using an unrefined, stoneground whole-wheat (not wholemeal) flour is important because of its rich nutrients and the fact that it means less yeast is needed for fermentation and the maturation phase is thus more effective.


Fresh Yeast Dough
This recipe is for making pizza at home using ‘fresh’ or compressed yeast. Each 250 g (9 oz) ball of dough will make one 30 cm (12 inch) pizza, which feeds one person.

Makes 6 pizze (250 g/9 oz each)

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/6²⁄³ cups) unbleached, stoneground

whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour
550 ml (19 fl oz) water at room temperature
8 g (¼ oz) fresh (compressed) yeast
20 g (¾ oz) sea salt
30 ml (1 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil

Place the flour and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of the water in a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Begin mixing on a low speed and keep mixing until the flour has absorbed all the water but is still not smooth. This should take only 3–4 minutes. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest in the bowl for 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast in the remaining water. Once the dough has rested, turn the mixer on to medium and add the dissolved yeast. Two minutes later, add the salt, mix for 2 minutes and then add the olive oil. Keep mixing until the dough is shiny and homogenous, about 6 minutes. Turn the speed up a little and mix for 2 minutes more.

A good way to check the elasticity is right is to stretch a piece of dough and if it forms a strong, transparent membrane without breaking (similar to blowing a bubble with gum), it is ready. Let the dough sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes in winter or 15 minutes in summer. The dough is now ready to be shaped into balls and then rested further in the refrigerator before shaping into discs (see pages 80–83).

Shaping Basic Dough into Balls
1. Once the dough is ready to be shaped, take a bench scraper
and cut off a piece from the edge.
2. The dough will feel soft, airy and malleable. Take the piece of dough at one end and, using both hands, form a ball about 200–250 g (7–9 oz) in size. Work by tucking the folds under the ball so that the top surface is taut and smooth.
3. Pinch the dough underneath the formed ball to separate it from the long piece of dough.
4. Repeat this procedure to make more balls.
5. Roll each ball gently on the work surface to make it even and round.
6. Place the balls on a covered non-stick tray. Make sure there is at least one ball width between each ball and the edges of the tray and that the balls don’t touch the cover. Use a fine mist water spray to hydrate the surface of the balls once they are on the tray. Let rise for 1 hour at 20–24°C (68–75°F). After resting, place in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours. The balls can sit in the refrigerator at around 4–5°C (39–41°F) for up to 3 days.

Shaping Basic Dough into Bases
1. Once the dough has matured and tripled in size, remove from the refrigerator and leave at ambient temperature for 3–4 hours (less in summer and more in winter) before forming the bases. Choose the dough ball to be used and lightly sprinkle some flour on top and along the edges where it touches the surrounding balls.
2. Use the bench scraper to separate the dough ball from its neighbours.
3. Lift the dough ball from the tray and turn bottom side up, revealing the bubbles.
4. Place the dough ball, still bottom side up, on a small mound of flour and turn it over in the flour so that both sides are covered.
5. Begin by using your fingers to form the cornice (border) and push the dough out, making the circle larger.
6. Once it has doubled in circumference, remove from the flour and place on the work surface.
7. Keeping one hand on one side of the base, gently stretch the opposite side with the other hand and lift and slap the dough circle from side to side. This will stretch the gluten in the dough and the base will get larger and larger.
8. Once stretched to the desired size (our pizze are around 30 cm/12 inches in diameter), place the base back on the work surface and neaten into a circle. The pizza base is now ready to dress with the toppings and then bake.

Cooking basic dough
Shaped and topped, here you’ll find instructions for cooking your round pizze.

In a wood-fired oven
With the floor temperature between 360–400°C (680–750°F), a pizza will take around 90 seconds to cook. Some pizzaioli cook at temperatures up to 450°C (840°F) and this takes less time. The pizza is put directly on to the oven floor to cook, thereby getting an immediate ‘lift’.

In a domestic oven
My suggestion is to find a large terracotta tile that fits onto your oven rack. Place the rack on the bottom rung of your oven and the tile on top, giving you plenty of room above to manipulate the pizza. Turn to full heat without using any fan-forced function and let the oven run for at least 20 minutes to heat the tile completely. When the pizza is ready, use a floured paddle to take it from the bench on to the tile. Close the oven immediately.

At around 250–280°C (480–535°F) a pizza takes 3–5 minutes to cook, depending on your oven temperature. It will have a crisp, bread-like texture and should be no less delicious than the wood-fired version.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
ROMAN PIZZA WITH PROSCIUTTO, BURRATA AND AUBERGINE

Roman Pizza Prosciutto Burrata Eggplant

I first had this combination at Antonio Pappalardo’s Cascina dei Sapori in Rezzato, Brescia. I fell in love with the richness of the burrata and the salty goodness of the prosciutto. Above all, I loved the base – soft and airy inside and crisp on the outside

Makes 8 squares

1 sheet of Roman-style pizza dough (see pages 84–88), precooked and cut into 8 squares
8 thin slices of hot chargrilled eggplant (aubergine) 
8 thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma or similar
1 or 2 burrata, depending on size, cut into 8 in a bowl
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO ASSEMBLE / Place the Roman pizza squares on a baking tray and heat in a preheated 180°C (350°F) oven for 5–6 minutes until they are crisp on the outside but soft in the middle. Once ready, remove from the oven. Form a cup using a piece of hot chargrilled eggplant in the middle and a slice of prosciutto on the outside. Place this neatly on each square and arrange on plates. Spoon the burrata into the middle of the cup. The burrata will fall apart because it is soft, but can be handled using a tablespoon. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.


Aubergine

½ eggplant (aubergine), trimmed and cut into 3 mm (¹⁄8 inch) slices
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

TO ASSEMBLE / Season all the vegetable slices except the onion, add a little extra virgin olive oil and chargrill for about 30 seconds on each side until tender.


Roman-Style Pizza Dough Basic

Roman-style pizza is a rectangular, focaccia-like pizza that is famous in Rome. It is light, full of large bubbles and can be filled or topped with many ingredients. Roman-style pizza does not require a wood-fired oven, but traditionally is cooked in a ‘deck’ oven at almost half the temperature of wood-fired pizza. Use stoneground whole-wheat (not wholemeal) flour.

Makes 3 teglie (550 g/1 lb 4 oz sheets)

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/6²⁄³ cups) unbleached, stoneground whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour
3.5 g (¹⁄8 oz) dried (powdered) yeast or 125 g (4½ oz) Sourdough starter (see page 79)
650 ml (23 fl oz) water at room temperature
½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
25 ml (1 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
20 g (¾ oz) sea salt

Place the flour in a mixer with a dough hook attachment.

Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the water (or if using the sourdough starter, remove 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) of water from the recipe and simply add the starter) and add to the flour along with 400 ml (14 fl oz) of the remaining water and the caster sugar.

Turn on the mixer to its lowest setting and mix for about 2 minutes until the water is totally absorbed. Add the oil and salt and mix in. Double the speed of the mixer and slowly add the remaining water, a little at a time, only adding more when the previous amount has been absorbed. The mixture will look quite wet, but don’t worry, continue mixing for 8–10 minutes and you’ll see that gradually the dough will begin to stretch and form long gluten strands.

Rest the dough for 10 minutes in the mixer bowl, covered with plastic wrap, before folding, leaving to mature in the refrigerator and forming into three sheets (teglie) of Roman-style pizza dough (see pages 86–88).

Shaping Basic Dough into Balls
1. Once the dough is ready to be shaped, take a bench scraper
and cut off a piece from the edge.
2. The dough will feel soft, airy and malleable. Take the piece of dough at one end and, using both hands, form a ball about 200–250 g (7–9 oz) in size. Work by tucking the folds under the ball so that the top surface is taut and smooth.
3. Pinch the dough underneath the formed ball to separate it from the long piece of dough.
4. Repeat this procedure to make more balls.
5. Roll each ball gently on the work surface to make it even and round.
6. Place the balls on a covered non-stick tray. Make sure there is at least one ball width between each ball and the edges of the tray and that the balls don’t touch the cover. Use a fine mist water spray to hydrate the surface of the balls once they are on the tray. Let rise for 1 hour at 20–24°C (68–75°F). After resting, place in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours. The balls can sit in the refrigerator at around 4–5°C (39–41°F) for up to 3 days.

Shaping Basic Dough into Bases
1. Once the dough has matured and tripled in size, remove from the refrigerator and leave at ambient temperature for 3–4 hours (less in summer and more in winter) before forming the bases. Choose the dough ball to be used and lightly sprinkle some flour on top and along the edges where it touches the surrounding balls.
2. Use the bench scraper to separate the dough ball from its neighbours.
3. Lift the dough ball from the tray and turn bottom side up, revealing the bubbles.
4. Place the dough ball, still bottom side up, on a small mound of flour and turn it over in the flour so that both sides are covered.
5. Begin by using your fingers to form the cornice (border) and push the dough out, making the circle larger.
6. Once it has doubled in circumference, remove from the flour and place on the work surface.
7. Keeping one hand on one side of the base, gently stretch the opposite side with the other hand and lift and slap the dough circle from side to side. This will stretch the gluten in the dough and the base will get larger and larger.
8. Once stretched to the desired size (our pizze are around 30 cm/12 inches in diameter), place the base back on the work surface and neaten into a circle. The pizza base is now ready to dress with the toppings and then bake.


Cooking Roman-style dough
Roman-style pizza is often precooked. It’s convenient because the cooked dough can
be kept in the fridge and brought out, topped and heated in the oven when needed.

Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F) without fan.

Take the sheet of Roman-style pizza dough and if the dough has risen excessively, press down gently with the tips of your fingers
to make small indentations.

Bake the pizza in the oven for 11–14 minutes. If the teglia is browning more on one side, your oven is not even and the tray may need to be turned.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool a little before dressing with your toppings or allow to cool completely if using later. The teglia can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Download printable recipe (PDF)

 
ROMAN PIZZA WITH COURGETTE TRIFOLATI

Roman Pizza Zucchini Trifolati

Many of the toppings on these pizze are built on memories from my childhood. In discussing this particular pizza with Pizzaperta chef Gianluca, we discovered we had similar memories of courgette trifolati. Both our mothers prepared this dish in a similar way, though at different ends of the peninsula – Brescia and Naples. ‘Trifolati’ is an Italian cooking term that denotes frying in olive oil, garlic and parsley. It is most often applied to mushrooms, kidneys and zucchini.

Serves 6–8

1 sheet of Roman-style pizza dough (see pages 84–88)
350 g (12 oz) fior di latte mozzarella
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

ZUCCHINI TRIFOLATI
1 small onion, thinly sliced
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) zucchini (courgettes), cut into thin rounds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tinned San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE COURGETTE TRIFOLATI / Fry the onion, zucchini and garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes over a high heat, keeping them stirred so they don’t colour. Add the tomato and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Leave to cool completely. Any left-over zucchini can be refrigerated for 3–4 days.

TO ASSEMBLE / Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Place the cooked and cooled zucchini trifolati in a sieve to drain its liquid, saving some of the liquid. Remove the mozzarella from the water. Tear into small pieces and distribute half on top of the sheet of pizza. Scatter 400 g (14 oz) of the well-drained zucchini trifolati on the mozzarella. Distribute the rest of the torn mozzarella on the zucchini. Finally, season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. If the dough has risen excessively, press down gently with the tips of your fingers to make small indentations to make space for the mozzarella and zucchini. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. If the teglia is browning more on one side, your oven is not even and the tray may need to be turned. Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool a little. Place on a serving plate as a large piece or cut, using scissors, into individual tiles. Finish by drizzling with some of the zucchini trifolati juices that have been drained.


Roman-Style Pizza Dough Basic
Roman-style pizza is a rectangular, focaccia-like pizza that is famous in Rome. It is light, full of large bubbles and can be filled or topped with many ingredients. Roman-style pizza does not require a wood-fired oven, but traditionally is cooked in a ‘deck’ oven at almost half the temperature of wood-fired pizza. Use stoneground whole-wheat (not wholemeal) flour.

Makes 3 teglie (550 g/1 lb 4 oz sheets)

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/6²⁄³ cups) unbleached, stoneground whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour
3.5 g (¹⁄8 oz) dried (powdered) yeast or 125 g (4½ oz) Sourdough starter (see page 79)
650 ml (23 fl oz) water at room temperature
½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
25 ml (1 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
20 g (¾ oz) sea salt

Place the flour in a mixer with a dough hook attachment.

Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the water (or if using the sourdough starter, remove 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) of water from the recipe and simply add the starter) and add to the flour along with 400 ml (14 fl oz) of the remaining water and the caster sugar.

Turn on the mixer to its lowest setting and mix for about 2 minutes until the water is totally absorbed. Add the oil and salt and mix in. Double the speed of the mixer and slowly add the remaining water, a little at a time, only adding more when the previous amount has been absorbed. The mixture will look quite wet, but don’t worry, continue mixing for 8–10 minutes and you’ll see that gradually the dough will begin to stretch and form long gluten strands.

Rest the dough for 10 minutes in the mixer bowl, covered with plastic wrap, before folding, leaving to mature in the refrigerator and forming into three sheets (teglie) of Roman-style pizza dough (see pages 86–88).


Shaping Basic Dough into Balls
1. Once the dough is ready to be shaped, take a bench scraper and cut off a piece from the edge.
2. The dough will feel soft, airy and malleable. Take the piece of dough at one end and, using both hands, form a ball about 200–250 g (7–9 oz) in size. Work by tucking the folds under the ball so that the top surface is taut and smooth.
3. Pinch the dough underneath the formed ball to separate it from the long piece of dough.
4. Repeat this procedure to make more balls.
5. Roll each ball gently on the work surface to make it even and round.
6. Place the balls on a covered non-stick tray. Make sure there is at least one ball width between each ball and the edges of the tray and that the balls don’t touch the cover. Use a fine mist water spray to hydrate the surface of the balls once they are on the tray. Let rise for 1 hour at 20–24°C (68–75°F). After resting, place in a refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours. The balls can sit in the refrigerator at around 4–5°C (39–41°F) for up to 3 days.

Shaping Basic Dough into Bases
1. Once the dough has matured and tripled in size, remove from the refrigerator and leave at ambient temperature for 3–4 hours (less in summer and more in winter) before forming the bases. Choose the dough ball to be used and lightly sprinkle some flour on top and along the edges where it touches the surrounding balls.
2. Use the bench scraper to separate the dough ball from its neighbours.
3. Lift the dough ball from the tray and turn bottom side up, revealing the bubbles.
4. Place the dough ball, still bottom side up, on a small mound of flour and turn it over in the flour so that both sides are covered.
5. Begin by using your fingers to form the cornice (border) and push the dough out, making the circle larger.
6. Once it has doubled in circumference, remove from the flour and place on the work surface.
7. Keeping one hand on one side of the base, gently stretch the opposite side with the other hand and lift and slap the dough circle from side to side. This will stretch the gluten in the dough and the base will get larger and larger.
8. Once stretched to the desired size (our pizze are around 30 cm/12 inches in diameter), place the base back on the work surface and neaten into a circle. The pizza base is now ready to dress with the toppings and then bake.


Cooking Roman-style dough
Roman-style pizza is often precooked. It’s convenient because the cooked dough can be kept in the fridge and brought out, topped and heated in the oven when needed.

Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F) without fan.

Take the sheet of Roman-style pizza dough and if the dough has risen excessively, press down gently with the tips of your fingers
to make small indentations.

Bake the pizza in the oven for 11–14 minutes. If the teglia is browning more on one side, your oven is not even and the tray may need to be turned.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and let cool a little before dressing with your toppings or allow to cool completely if using later. The teglia can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Download printable recipe (PDF)