If you’ve been following us on social media, you might have realized that we love pizza. Not only we love eating it, but we love making it as well. During the pandemic and lockdown(s) we’ve all had more time to cook, it is undeniable. Andrea has used this time to improve his pizza making skills so this recipe is actually coming from him 🙂
He prepares what’s known as Roman pizza. The Roman pizza or pizza in teglia (pizza on tray) is a rectangular focaccia-like pizza that is popular in Rome. It is light, full of bubbles and with a crunchy base (in other words, yum!). It can be filled or topped with many different ingredients. The dough requires a higher amount of water (70% of the weight of the flour) than the traditional pizza Napoletana and a long rising time (20-24 hours). So if you want to eat this pizza for dinner, you will need to start preparing the dough the evening before. On the bright side, Roman pizza does not require a wood-fired oven but it can be easily cooked in a regular home oven at 250C (without fan, very important!).
The quantities are sufficient for a tray of 30cmx40cm, which will feed 4 people or 2 very hungry people, like Andrea and me 🙂 The topping is just a suggestion, but you can use the ingredients you like the most, which you can add together with the mozzarella or at the end.
Roman Pizza (Pizza in teglia)
For the pizza dough
For the topping (suggestion)
Make the pizza dough
Put the water and the olive oil into a bowl. Then add the rest of the dough ingredients (semolina flour excluded) and mix well with your hands. Transfer the dough onto a large board or work surface and start kneading it with your hands until you get a homogeneous dough.
The high hydration may result in a slightly sticky dough, but that's OK. Set aside to rest covered with a tea towel for 10 minutes. The dough will slightly rise and be less sticky.
Once the dough has briefly rested, knead the dough again and fold it a few times to give it strength. To fold the dough, oil your hands (with EVO oil), shape the dough to a rectangle and fold the ends over to meet the middle. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat this folding process 4-5 times. The folding will help form pockets of air.
Transfer the dough into an oiled container and cover with its airtight lid and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The following morning, fold the dough again a few times as explained in the previous step (you can do so directly in the container). Place the dough back in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and repeat the folding once more. Leave the dough in the refrigerator for a total of 20-24 hours.
Remove the container from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
Oil the oven tray and preheat the oven to 250C (without fan).
Once the dough is ready, turn out from the container to a clean work surface, generously dusted with semolina flour. Dust the dough with semolina flour and start to press gently on the surface of the dough with your fingers. Start from the edges and move towards the centre, stretching the dough to roughly fit the size of the tray. Carefully transfer the dough onto the tray, and continue stretching gently with your fingers until the dough covers the tray.
Spread the tomato sauce (seasoned with 2 grams of salt, fresh basil, and 2 tbsp of olive oil) onto the pizza and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 11-15 minutes or until the bottom of the dough becomes brown (and therefore crunchy) and the crust is golden.
Remove the pizza from the oven, add the mozzarella cheeses on top and place back in the oven, on the top level, for 3-4 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and golden.
Finally, remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool down for 2 minutes before dressing with your chosen toppings. Our suggestion is to garnish with fresh rocket salad, cherry tomatoes, and burrata or buffalo mozzarella. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and your pizza is ready to eat!