Monday, March 1, 2010

Pizza Bianca

This recipe comes from Jim Lahey's My Bread. I find the name misleading, as it is closer to focaccia than what we think of as pizza. Think of naked pizza dough, drizzled with olive oil, coarse salt, and maybe some fresh herbs, and you'll be right on point.

More importantly, it is delicious.

Lucas was gone when we ate it, and I put the last piece in his lunch the next day. He thought he hit the jackpot. (He did.)

Pizza Bianca

3 c. bread flour
1/4 t. yeast
1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. sugar
1 1/2 c. cool water
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil (plus more for coating the bowl & brushing)
1/2 t. coarse sea salt
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed (optional)

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Lightly coat a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature, until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, about 9-12 hours. (A longer rise would cause the dough to be less elastic, and it needs to stretch.)

When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. The dough will be quite loose and sticky. Using floured hands, fold the dough over itself two or three times and nudge it into a loose, rather flat, ball. Brush the surface of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with the coarse salt (which will graduately dissolve on the surface.) Let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 500 degrees, with a rack in the center, and place a pizza stone (at least 14" in diameter) in the center of the rack. (If you don't have a pizza stone, use a baking sheet.)

Generously dust a pizza peel with flour and place the ball of dough in the middle. Spread out your fingers like a claw and drive your fingers into the dough, but do not puncture it. You want to simultaneously create dimples in the dough and spread it out across the peel. Continue working your hands across the dough and dimpling it until you have a bumpy disk about 12" in diameter. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the rosemary leaves, if using.

Shake the pizza onto the baking stone. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown on the mounds but still pale in the dimples. Transfer to a rack to cool for at least a few minutes before slicing.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

We were going to eat leftover spaghetti tonight, I am going to make that right now! Yum