FOOD

These Traditional Pizza Recipes Are Worth Feasting On

There's no cauliflower crusts or kale here.

11/08/2017 4:28 PM AEST | Updated 11/08/2017 4:29 PM AEST

There are two types of pizza: healthy pizza made with cauliflower crust and kale, and pizza pizza with cheese and all the carbs. Today it's time for pizza pizza.

These recipes from New Pizza by Stefano Manfredi are all about the 'new wave' pizza movement, which returns to pizza's origins while still taking advantage of new technologies.

To make these pizzas, you will need to start with a basic pizza dough, which is the most time-consuming part of the process. If you prefer to buy a ready-made base from a deli, skip to the delicious recipes below the dough recipe.

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Basic pizza dough

This recipe is for making pizza at home using 'fresh' or compressed yeast. Each 250g ball of dough will make one 30cm pizza, which feeds one person.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg unbleached, stoneground whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour
  • 550ml water, at room temperature
  • 8g fresh (compressed) yeast
  • 20g sea salt
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Place the flour and 500ml (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.
  2. 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 two minutes and then add the olive oil. Keep mixing until the dough is shiny and homogenous, about six minutes. Turn the speed up a little and mix for two minutes more.
  3. 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.

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 200–250g 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 one hour at 20–24°C. 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 for up to three days.

Shaping 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 30cm 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.

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1. Prosciutto and bufala pizza

Makes one 30cm pizza.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g ball of basic pizza dough, shaped
  • 120g buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 35g (1 cup) rocket, thick stems removed
  • 6–8 slices of Prosciutto di Parma
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Roast cherry tomatoes:

  • 1kg cherry or small roma tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

For the roast cherry tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Prepare the tomatoes by slicing them in half and place, cut side up, on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes. Remove and let them cool before using. Any leftover tomatoes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days.

To assemble: Place a large tile in your oven for the pizza, then turn the oven up to preheat to full heat (without using any fan-forced function) for at least 20 minutes. Cut the mozzarella into 1cm cubes and scatter evenly, here and there, to top the shaped pizza base, leaving the edges clear to about 3–4cm. Scatter the Parmesan on top and then evenly distribute 18 of the roast cherry tomato halves over the top. Place the pizza in the oven for 3–5 minutes until cooked, turning to get an even colour. Once out, scatter the rocket leaves over, arrange the prosciutto slices evenly and drizzle with olive oil.

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2. Chicory, salame and stracciatella

Makes one 30cm pizza.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g ball of basic pizza dough, shaped
  • 100g fior di latte mozzarella
  • 6 slices of good-quality Italian salame, sliced and cut into 'straws'
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons stracciatella cheese
  • A handful of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • A couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper

Cooked chicory:

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 500g chicory leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
  • Sea salt

METHOD

For the cooked chicory: Bring five litres of water to the boil in a pot with a tablespoon of salt added. Plunge in the chicory and submerge with a wooden spoon. After the water returns to the boil, cook the chicory for 3–4 minutes. Drain and let the leaves cool to room temperature. Squeeze as much water out of the leaves as possible. Place the chicory leaves on a board and roughly chop, then put in a bowl and add the olive oil, garlic clove and a little salt. Mix thoroughly. Any leftover chicory can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To assemble: Place a large tile in your oven for the pizza, then turn the oven up to preheat to full heat (without using any fan-forced function) for at least 20 minutes. Thinly slice the mozzarella and scatter evenly, here and there, to top the shaped pizza base, leaving the edges clear to about 3–4cm. Arrange the salame 'straws' on top and sprinkle over the grated parmesan. Place the pizza in the oven for 3–5 minutes until cooked, turning to get an even colour. Once out of the oven, arrange the chopped chicory over the pizza. Dollop the stracciatella on top and distribute the tomatoes over the lot. Drizzle with olive oil and add the pepper.

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3. Gorgonzola, potato and radicchio

Makes one 30cm pizza.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g ball of basic pizza dough, shaped
  • 100g fior di latte mozzarella
  • 40g (1 cup) radicchio leaves, sliced in 2cm wide strips
  • 80g gorgonzola cheese, cut into 12 pieces
  • 12 very thin slices of waxy, yellow-fleshed potato
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh young rosemary leaves

Rosemary oil:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh young rosemary leaves
  • 170ml (⅔ cup) extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

For the rosemary oil: Finely chop the rosemary leaves with a very sharp knife. Place in a bowl and cover the leaves with the olive oil. Cover the bowl and place in a cool spot for two hours. Remove the leaves from the oil by passing through a fine sieve. Place the oil in a small squeezy bottle, ready to use. Any leftover oil can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month.

To assemble: Place a large tile in your oven for the pizza, then turn the oven up to preheat to full heat (without using any fan-forced function) for at least 20 minutes. Thinly slice the mozzarella and scatter evenly, here and there, to top the shaped pizza base, leaving the edges clear to about 3–4cm. Scatter the radicchio and gorgonzola evenly over the pizza. Lay the potato slices on top. Season with a little salt, a couple of turns of the pepper mill and cook the pizza for 3–5 minutes until cooked, turning to get an even colour. Once out of the oven, drizzle with one tablespoon of the rosemary oil, scatter the rosemary leaves on top and serve.

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Recipes and images from New Pizza by Stefano Manfredi, Murdoch Books $39.99 available now in all good bookstores and online.

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