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Pizza Bianco

Pizza Bianco


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In a large bowl, place wine, 3/4 cup warm water, yeast and honey; stir until dissolved. Let sit until mixture is frothy (this means the yeast is alive), about 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; mix well to combine.

By hand:

To yeast mixture, add 1 cup of the flour; mix with wooden spoon, the consistency will be loose. While stirring, add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time. Bring dough together by hand. On a clean, flour counter top or wooden board, turn out dough. Knead until dough is smooth and firm, about 8-10 minutes.

With stand mixer:

Fit stand mixer with dough hook. In bowl of mixer on low speed, add yeast mixture and 1 cup flour. Continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until 3 three cups have been added. Raise speed to medium-high; mix until dough is smooth and firm, about 6 minutes.

Coat a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add dough; cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place bowl in warmest part of the kitchen; allow dough to rise until double in size, about 45 minutes. Divide dough into 2 pieces.

For grill:

Start fire about 1/2 hour before cooking pizza. To determine if the fire is the right temperature, hold your hand AT LEAST 5 inches above the grill; if 3 or 4 seconds is the longest you can hold it there, the grill is hot enough.

Oil a baking sheet; with hands, spread and flatten dough until desired size and shape; thickness of dough should be uniform.

Place dough on grill; sprinkle with salt. Cook until puffy, about 1 minute; turn over; cook anothter 3 minutes, rotating dough constantly to keep from burning. Remove from grill; garnish with salt and sugar; serve immediately.

For oven:

Put pizza stone in oven; heat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle counter top or cutting board with ¼ cup flour; roll out ½ half of dough into a 14-inch circle; keep remaining dough covered and set aside. Transfer rolled out dough to pizza stone; brush with olive oil; cook 10-12 minutes. Garnish with salt and sugar; serve immediately.


    • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
    • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (also called bread machine or rapid rise yeast)
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt like Maldon or fleur de sel
  1. Special equipment:
    • a pizza stone or double stack of baking sheets
    1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until well combined. Add yeast and pulse again. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 1/2 cups room temperature water. Process for 15 seconds, scrape down sides. Process 15 seconds more, until mixture is thoroughly combined. Mixture will be very wet, sticky, and fluid.
    2. Coat a large bowl with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Scrape dough into bowl with spatula and toss in oil. Flip dough over and top with another 1/2 tablespoon oil.
    3. Cover with plastic, then a towel, and let rise in a warm area until almost tripled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Alternately, before rising you can refrigerate the dough overnight. Let come to room temperature the next day, then let rise until almost tripled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, move a rack to middle of oven and place pizza stone or an inverted double stack of baking sheets on top. Preheat oven to 500°F for at least 1 hour before baking.
    4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with flour. Scrape dough onto parchment and stretch dough to outer corners of baking sheet, creating a rectangle. If dough stretches back, allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before stretching again. Once rectangle is formed, allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes until slightly puffed. Stipple the surface using fingertips, then use a fork to prick the dough all over, 20 to 30 times. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with rosemary.
    5. Bake 5 minutes until firm, remove pan, slide pizza from parchment onto a pizza peel or cutting board, and slide back onto pizza stone. Discard parchment. Bake until golden brown and crispy, 8 to 12 minutes more.
    6. Transfer to a cutting board, then cut into slices. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve immediately.

    Preparation

    Take the dough out of the refrigerator, set it on a lightly oiled work surface, and divide into 4 equal pieces of about 7 oz. each. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly oil it with olive oil or cooking spray. Set each ball at least an inch apart on the parchment. Lightly spray or brush the balls with olive oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough warm up and relax at room temperature for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

    If you have a baking stone, put it on the middle rack of the oven. If not, set a rimmed baking sheet upside down on the middle rack to serve as a baking platform. Heat the oven (regular or convection) to its highest setting. Fill a small bowl with bread flour or semolina, and dust a 12-inch-square area of a clean work surface with a generous amount. Prepare a peel for transferring the pizzas to the oven by dusting the peel with bread flour or semolina. (If you don’t have a peel, use a rimless cookie sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet, also dusted with flour.)

    Shape the dough:

    With floured hands, transfer one of the dough balls to the floured work surface. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and gently press it with your fingertips into a round disk—you’re trying to merely spread the dough, not squeeze all the gas from it. With floured hands, carefully lift the disk of dough and rest it on the back of your hands and knuckles. Using the tips of your thumbs, stretch the outer edge as you slowly rotate the dough until it is 10 to 12 inches in diameter. The edge should be the only place where you exert any pressure. If necessary, let the dough hang off one of your hands so that gravity provides some of the stretch. Despite the pressure on the edge, it will remain thicker than the inner section of the dough, which should be nearly paper thin. Don’t pull the dough forcefully into a circular shape or it will stretch from the center and possibly rip. If the dough begins to resist and keeps shrinking back into a smaller circle, lay it on the floured work surface and let it rest for about 2 minutes. While it is resting you can begin to stretch and shape another dough ball. Return later to the first dough and finish shaping it.

    Top the pizza:

    In a small bowl, stir together the cheeses, olive oil, oregano, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Lay the shaped pizza dough on the floured peel and spread one-quarter of the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch of the outer rim topping-free.

    Bake the pizza:

    • Carefully slide the pizza onto the baking stone using a jerking motion to get it to slide. If it sticks to the peel, carefully lift the stuck section and toss a little flour under it. Bake until the edge is puffy and brown with a slight char and the underside is brown and fairly crisp, 5 to 7 minutes (the hotter the oven, the faster and better it will cook). Rotate it after 3 minutes for even browning. Remove the pizza from the oven with either the peel or a long metal spatula and put it on a cutting board. While the first pizza is cooking, shape and top the remaining pizzas.

    If you decide not to make all the pizzas, bake any remaining shaped dough as untopped pizza, brushed with olive or garlic oil prior to baking, and serve or save as flatbread.


    Related Video

    This is my favorite pizza--as in, I often end up wanting it as my birthday meal! The crust takes a long time, but it's so wonderful. If you have a pizza stone, use it. And definitely let the oil rest for awhile before brushing it on the crust--the heat is a great contrast to the mild goat cheese and greens. I drizzle the oil over the top of the cheese, too. Such a winner recipe!

    We have been making this regularly for many years, and it never disappoints! We use a store-bought crust, so it's quick and easy. An absolutely delicious way to get lots of greens in your dinner!

    Delicious even though I cheated. I used a pre-made crust, and just regular olive oil to brush on it. I only made the topping- the chard (I used rainbow) and garlic, which was so yummy I just ate some out of the pan. The mozzarella and the goat cheese are a great combo. Sprinkled liberally with ground peppercorn medley. When I have more time I'll try making the crust. I would like to try the oil, but I was in a hurry this time. I love greens on pizza and this one is a keeper! It's also very pretty.

    Voted best pizza in our house :-)

    Delicious! I made mine with spinach that I had on hand, and was pleasantly surprised by the tang of the goat cheese and spiciness of the garlic chili oil. A very good taste combination, making this recipe a new addition to my pizza toppings rotation. Yum!

    We have been making this recipe for a few years. This summer, I accidentally added only one tsp of yeast, and it did not rise very well, but it didn't totally detract from the taste. We have also grilled this crust and used other ingredients as the toppings. When we make the recipe as it is, we sometimes add prosciutto, and that turns out very well, too. The biggest stars here, in my opinion are the crust and the seasoned oil. If you start with those, you can put a lot of different things on it, and it will taste great every time. I also sometimes make two batches and freeze one, because of the time consuming nature of the crust rising. It seems to be as good, even after thawing. Also, our 16-month-old daughter loves it.

    This was great, and so flavorful. I took the advice of previous reviewers and cut way down on mozzarella so the goat cheese could be the star. I love the seasoned oil and the garlic in the Swiss chard. I used a different crust recipe because I was short on time, but it was still delicious. I will definitely make this again.

    I make my own goat cheese which made me really want to eat this pizza. However, the pizza ended up being much too sour. My ex-husband thought it might be my goat's milk, but I know this to not be true. I had milked the goat just after spring, which is the best time. He is a cage-free, range goat that is fed a high protein diet. He was happy when I milked him and I made the cheese properly. I think the recipe calls for too much yeast.

    This pizza was loved by my whole family and I made a gluten-free version. I only sauteed the chard and it came out lovely. I also brushed the crust with olive oil before I put on the cheese. The crust recipe came from 'The Gloriously gluten-free cookbook' by Vaness a Maltin. My family couldn't believe it was gluten-free

    I haven`t tried the recipe for the crust yet have just used the one I always use. We use spinach instead of chard and add roasted cherry tomatoes. The seasoned oil didn`t add anything to this recipe for us. As described above, we love this pizza and have made it several times.

    Absolutely scrumptious. I couldn't stop eating it! I don't think the green you choose matters, because I picked up whatever was on sale. I also used ww flour - I didn't get a lot of rising, but I'm attributing it to the ww flour. It turned out great nonetheless!

    Great concept. Used kale in place of chard and threw in some mushrooms. It was delicious and we'll definitely make it again! Definitely make the seasoned oil to brush on the crust, with a generous portion of red pepper, it adds the necessary kick to make this stand out.

    Delicious pizza but the true star here is the crust. If you have the time/patience to wait for it to rise, definitely follow the recipe for the dough. Either way, don't skip the seasoned oil. So good!

    There was nothing wrong with this, and it is a good way to use up that chard in the garden, but it was a bit bland and I probably won't be making it again unless I'm inundated with chard.

    This review is just for the topping, which was very, very good (I used a Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough). A couple of things though- I think the mozzarella is unnecessary, or could definitely be dramatically reduced. If this is a special dinner for guests, go for it, but we make pizza at least every other week as a vegetarian option, so I try to keep it a little healthier. The chard was awesome, and I think spinach would also work well, The only thing I might do in the future is brush the seasoned oil (which is great!) over the crust before I add the chard. I make a similar pizza where I brush oil on the crust and it works out well. The goat cheese is a great touch!

    Fantastic way to use up the chard from the garden! Only change was I used a bread machine pizza dough recipe - cuts the dough time down to 1-1/2 hours, making it doable as a weeknight dinner.

    Great, easy dinner to serve with a side salad. I make this often in the Winter when there is too much chard to go around. Works with any pizza dough recipe.

    I have been making this pizza since I found it years ago in Bon Appetit. I use spinach instead of chard I've served it for dinner and it is fabulous as an appetizer. (BTW, that January 2002 issue was the best EVER, I make so many of the recipes from that one issue that I had to get another copy, mine was falling apart!)

    I'm sure i commented on this.. but not gonna go through 46 reviews. This is the best pizza and its always amazing. Made it many many times. It needs nothing.. don't change the recipe..but as is the case with all pizza - heck you wanna fiddle with it right? I just add fried eggplant - i sliced then cut in half to make it pizza ready - a little salt, then deep fried. (I know shocking). But i think fried eggplant is the foie gras for vegetarians like me. Plan to quadruple this.. and make for visitors (bunch of kids and their mom and dad) tomorrow.. so I will have tons of leftovers! this freezes very well. just thaw and reheat in oven (not microwave!). And yes we can hold back on some of the mozzarella. It can be too much (in the sense you fill up too fast.. what's the fun then? eh?)

    very tasty, made it with swiss chard once and with dandelion greens ..both excellent. my kids will probably never ask for a pepperoni pizza again

    This was absolutely delicious. I followed all the directions, but also added halved grape tomatoes on top of the chard. Next time I make it, I may use wheat flour and cut down on the mozzarella cheese to make it a little healthier.

    Like many of the others, I bought pizza dough at New Seasons, but followed the rest of the recipe closely--I added a bit of spinach to supplement the chard, but that's it. It was great! My boyfriend was skeptical about "chard pizza", but he ate 3 pieces.

    Incredible. I added carmelized onions as a base. Used spinach instead of swiss chard. Added thin slices of chicken and tri colore baby bells. beautiful presentation and so delicious!

    This is so yummy, one of my favorite recipes. My secret to make it even better is to substitute Garlic and Fine Herbs Boursin Cheese, you can find at Trader Joe's and other grocery stores, for the goat cheese. It comes in a white box with green writing, you will know it when you see it. It really adds another level of flavor. Also, we use kale instead of the chard.


    Recipe Summary

    • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce envelope)
    • 2 cups warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
    • 5 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting, preferably organic
    • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    • Extra-virgin olive oil, for bowl
    • Heirloom-Tomato Pizza
    • Mortadella-and-Mozzarella Pizza
    • Lemon-and-Piave Pizza

    Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in an additional 2 cups flour continue adding flour (up to 1/2 cup), 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until dough comes away from bowl but is still sticky.

    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead with lightly floured hands. Start by slapping the dough onto the counter, pulling it toward you with one hand and pushing it away from you with the other. Fold the dough back over itself (use a bench scraper or a wide knife to help scrape dough from surface). Repeat until it's easier to handle, about 10 times. Finish kneading normally until dough is smooth, elastic, and soft, but a little tacky, about 10 minutes.

    Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl turn to coat. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, 3 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it's done an indent should remain.

    Scrape dough out of the bowl onto floured surface, and cut it into 4 pieces. Shape into balls. Dust with flour, and cover with plastic. Let rest, 20 to 30 minutes, allowing dough to relax and almost double.

    Holding top edge of 1 dough ball in both hands, let bottom edge touch work surface (refrigerate remaining balls as you work). Carefully move hands around edge to form a circle, as if turning a wheel. Hold dough on back of your hand, letting its weight stretch it into a 12-inch round. Transfer dough to a lightly floured pizza peel (or an inverted baking sheet). Press out edges using your fingers. Jerk peel if dough sticks, lift, and dust more flour underneath.

    Holding top edge of 1 dough ball in both hands, let bottom edge touch work surface (refrigerate remaining balls as you work). Carefully move hands around edge to form a circle, as if turning a wheel. Hold dough on back of your hand, letting its weight stretch it into a 12-inch round. Transfer dough to a lightly floured pizza peel (or an inverted baking sheet). Press out edges using your fingers. Jerk peel if dough sticks, lift, and dust more flour underneath.

    Arrange desired toppings on dough.

    Heat oven to broil. Align edge of peel with edge of stone. Tilt peel, jerking it gently to move pizza. When edge of pizza touches stone, quickly pull back peel to transfer pizza to stone. (Do not move pizza.) Broil until bubbles begin to form in crust, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce temperature to 500 degrees, and bake until crust is crisp and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes more. (If not using broiler, bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes total.) Remove pizza from oven using peel, and top with additional toppings if using. Slice and serve. Repeat with remaining dough and assorted toppings (each variation can be multiplied, depending on the number of pizzas you're making).


    The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza)

    The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza) – The BEST white pizza you will ever make! Made with store-bought dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this pizza is super simple to make and will be best addition to your weeknight dinners.

    Sometimes a recipe turns out exactly as you expected. Other times, you decide to go in another direction. Today’s recipe is one of the those latter times.

    I originally developed this recipe so I could showcase my new-found love of Burrata cheese. Burrata cheese is similar to fresh mozzarella, but wayyyy creamier. It has changed my world forever and I want to shout my love of it from the rooftops.

    But as I was making this pizza, I quickly realized that I already had too much going on with the ricotta, shredded mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano cheese, so there really was no room left to add slices of fresh Burrata cheese. So I just left it at that.

    My missteps turned out to be a HUGE success because this pizza was absolutely out. of. this. world! Chewy, yet crispy crust, and a combination of three of the best Italian cheeses?! It’s no surprise that this pizza is this amazing! But sadly, I’ll have to wait for another time to share my love of Burrata cheese with you. Stay tuned!

    Here you have the BEST pizza bianca that I’ve ever had:

    If you haven’t had pizza bianca before, it’s also known as white pizza. Does that sound more familiar? White pizza is simply a pizza without any sauce – yes, that also means absolutely no WHITE sauce. I have tried some white pizzas that use an alfredo-type white sauce and they are simply too rich. So don’t expect any of that on this pizza.

    If the thought of having a pizza with no sauce sounds insane to you, don’t leave yet! I promise you’ll be more open to the idea after you learn more.

    So what makes this pizza so amazing? Let’s break it down.

    First we have the perfect combination of cheeses:

    1. Structure from the shredded mozzarella – the way this cheese melts together in one cohesive piece, while still super gooey, is exactly the reason why we don’t need sauce on this pizza. I promise you won’t miss it!
    2. Creaminess from the ricotta – if you’re like me, those pockets of creamy ricotta cheese are my favorite parts of gourmet pizzas. There just ain’t anything like warm, creamy ricotta. Excuse me while I start drooling.
    3. Bold flavor from the Pecorino Romano – Mozzarella and ricotta have mild flavors so I sprinkle on some Pecorino Romano cheese to add some more bite. Pecorino Romano looks like Parmesan but it’s a little tangier and saltier. So that’s why I think it’s the best choice for this pizza.

    To add a little bit of freshness, I drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil on top and place a few fresh basil leaves around, which also adds the perfect amount of color.

    Side note: I just began growing my own fresh basil in my “garden” – which is just basil right now – and it’s so amazing! I love having it on hand to use in any and everything. I’m hoping to add mint, thyme, and rosemary plants to truly turn this area in to a real garden. If you have any tips about growing these, send them my way!

    Ok guys – this recipe is basically fool-proof. You’re not making the dough so the hard part is gone! But just in case you’re a little nervous about trying this recipe, here are a few tips to help you out:

    1. When buying store-bought pizza dough, you’ll usually find it in the bakery refrigerators. If you haven’t tried rolling cold dough before, it’s impossible! Therefore, before you plan to make this pizza, place it in a medium bowl with some olive oil (this keeps it from sticking to the bowl AND gives the dough a crispy crust when baking) and coat the dough evenly. Let it sit on the counter for an hour or two to help it get to room temperature. Now, it’s ready for use and will be super easy to roll into a pizza round.
    2. Like I always say, don’t buy your cheese pre-shredded! There are additives in shredded cheese to keep it from clumping together, which also keeps it from melting nicely. Therefore, I always shred my own cheese. They sell blocks of mozzarella in the cheese section – but don’t use fresh mozzarella since it will be impossible to shred (too soft). I used this kind from Polly-O, but any brand is perfectly fine.
    3. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Otherwise, you’ll have a huge mess and the toppings could slide off.

    There you have it – the BEST pizza bianca you will ever have! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

    Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!


    PIzzeria BiancoTown & Country

    When Chris Bianco started the diminutive Pizzeria Bianco inside the back corner of a neighborhood grocery store in 1988, little did he know that he would be such a driving force in the slow food movement and specifically the artisanal pizza front.

    Chris, who won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2003, helped spawn a generation of independent and artisanal pizzeria’s, lending his advice, wisdom and food philosophies to dozens of fellow chefs and restaurateurs.

    Chef Nancy Silverton, who founded La Brea Bakery and was a co-founder of Pizzeria Mozza, stated in her book The Mozza Cookbook, “If there was any pizza that I did aspire to, it was a pie made by Chris Bianco, whose Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, AZ is a mecca for the pizza obsessed. When I took a bite of Chris’ pizza, I was speechless. Eating it turned out to be a life altering experience.”

    For Chris, the food is a result of his relationships and his intention. Relationships with the farmers, the local producers, his family, customers and staff and the respect and sincere intentions he approaches his recipes with, as well as the many interpersonal relationships that have influenced his philosophy and who he is.

    As for the pizza – critics, customers and fellow chefs have had their say over the years, including:

    The New York Times call the pizza “perhaps the best in America” (“The Road to Pizza Nirvana goes through Phoenix”, NYT, July 2004.)

    Rachael Ray declared Pizzeria Bianco the winner of her Pizza Madness Bracket, a contest of pizzerias across the nation in 2010.

    Food & Wine has labeled Chris’ pizza as “arguably the best pizza in America” (June 2005, June 2009)


    Pizza Bianca with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Parmesan

    Preheat oven to 500°F. Flour 2 large baking sheets. Unroll each pizza dough on work surface. TO MAKE ROUND PIZZAS: Cut corners off dough, forming total of two 10-inch rounds. TO MAKE RECTANGULAR PIZZAS: Cut each crosswise in half to make total of four 8x5-inch rectangles. Arrange on prepared sheets. Drizzle each round pizza with 1 tablespoon olive oil or each rectangular pizza with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Bake until crusts are brown, about 8 minutes. Using metal spatula, loosen crusts from baking sheets. Cut round pizzas in half. Transfer pizza crusts to plates. Top each with prosciutto, arugula, and Parmesan, dividing equally. Drizzle each with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and serve immediately.

    How would you rate Pizza Bianca with Prosciutto, Arugula, and Parmesan?

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    Conclusion

    Making your own pizza sauce is not that hard although there would be mistakes along the way so you will need to practice often.

    You will also need to get the best ingredients and San Marzano tomatoes are definitely the best ingredients when making a pizza sauce.

    We hope that the recipes above will give you the best judgment in making the best pizza sauce that you can. So let us know what you think!

    If you liked the post then do not forget to share it on social media!


    Share All sharing options for: How to Make Focaccia Like Chris Bianco

    Bakers, serious bakers, are a special breed drawn to the mysterious alchemy of yeasted dough. Their practice borders on obsession. Flour coats their eyelashes (and, after decades of baking, clouds their vision), dried dough crusts over their cuticles, and breadcrumbs hide in the folds of their clothing. Chris Bianco of Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco belongs to this club, and though he has achieved worldwide acclaim after making pizza and related doughs for over 20 years, he’d never call himself a master.

    “As far as I’m concerned we could do ourselves much good by just removing [the word ‘master’] from our vocabulary,” Bianco writes in his new book, Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like, out this month and available for preorder now. Instead, he believes anyone can make great pizza by trusting their senses and being rigorous. “Back in the late ’80s when wood ovens weren’t so popular,” Bianco writes in the book, “some people would watch me work and say, ‘The wood-fired oven — that’s the secret.’” Bianco calls this a common misconception: “The secret that is no secret is even in the most Ferrari of ovens, shit in will be shit out.”

    Instead of searching for the perfect tool, take matters into your own hands — literally. Here, below, is Bianco’s pizza dough recipe plus how he uses it to make a lemon, pecorino, and onion focaccia. Give it a go — and then make it again, and again, and again.

    Focaccia

    You could also call this Sicilian pizza or pizza al taglio or grandma pie — it can be any of those. Even the name “grandma pie” makes me happy, because it makes me think of a grandma in Topeka or Chicago, someone who doesn’t have a wood- burning oven and makes pizza in a pan because she’s busy. But here I wanted to evoke a version of the Sicilian pizza I loved growing up in New York. Sicilian pie wasn’t an everyday thing. It was bigger than life. It was rare to see it available as slices. I loved the crust, the crispy oiliness of it, the crunchy bottom that gave way to an airy, springy center and a tender, yielding top. Sicilian pizza always felt celebratory.

    This is the same dough we use to make pizza, but it is given a slightly longer proofing time after the first rise. We also use this focaccia, without any topping other than coarse salt and maybe some rosemary leaves, for our sandwiches.

    Makes 9 large pieces for sandwiches or 12 smaller pieces

    Pizza Dough (recipe follows), taken through the 3-hour rise
    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    Coarse sea salt (optional)
    Chopped fresh rosemary or another topping of your choice (optional recipes follow)

    After the dough has proofed for a minimum of 3 hours, put it on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle the oil over it, turning to coat. Then flatten and press the dough out into a rectangle (it won’t fill the pan entirely at this point). Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1½ hours in a warm place. When the dough has fully proofed, it will have absorbed some of the oil, will have stretched to fit the pan snugly, and will look alive, almost bubbling.

    Meanwhile, about an hour before the dough has finished proofing, preheat the oven to its highest setting.

    Using two fingers, make even indentations in rows up and down the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. At this point, you can just sprinkle it with some sea salt and, if you like, fresh rosemary leaves and bake it as directed (that is the version we use for our sandwiches) or you can use one of the toppings that follow. The choice is yours.

    Lemon, Pecorino, and Red Onion Topping

    Makes enough for 1 focaccia

    ½ pound young pecorino or Manchego, thinly shaved
    lemons, sliced into paper-thin rounds and seeds removed
    ½ red onion, very thinly sliced into rings
    Leaves from 1 rosemary sprig
    ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

    Scatter the pecorino over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Arrange the lemon slices evenly over the pecorino and follow with the onion slices. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top and season with the salt. Finish with a few good lashes of olive oil.

    Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan front to back and bake for about 15 minutes more, until the lemons and dough are golden brown. Remove the focaccia from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool for at least 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.

    Chris Bianco’s First Cookbook Is a Peek Inside the Mind of a Pizza Savant

    Bianco Pizza Dough

    This dough contains just four ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and salt. Let’s consider each one in turn. Before you make the dough for the first time, I want you to pour yourself a glass of the water you’ll be using and drink it. I want you to really taste it. It is going to rehydrate the flour, and its warmth will bring the yeast back to life. Ask yourself how salty it is, how sweet it is. Record your observations.

    Now think about the flour. What kind are you going to use? I like one that is high in protein, because it gives the finished crust a good chew. If you’re lucky enough to have a good mill near where you live, pay them a visit and ask them about their flour. The flour is the biggest single factor in the flavor of your dough, so it’s something that you don’t want to compromise on.

    Now the yeast. Yeast is life. Yeast is what makes bread different from everything else we eat. Here, for ease, I use active dry yeast. As you experiment, you may want to try fresh yeast, but active dry yeast will give you a good result.

    And last, salt. Salt is flavor. It’s rare to see someone muck up a bread with too much salt. If anything, I find a lot of bread is insipid because it lacks salt. Pick a fine, not coarse, salt you like.

    Makes enough for four 10-inch pizzas

    1 envelope active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
    2 cups warm water (105° to 110°F)
    5 to 5½ cups bread or other high-protein flour, preferably organic and freshly milled, plus more for dusting
    2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    Extra virgin olive oil, for greasing the bowl

    Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Give the yeast a stir to help dissolve it, and let it do its thing for 5 minutes. You’re giving it a little bit of a kick- start, giving it some room to activate, to breathe.

    When the yeast has dissolved, stir in 3 cups of the flour, mixing gently until smooth. You’re letting the flour marry the yeast. Slowly add 2 cups more flour, working it in gently. You should be able to smell the yeast working— that happy yeast- y smell. Add the salt. (If you add the salt earlier, it could inhibit the yeast’s growth.) If necessary, add up to ½ cup more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and get to work. Slap the dough onto the counter, pulling it toward you with one hand while pushing it away with the other, stretching it and folding it back on itself. Repeat the process until the dough is noticeably easier to handle, 10 to 15 times, then knead until it’s smooth and stretchy, soft, and still a little tacky. This should take about 10 minutes, but here, feel is everything. (One of the most invaluable tools I have in my kitchen is a plastic dough scraper. It costs next to nothing, and it allows me to make sure that no piece of dough is left behind.)

    Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a lightly greased big bowl. Roll the dough around to coat it with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, 2 to 2½ hours. When you press the fully proofed dough with your finger, the indentation should remain.

    Turn the proofed dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 4 pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and dust them with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for another hour, or until they have doubled in size.

    The dough is ready to be shaped, topped, and baked. If you don’t want to make 4 pizzas at a time, the dough balls can be wrapped well and refrigerated for up 8 hours or frozen for up to 3 weeks thaw in the refrigerator and let come to room temperature before proceeding.

    SHAPING PIZZA DOUGH

    Hold the top edge of a piece of dough with both hands, allowing the bottom edge to touch the work surface, and carefully move your hands around the edges to form a round of dough. You have to find your own style, but

    I usually just cup my hand into a C shape, turn my hand knuckle side up, and drape the dough off it, allowing gravity to do its work, so it gently falls onto the floured table. Imagine you’re turning a wheel. Hold that dough aloft, allowing its weight to stretch it into a rough 10-inch round. Don’t put any pressure on it by pulling or stretching it, just let gravity do the job— you want that aeration and cragginess. Keep it moving, and it will start to relax— like we relax when we are on a sofa.

    At this point, you’re ready to make a pizza. Lay the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel or inverted baking sheet. Gently press out the edges with your fingers. You will start to see some puffiness or bubbles now. Jerk the peel to make sure the dough is not sticking. If it is, lift the dough and dust the underside with a little flour (or, if no one is looking, blow under it very gently). Tuck and shape it until it’s a happy round.

    Top the pizza as per the instructions in any of the recipes that follow.

    PROOFING DOUGH

    In the Bianco Pizza Dough recipe, you proof the dough for 3 hours, then divide it into balls and let it proof for another hour before you bake it. It tastes good. No problems. But what happens if you proof it for 7 hours? What if you let it go for 24 hours? It will be different, and that difference might be more to your taste than the basic dough. At 3 hours for the first proof, you will have a dough that will brown more quickly than a dough that's proofed for 14 hours, because the yeast will not have converted as many of the sugars. The longer the dough proofs, and the more sugars are converted, the more it will have that alcoholic smell of fermentation, and the more the sour flavors will develop. Many people love those flavors—l ike a good sourdough bread— but here I don't necessarily want too many of them, because I don't want them to dominate the flavors of the pizza toppings. That said, there is no wrong way to go here. Make the dough a few times, following the recipe, until you feel comfortable. Then start to play with it. Determine how long a proof you like.

    Bear in mind that where you are in the world will also play its part. If you’re making the dough in Iceland, it's going to be different from making it in Phoenix. The climate is different, so it may need to proof for a little longer than 3 hours to start. Your water will be different, and it will affect the flavor of your dough. Never forget, we’re only dealing with four ingredients, and each one brings its own flavors and qualities to the pizza. So record the process as you go. Work with your sense of taste and your broader sensibility of the things you like. This basic dough recipe is only an early survey of a journey you get to finish yourself.

    From BIANCO by Chris Bianco. Copyright 2017 Chris Bianco. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


    Watch the video: Pizza Bianco with Rosemary u0026 Pancetta. Jamie Oliver (May 2022).