Pinsa Romana (Ancient Roman-Style Pizza)
Pinsa Romana is a contemporary treatment of a classic pizza made in Ancient Rome. Stretched rather than rolled, it comes out a bit thicker than a modern pizza. Thanks to the use of a pre-ferment, our Trailblazer bread flour and our lower-protein Sequoia, this recipe produces a great texture with lots of air pockets. It crisps up nicely on the top but remains soft and spongy in the center. Yum!
BY: ELLE COWAN
Poolish 10 minutes Final dough 15 minutes
10 minutes per 1 pinsa
Poolish (* See Baker’s Notes below)
¾ cups (100g) Trailblazer flour
¼ cup (25g) Sequoia flour
½ cup (125g) water, warmed to 105-115°F
⅛ teaspoon (0.3g) instant dry yeast
3 cups (400g) Trailblazer flour
¾ cups (100g) Sequoia flour
1⅓ cups (300g) water, warmed to 105-115°F
1 cup (250g) poolish
1 tablespoon (15g) olive oil + more for the bowl
2¼ teaspoons (12.5g) salt
1 cup (170g) Fortissimo durum flour(semolina) (** see Baker’s Notes below)
Combine the two flours in a small bowl using a whisk.
In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine warm water and yeast. Whisk together to dissolve the yeast.
Add the mixed flours to the wet mixture and mix together using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined.
Cover with the plastic wrap and rest at room temperature overnight for 12 hours (*** see Baker’s Notes below).
Final dough instructions:
Combine the two flours in a medium bowl using a whisk.
Remove the plastic wrap from the poolish mixing bowl. The poolish should have doubled in size and small bubbles have formed in the dough.
Add warm water and olive oil and whisk to break up the poolish.
Add the mixed flours to the wet mixture in the bowl of the electric stand mixer and mix on medium speed using a dough hook.
Once the liquid is almost absorbed, add the salt and continue to mix on medium-high speed.
The dough will be quite strong and may require up to 10 minutes of mixing. It will climb the dough hook, so use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough hook clean and continue to mix until the dough is quite elastic but still a little sticky to the touch.
Prepare a large bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil.
LIghtly wet your bench or work surface with water.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place it onto the wet surface.
Using wet hands and a wet bench scraper, scrape under the dough rotating it to form a loose ball. Add more water if it continues to stick; if too wet, keep bringing the dough together, rotating it with one hand and holding the scraper in the other.
Once the dough is a uniform smooth texture, using wet hands, place the ball in the oiled bowl you prepared in step 7 above.
Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let bulk ferment for 3 hours or until doubled in size.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces about 260g each and preshape them into light rectangles.
Cover each piece with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 500°F with a pizza stone inside. If you are using a pizza oven you’ll need to prepare the oven well over an hour before you’re ready to cook the pizzas.
While the dough rests, prepare the ingredients you would like for your pizza including sauce, cheese, veggies or meats.
When the dough has rested, pour the durum flour on a countertop. Place one piece of dough onto the flour and begin to gently poke your fingers into the dough, spreading them a little to stretch the dough to about the size of your pizza stone or baking tray.
If the dough is not stretched enough but continues to contract, allow it to rest while you work on another piece of dough.
Once the dough is shaped and ready to be baked, place it on a pizza peel with enough durum flour on the bottom (**** See Baker’s Notes below).
Add toppings starting with sauce (or cheese if you’re making a white pizza) and followed by any other toppings of your choice.
If you’re using a pizza oven (wood-fired or gas-powered), see if the oven is at the right temperature.
Once you’re ready to bake, transfer the pizza from the pizza peel directly onto the pizza stone or pizza oven. Bake for about 8-10 minutes depending on your oven temperature (***** See Baker’s Notes below).
The pizza will be done once the crust begins to bubble and brown and the cheese is fully melted.
Repeat with remaining 3 pinsas. Cut and serve hot.
You are welcome to sauce and top your pizza in whichever way you like. This recipe works equally well with red or pesto sauce, or even “naked,” sauceless. Some of our preferred toppings are pepperoni, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, sweet Italian sausage, green peppers, anchovies, and many, many more. We invite you to find your “inner Italian” and get creative with your own flavors and textures. Just remember that Italians believe that “less is more,” so it may be wise to stick to about 4 ingredients at a time.
*What is a poolish? A poolish is generally equal parts water and flour with a small portion of yeast. It is also referred to as a sponge in some cases but should not be confused with a biga, which is a lower hydration pre-fermented dough that is much thicker than a poolish. A poolish is a pre-ferment used to create more flavor in the dough, further break down the gluten, and produce a softer final dough.
** We recommend Fortissimo durum flour, which is a great replacement for any semolina. In traditional Italian pizza recipes, semolina is usually used both to prevent the pizza dough from sticking to the peel and to make a more robust crust. While we love our Fortissimo, and suggest you use it, feel free to use whatever durum flour you have on hand, or even substitute with cornmeal or parchment paper.
*** Our recipe asks that you ferment for 12 hours, but feel free to extend up to 16 hours at room temperature, if you’d like.
**** You want the pizza to easily slide off of your peel so test it by moving it quickly back and forth to see if it will easily move off of the peel. Once you add the toppings it won’t be easy to transfer the ready-to-bake pizza to a pizza stone.
If you do not have a pizza oven or a pizza stone, we recommend using a parchment-lined sheet pan. You’re more than welcome to also leave the sheet pan in the oven and simply slide the parchment-lined pizzas on top. Because pinsas are much thicker than a traditional pizza crust, they are best cooked on a stone or pizza oven because of the extremely high heat on the bottom.
***** Wood-fired pizza ovens will vary in temperature, and you’ll need to rotate often to prevent one side from burning more than the other.