ROMAN PIZZA RECIPE (Pizza in Pala)
Roman Pizza is the heavenly scented pizza by the slice you see all over Rome. Although in your travels you may have devoured a piece in seconds thanks to the irresistible aroma and lightness of the dough, the effort behind every slice, is more like a work of art!
Created using a starter, pizza champion Marco Moresco, teaches us the step by step process to mastering this light and crispy dough by the metre!
Follow along and recreate the flavours of Italy thanks to Le 5 Stagioni flour varieties…you will be drooling for more of this one!
How to Make ROMAN PIZZA (Pizza in Pala) like a Pro
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BIGA/STARTER:
1.5kg/10.5 cups Le 5 Stagioni Ciabatta Romana Flour (Or plain 00 flour)
900ml/3.8 cups water
10g dry yeast
INGREDIENTS FOR THE ROMAN PIZZA DOUGH:
Biga (once proven)
500g/3.5 cups Le 5 Stagioni Whole Wheat Mora Flour
600ml/2.53 cups water
40g/8 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (+ extra for focaccia)
2g/0.07oz dry yeast
40g rock salt (+ extra for focaccia)
Fior di latte mozzarella
Large mixing bowl
Table or bench space
Deep, long tray
Deep plastic containers (with lids)
Plastic film (Glad Wrap)
Stand mixer with flat beater (Do not use the hook utensil)
STEP ONE: HOW TO MAKE THE BIGA/STARTER
- Roman pizza, also known as Pizza in pala requires biga/starter to make the perfect slice, so this is the all-important starting point!
- Add 1.5kg Le 5 Stagioni Ciabatta Romana Flour to a mixing bowl along with 10g dry yeast.
- Slowly start to add the water and incorporate it into the dry ingredients.
- Mix using your hands and turn the bowl as you go, adding back in any dry pieces that fall off the main dough ball.
- The process of incorporating biga into this recipe makes it easier to digest as there is much more air in the dough.
- Keep mixing and adding the water until everything has combined really well.
- Put the biga into a deep container, covering it with a lid so that no air can get inside and leave it to prove for 24hr.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Use a deep container so that the biga has room to grow. It will rise quite a lot in 24hr!
- Once the biga has proven for 24hr, it’s time to feed it!
- Using a stand mixer (or commercial spiral mixer), place the biga inside and start to mix it really slowly, as it spins around, sprinkle some water into it every 30 seconds or so to keep it hydrated.
- The mixing time will take between 10-15 minutes depending on your utensil – but be patient, it is a very important step!
- Clean your stand mixer and get ready for the next step!
HOW TO MAKE THE ROMAN PIZZA DOUGH:
- Add 500g whole wheat flour to the stand mixer along with the dry yeast and then add the biga by breaking it up into pieces before putting it in the bowl.
- Add half of the water (300ml/1.25 cups) to the mixture along with 40g rock salt and leave to mix on the slowest setting.
- As the flour incorporates, add the water a small amount at a time by sprinkling it inside, while it continues to mix.
- Do this until you finish the rest of the water.
- If the dough is too sticky and breaks easily when you pull at it, add more water and continue mixing slowly.
- Once the water has dissolved completely you can also check the progress of the dough by measuring its temperature.
- Once the roman pizza dough is 24°C/75.2°F, it is ready!
- Next, pour the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) into the mixture and again, combine until dissolved.
- At this point, turn the mixer off, wet your hands and slowly remove the dough from the mixer bowl, placing it into a deep container once again but this time by breaking it into pieces.
- Cover the container and leave to prove for at least 1hr or until it doubles in size.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Put a mark on your container to show where the dough fills up to before it has proved so you can compare the size after 1 hour.
HOW TO CREATE THE ROMAN PIZZA DOUGH BALLS:
- Once proved, the dough is ready to be made into roman pizza dough portions!
- Pour a generous amount of semolina flour into a deep tray and place the dough on top.
- Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut portions of the dough and place it on the scale, until you reach at least 600g/21.2oz. This amount will create a 1/2metre pizza in pala!
- Once you have the desired portion, place it on a bench with flour and shape it by pinching each part of it from the bottom up into the centre, until it creates a ball like shape, then flip it over and shape it using both hands, making an oval-like form.
- Place the roman pizza dough portions into a large tray (or simply on your bench) lined with semolina and cover them with either a lid or a cloth.
- Leave this to prove for another hour, or until they reach 3 x the size.
HOW TO STRETCH THE ROMAN PIZZA:
- Put another generous amount of semolina flour on the bench or your board so that it takes the same amount of width and length of the container of your dough (if using the bench to prove, just take up the same amount of space next to it).
- Flip the container over, letting the dough portions drop into the semolina. (If using your bench, simply pick up each portion and turn it around and onto the flour).
- Place one of the balls onto a separate surface already lined with semolina and sprinkle some more on top!
- Massage the roman pizza dough by pressing your fingers gently into the dough and stretching it out.
- Sprinkle just a touch of semolina onto a pizza pale and place the dough on top. Stretch and shape it at this point, until it is around half a meter (or a meter if you made a larger potion)
- Using a knife, pierce holes into the dough to stop it from continuing to prove in the hot oven.
HOW TO MAKE A FOCACCIA STYLE ROMAN PIZZA:
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pizza and place it in the oven at 250-300°C/452-572°F.
- Turn the pizza every so often and let it cook until it turns a beautiful golden brown.
- Remove it from the oven and sprinkle some rock salt on top, along with fresh rosemary. Cut up and serve!
HOW TO MAKE A CLASSIC MARGHERITA ROMAN PIZZA:
- Follow the steps to 33, then dust off any excess semolina and spread tomato sauce on top.
- Parbake the pizza in pala base at 250-300°C/452-572°F for 1-1.5 minutes.
- Remove it from the oven and add sliced fior di latte mozzarella before putting the pizza back into the oven and cooking for an additional 1-1.5 min.
- Remove the pizza and add fresh basil, EVOO before you cut and serve.
VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: You can even parbake the dough plain, and place it in the fridge or freezer once cooled to save it and finish cooking it another day. At this point more than half the work is already done!
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!!!
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