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Pizza Bianca

September 13, 2011

This just might be the most delicious bread that I’ve made.  It freezes well too. This is another long rise bread from My Bread, so you need to start it pretty far in advance.  You’ll also need a pizza stone and pizza peel…although some upside down baking sheets might work in a pinch…

3 cups bread flour

¼ tsp instant dry yeast

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp sugar

1 ½ cups cool water

¼ olive oil

½ tsp sea salt

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed (thyme is a good substitute)

Sir the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl and add the water. Stir to get a wet, sticky dough.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature 9 to 12 hours, until doubled and the surface is covered with little bubbles.  Generously dust a work surface with flour and scrape the dough out in one piece. With floured hands, fold the dough over itself a few times to get it into a loose, rather flat ball. Brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Put it in a warm, draft-free spot and let it rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven with a pizza stone in the center to 500 degrees F about 30 minutes before baking. Generously dust a pizza peel with flour and put the ball of dough in the middle.  Spread it out with your fingers while making dimples in the dough (don’t puncture the dough) until it is spread across the peel (about 12 inches across if you have a big enough peel and stone).  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.

Give the peel a little tug to make sure that the dough will slide off when you try to put it in the oven (add more flour underneath if needed).  Shake the pizza onto the baking stone (this takes practice and will probably make a mess the first few times…the bread will still taste great though!) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the top is golden brown, but still pale in the dimples. Use the peel to get the pizza out of the oven and let it cool on a rack for a few minutes.  Slice and enjoy, perhaps while imagining that you are sitting in Rome outside the Forno Campo de’ Fiori.

Also, for a fun and unusual variation try adding raisins and grapes.

Sweet Raisin and Grape Pizza

Add 1 heaping Tbsp raisins to the dough before folding it over (after the initial rise). Sprinkle the dough with coarse sugar instead of sea salt, and when you stretch the dough out on the peel, spread a few cups of small stemmed champagne grapes over the dough, pressing them into the dough as you spread it out.  Sprinkle with 2 tsp anise seeds and sugar.

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From → Breads

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