Friday 12 February 2016

Bufalina homemade pizza

30 minutes to prepare  Serves 4

L'oro di Napoli

I can make a great homemade bufalina pizza, but it took me a while to learn how. Or better - I can make a great homemade bufalina pizza, but it took me a while to find the right teacher.
For few months, since the beginning of our stay in Germany, I didn't know where to seek for guidance: I just knew I wanted pizza the way I'd enjoyed it in Italy.

I was already aware that bad dough determines bad pizza. But understanding how to solve the problem was not as easy as it may sound. A little yeast here, a lot of yeast there, this flour, that flour, high baking temperature, lower baking temperature...all the attempts ended with huge failures.

Then I was given a hint. A gift, really.
One day I found out that an Italian colleague of mine had followed a bread making course, and my curiosity was piqued. Sure enough, he knew exactly how to make just the sort of pizza I was trying to prepare. His dough is rooted in a overnight-fermentation method, the result is absolutely majestic.

If you like to wait until the last minute to make pizza dough, you are out of luck here. The key is the long fermentation. You end up with a golden, beautiful crust with the perfect amount of crunch and subtle yeasty undertones.
Then you are free to play around with the toppings. However, I would suggest you to take it easy with the toppings.
My favorite is a simple bufalina pizza with tomato sauce, chopped basil leaves, buffalo's milk mozzarella slices, and fresh tomatoes. When the pizza comes out of the oven, I pour a tiny drizzle of EVO oil on top, and season with a bit of basil cut into a chiffonade.

Give this homemade pizza a try. It is not a matter of difficulty, it is just a matter of patience.

Here are ingredients for a 4-serving recipe (4 pizzas):

For the dough

600 g flour 00
30 g sugar
6 g brewer's yeast
390 ml water
10 g salt

For the seasoning

500 g buffalo mozzarella
400 g tomato passata
10 basil leaves
EVO oil

  1. Pour the water into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the salt, yeast, and sugar and stir well to combine
  2. Add the flour and mix until uniformly moist. Knead if necessary
  3. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 12 hours at room temperature
  4. After this time has passed, divide the dough into 4 balls and refrigerate them, loosely covered, for other 12 hours before using
  5. When you are ready to bake the pizzas, take the dough out of the fridge, leaving at least 1 hour anh half for it to warm up and get pliable
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce: pour the tomato passata in a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of EVO oil and a pinch of salt. Wash and chop the basil leaves, then add them to the sauce, too. Stir to mix
  7. Cut buffalo mozzarella into thin slices and place it in a colander to drain
  8. Cut fresh tomatoes into 4 pieces, remove the seeds and place them in the colander, too
  9. Preheat oven to 270°C (or, better, as far as oven temperatures go)
  10. Generously dust the counter with semolina flour. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands in flour and lift a ball of dough. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss
  11. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 25 cm in diameter), lay it on the baking tray covered by baking paper
  12. Lightly top it with the tomato sauce and sprinkle the pieces of fresh tomatoes over
  13. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes. If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the baking tray to a lower self before the next round
  14. When the crust of the pizza is golden - it means that the pizza is almost ready -, add the slices of buffalo mozzarella on top. Let mozzarella to melt for a couple of minutes
  15. Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a wooden cutting board. Wait 2 minutes before serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.
    This is what we call pizza, you are very welcome!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

"Vinit vinit ca s' magn e non s' pav* "
(Sophia Loren, Pizze a credito episode of the movie L'oro di Napoli by Vittorio de Sica)

* Come, come, here you eat and you don't pay

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