Hands up who doesn't love pizza! I bet no one raised his/her hand … let's face it, it's impossible not to love pizza, and not just 'cause I'm Italian, but 'cause I'm a human being with stomach and taste buds.

Pizza is one of the wonders of the world, one of those things that everybody love, since it's incredibly versatile. This has always been my thought, but I've had further confirmation since I discovered Gabriele Bonci's pizza (discovered through my ​​friend Elisa, aka Kitty's Kitchen), a famous Roman pizza maker, whose pizza is now a true legend. Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of tasting his pizza, yet, but I plan to do that the next time I'll go to Rome (maybe sooner than later).

However, thanks to some excellent videos I found on Dissapore web site and thanks to the advices of some fellow food bloggers, I was able to try and make His pizza, and the fact that I never tasted the original one could be an advantage… so I can't tell the differences. Having said that, I simply fell in love with this pizza, very hydrated (as you'll see, it contains a very high percentage of water), very well leavened (very slowly) and very, very light. So you won't feel guilty when you'll eat a slice more … and believe me, you will definitely do that, don't fight it!

But do as I did, throw a nice pizza party, so you can share the guilt.
My pizza party is also featured in this month 24×24 on Foodbuzz.

PIZZA PARTY!
(with these doses I made 5 pizzas. I fed 8 people)

Ingredients

* 1,2 kg 00 flour

* 300 g wheat meat (I used this one, but you could also use spelt flour, for example), which absorbs more water, and this makes your pizza very hydrated

* 1,2 kg cold water

* 10,5 g dry brewer's yeast

* 60 g extra-virgin olive oil

*30 g salt

Procedure

First thing to know about this pizza: pizza dough should be prepared approximately 28 hours before making and eating pizza!

Put in a large bowl the two types of flour and start adding water, stirring with a fork; then add the yeast and knead well with your hands. Keep adding water (all of it) and knead: the dough at this stage must be ragged. Add oil and salt and knead again; then put the dough in a small oiled bowl.
Here the video where you can see the Master kneading.

Now it  begins the most important phase, the "regeneration" one (I call them "refreshments"): in fact, the dough must be refreshed from 3 to 5 times, always waiting 10 minutes between one another. The refreshment is done by reversing the dough on a floured surface, folding it and then rotating it through 90 degrees, making sure that the fold is vertical in front of you; after every refreshment, put the dough in an oiled bowl, and repeat the same process after 10 minutes. Here you can see the whole refreshments process run by Gabriele Bonci (of course my 5th regeneration wasn't artistic at all).

After this fundamental stage, put the dough in a container, cover it with plastic wrap (or put the dough in an airtight container) and leave it to rise in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then, pull out of the refrigerator and let it rise at room temperature for another 3 to 4 hours before making pizza.
Below you can see all this process through my dough.

 

Once you have your leavened dough, divide it into parts, so that it will be easier to roll out your pizzas. With these doses I made 2 large baking pans, 1 stuffed pizza, 1 pizza Margherita and, with the "dough leftover" a little schiacciata: you have to make two bigger balls of dough (they cover about 2/3 of the dough) and 4 smaller ones (3 about the same size and a "leftover" one).

Let's take a look at the rolling out phase, and then we'll focus on the pizzas I chose to make. Here you can se how to roll out the pizza: oil the pan, then place the dough on a floured surface and begin to press the edges, then move to the center; then  turn the dough upside down and continue to roll out gently (but not too much) the dough with your fingertips. When the dough has the right size, lean it on your forearm (don't take it with your hands) and place it in the pan, continuing to rolling it out, until the dough takes the shape of your pan perfectly.

Warning: this is to make a "normal" pizza, but my two bigger pizzas are "upside down" ones, in which the dough is the last thing you have to place in the pan.

Now that you know how to roll this pizza out, I'll share my pizzas with you, starting from the upside down ones: in fact, you put the dressing first and then the dough, so that the dough cooks perfectly even in a domestic oven, very different from the professional ones. In this way, however, your pizzas will come out just perfect.
 

UPSIDE DOWN PIZZA WITH LEEK AND POTATOES
( from Kitty's Kitchen, but I replaced onions with leeks)

 

Ingredients (for topping)

* 2 medium size potatoes

* 1 large leek

* salt

* Ground black pepper

* Extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure

Boil the potatoes, let them cool down and then peel them. Cover a baking pan with parchment paper, then put some salt, a drizzle of oil, then the leek, cut into thin rings. Above the leek layer, spread a layer of mashed potatoes, season with salt, ground black pepper and a drizzle of oil. Then, place the pizza dough on top. Bake in a preheated oven (maximum temperature) for 20 to 25 minutes, then pull out of the oven and turn the pizza upside down on a cutting board. Cut your pizza with scissors, to respect the alveolus .. and here it is the result.

 

UPSIDE DOWN PIZZA WITH TROPEA ONION

 

Ingredients (for topping)

* 2 large Tropea onions

* extra-virgin olive oil

* salt

Procedure identical to the previous one.

 

PIZZA MARGHERITA

 

Ingredients

* about 150g of chopped canned tomatoes

* extra-virgin olive oil

* about 100 g of mozzarella, shredded with hands

* oregano

* olive taggiasche (or black olives)

Procedure

Roll out the dough into the pan (as showed above), then sprinkle tomatoes with your hands and put a drizzle of oil. Bake in a preheated oven (maximum temperature) for about 15 minutes (check it: the dough must be cooked), then remove from oven, add mozzarella, oregano and olives, and put your pizza in the oven for a few more minutes, so that the cheese melts, but doesn't burn. Pull it out of the oven, cut (with scissors) and enjoy!

 

STUFFED PIZZA, WITH STRACCHINO AND PROSCIUTTO CRUDO

 

Ingredients

* 100 g prosciutto crudo

* 100 g stracchino or crescenza

* extra-virgin olive oil

Procedure

Roll out the dough and place it in a oiled baking pan; then oil the dough's surface and superimpose a second layer of pizza dough, pressing the edges (not too much). Oil the second dough's surface and riddle it with holes made with a spoon. Then bake in a preheated oven (maximum temperature) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pizza is cooked. Remove from the oven, separate the two layers (it's super easy) and then stuff with whatever you want: I chose stracchino and prosciutto crudo (but, on another occasion, I used robiola and bresaola), finishing with a drizzle of olive oil and then closing this big pizza "sandwich". Cut with scissors and enjoy! If you have any doubts, here, from minute 1:34, you can see the Master making it.

 

SCHIACCIATA WITH STRACCHINO AND OLIVES PASTE

 

Ingredients

* 100 g stracchino

* 50 g black olives paste (for me hand-made one)

Procedure

Roll out the dough quite thin (I did out of necessity: it came from the smallest ball of dough) and place it in a baking pan previously oiled, then season the surface with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven (maximum temperature) for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked and crunchy. Remove from the oven, and garnish with stracchino and olives paste (or whatever you want). Enjoy it piping hot.

 

FARINATA (chickpeas flat bread)

 

Ingredients

* 250 g chickpea flour

* about 400 ml of water (it goes to the eye, really)

* salt

* extra-virgin olive oil

* Ground black pepper (optional)

* Rosemary (optional)

Procedure

In a bowl, mix the chickpea flour and salt. Stirring with a spoon, start adding water: consider that you may need a larger amount than 400 ml. The mixture, in fact, should be very soft, but not liquid. Then add plenty of extra virgin olive oil and let the mixture rest for at least 2 to 3 hours.
Stir the mixture again, then oil two baking sheets and pour the mixture in, finishing with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (be careful that the oil doesn't "make a hole" in the mixture). Bake in a preheated oven (maximum temperature) for about 10 minutes, or until it's cooked (but don't let it dry out too much). If you want to, garnish with some rosemary sprigs during cooking, as soon as the farinata starts to solidify; otherwise, leave it plain and let your guests decide if garnish it with freshly ground black pepper (a true classic) or not.
This homemade farinata is different from the one you could eat in a pizzeria (because of the difference between domestic and professional ovens), but it's a good home-made alternative.

I know that this post is so long and maybe more boring than the usual ones, but I hope it will be useful to throw a great pizza party with your friends without losing your head and I hope I gave you some new ideas.

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