Pizza – naturally leavened pizza dough

Pizza with anchovies and mozzarella

Pizza is the universal food, you can have pizza almost everywhere in the world. What is the “original” pizza dough recipe though? There is no answer to this question, even in Italy you can get multiple (all different) answers. This recipe is then one out of the many possible ones.

The flour: it is a matter of fact that the flour selection is key to get a good pizza. I managed to get my hands on a batch of Caputo Blu flour. It is an Italian tipo 00 flour (tipo 00 indicates it’s milled incredibly fine) with about 12% of protein.

The process: I opted for a naturally leavened pizza dough. I could have used the fresh brewer’s yeast, but I find the naturally leavened pizza much easier to digest. Of course this way you prepare the pizza today, in the late afternoon and you bake it tomorrow at lunch time.

Ingredients (make 2 pizzas):

  • 360 gr Caputo Blu flour
  • 245 ml H2O
  • 7 gr barley malt flour
  • 10 gr of salt
  • 50 gr of rye starter (liquid, 100% hydration)

How to

Day one, 06:00 PM

Mix all the ingredients using a mixer (Kitchenaid or similar, with the dough hook) and mix for 4-5 minutes at speed one then 2-3 minutes at speed two.

Move the dough into a bowl for the fermentation phase. This phase it will last 2-2.5 hours. During the fermentation stretch and fold the dough 3 times, every 20-30 minutes or so. After the last stretch and fold let the dough rest until you reach the 2-2.5 hours limit.

Create a ball with the dough, using your hands, and put it in the bowl that you have lightly oiled with olive oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge until the morning.

Day two, 9:00 AM

Put the dough on the counter and divide it in 2 parts, having the same weight. Create 2 balls using your hands and make sure you create a tight surface.

Pizza dough

Put the 2 ball in two different bowls (lightly oiled) or in a rectangular bowl (make sure there is enough room to allow the dough to expand).

Cover the bowls and let the dough proof for at least 3 hours.

The time needed to complete this phase may vary, it depends on the room temperature. At 24-25 °C 3 hours should be ok.

Day two 11:00 AM

Preheat the oven for 1 hour. This is key. If you have a regular home electric oven, the max temperature would be max. 250-260 °C. This is not the perfect temperature for pizza, consider that the wood fired ovens can reach 450-500°C. Therefore is very important that the oven is preheated in order to keep the highest temperature possible while baking pizza. If available, you can use a baking stone, it helps keeping and transferring heat to the pizza dough.

While the oven is being preheated, start shaping the pizza. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and press the pizza dough on it with your hands from the center to the edges until you get a 25-28 cm dish. Try not to press the disc on the edges, to keep sort of a thick border (“cornicione” in Italian).

As for the topping, here it’s really up to you. In my pizza I have tomato sauce, mozzarella and anchovies.

Pizza with anchovies and mozzarella

Pizza with anchovies and mozzarella

Bake your pizza at 250°C for 7-8 minutes. The baking time really depends on your oven. Keep constantly an eye on your pizza.

Mine turned out quite good. Happy baking.




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