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Classic white pizza

This could be one of the simplest and most difficult pizzas to pull off. Two things are key. The first? High-quality ingredients, especially the ricotta, but also mozzarella, garlic, olive oil, and Parm. The second is topping balance.

YIELDS
1

Ingredients

  • 1 (250-g) Thin and Crispy dough ball (page 63)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 55 grams (about 2 ounces) fresh mozzarella
  • 28 grams (about 1 ounce) ricotta (fresh hand-dipped strongly recommended)
  • 25 grams (about 1 ounce) Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) extra-virgin olive oil, in a squeeze bottle
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch chile flakes

Thin and crispy pizza dough:

  • 500 grams high-protein bread flour
  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams (about 1 ounce) sea salt
  • 600 grams (2-1/2 cups) water, at 72°F (22°C)
  • 150 grams (about 5 ounces) starter (3 to 5 hours after feeding it at room temperature)
  • 5 grams cake or fresh yeast (or 1.58 grams instant yeast)*
  • 80 grams (5-3/4 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the container

Directions

Classic white pizza:

  1. Preheat the oven with pizza stones to your oven’s highest temperature setting (usually 550°F/288°C).
  2. Stretch out the dough according to the Thin and Crispy method (see page 38).
  3. Cover dough with the garlic, a piece every few inches, starting from the outside and working your way in.
  4. Using your fingers, tear off quarter- sized chunks of mozzarella and top directly onto the pizza, leaving about 3/4 inch (two centimeters) between each piece.
  5. Using a piping bag, squeeze small coin sized dollops of ricotta between pieces of mozzarella on the dough, starting from the outside in. There should be some room between the ricotta and mozzarella.
  6. Dust with half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Carefully staying away from the outer two inches (five centimeters) of the dough’s edge, using a squeeze bottle, drizzle the pizza with the olive oil in a spiral starting from two inches (five centimeters) from the edge toward the center.
  7. Bake the pizza directly on the pizza stone for 5-1/2 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned, checking the bottom and rotating it halfway through for an evenly colored crust.
  8. Finish with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and some black pepper, cut the pizza into six slices, and top with the chile flakes.

Thin and crispy dough:

  1. Weigh all the ingredients in separate containers. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt and mix thoroughly with clean hands.
  2. In another large mixing bowl, combine the water, starter, and yeast.
  3. Create a crater in the flour and pour the liquid mixture into the center. Begin mixing with your dominant hand. Start in the center of the bowl and mix in a clockwise fashion until the dough comes together in a ball and the bowl is clean. After it has just come together, add the olive oil and mix until fully combined. Stop mixing and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover the dough and mix by stretching and folding the dough onto itself for five minutes.
  5. Lightly oil a large container. Add the dough and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest for two hours at room temperature. Then gently fold the dough into itself. Rewrap and let sit at room temperature for about three hours.
  6. Remove the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and, using a dough cutter and scale, portion it into 250-gram dough balls. Form each dough into a tight ball by folding it in on itself, being careful to handle the ball quickly and gently to not transfer much heat.
  7. Place the balls on a lightly floured 13-by-18-inch (33-by-46-cm) baking sheet. Lightly flour the surface of the dough balls and cover them with plastic wrap. Proof at room temperature for five hours or until the balls double in size. At this point you can use them or transfer to the refrigerator and rest for up to 48 hours.

Recipe and image excerpted from Pizza Czar: Recipes and Know-How from a World-Traveling Pizza Chef by Anthony Falco. Abrams Books, 2021. Photographs copyright 2021 by Evan Sung, Molly Tavoletti, and Anthony Falco.


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