Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pizza with Kale and Ricotta Salata

This post is dedicated to my cousin Manuela, who found a new passion for bread and pizza, could it be that she is nesting?

Italians breathe pizza, this simple dish is so integral to our culture that we can't live without it. The best pizza I ever tasted was made in Naples, in a tiny hole in the wall, no wonder pizza napoletana is so well known. When I moved to the States I pretty much gave up on the idea of eating pizza since the versions I tried were a sad counterpart to the thin and crispy original. They were loaded with cheese and vegetables, the crust too thick and soggy. I started making pizza at home, but couldn't find a recipe that worked until I did an internship at the renown restaurant Chez Panisse. The pizza there was phenomenal, I wanted the recipe! Since I started using the following recipe I never looked back, it is delicious. Sadly, I can't eat pizza any longer since going gluten free, but I still make it at least once a month because of the joy it gives me to see people eat it.

Pizza Dough
from Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

2 tsp dry yeast (10 gr)
3/4 cup lukewarm water (180 ml)
2/3 cup bread flour (100 gr)

Dry ingredients:
4 cups all purpose flour (560gr)
1/4 cup rye flour (35 gr)
1 tsp salt (1o gr)

1/3 Cup EVOO (75 ml)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of water and stir in the 2/3 cup of bread flour. Cover with 1 cup of the dry ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes. After the sponge is nice and bubbly, add 1 cup of lukewarm water (225 ml), and mix well. Cover with the rest of the dry ingredients and let sit for another 30 minutes.

The sponge is ready!

Add the olive oil and mix for 5 minutes, or until the dough passes the window pane test. The dough should feel soft, slightly sticky. A soft and moist dough makes the best pizza.

Window pane test, gluten has developed.

Let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place for 2 hours. To develop a better flavor, the dough can be left to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Punch down the dough and divide it in portions of 7 ounces for medium pizzas. Shape each piece in a tight round. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for an hour before shaping and baking. Individual rounds can be frozen and thawed overnight. Makes enough for 5 medium pizzas. Bake at 450F.

I normally make Pizza Margherita with tomato sauce (chopped tomatoes from a can, pureed and reduced on the stove), mozzarella, drizzled olive oil, some basil or oregano, super simple. The latest version I was inspired to make is a pizza bianca with kale and ricotta salata, in which I halved the mozzarella and added ricotta salata and some sauteed kale, delicious! To make it spicy add some chili flakes.

Buon Appetito!


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A splendid pizza! So mouthwatering.



Manusealion said...

Grazie grazie !!! provo questo weekend, ma ti faro' qualche domanda (i termini americani mi fanno impazzire....)

German said...

Great recipe, i used to buy kale for make a stew or a mash potatoes with kale, but always i have a lot of kale leftovers, thius recipe i just perfect

Simona said...

Pizza with kale and ricotta salata sounds really good. I have never added rye flour to pizza dough: I'll definitely give it a try.

Manusealion said...

Done this weekend !! This pizza base receipt is a bomb :-)
Nice and crunchy.... I used a bit of semola instead of the rye flour and more water, but it looks like it worked good anyway .... GRAZIE :-)

Laura said...

German, I hope you try this pizza, it is so light and it feel really healthy.

Simona, fammi sapere se la provi.

Manu, I am happy that you liked this recipe. Once I found it I never looked back for another one.


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