Guys, I’m gonna share a secret with you! It is something that I’ve been saving for a special occasion, and since I must redeem myself for long absence, it’s the right time to post this long-kept technique. I’m bringing you a real treat – my nonna’s pizza!
Nonna’s cooking is just the best. I can watch her cook something, write down the recipe, even detailed instructions, and in final I’ll like her version more than mine. I guess it’s just the years of experience (+ a little nonna’s magic).
One of those kinds of recipes was always pizza. Whenever nonna’s grandchildren come around for lunch, they chose pizza as main course. I can now say that pizza-lunches at nonna’s became some kind of a tradition of ours. Pizza toppings are usually simple – quattro formaggi style – the magic is in the dough. Neither too thick, neither too thin; perfect softness, with just a trace of crunch. It took a lot of time for me to make my own version, all the more because I decided to use wholewheat flour with the regular white flour.
The ingredients are simple; what really matters is the technique. If you’re making pizza for the first time, you are probably gonna need some time to perfect your dough. But I can tell you for certain that, after a few attempts, you’ll be makin’ those pizzas like a pro! 🙂
Ingredients for Nonna’s Pizza (for about 4 persons):
1 1/2 cup plain white flour
1 1/2 wholewheat flour
1 tps salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp olive oil
half a cube active yeast
In a bowl, sift the wholewheat and white flour. Add salt, sugar and olive oil. In a glass pour a little hot water and add yeast to it. Mix well until the yeast is fully dissolved. Then add the water with the yeast in the flour and begin to mix. In total, I used a little less than 1 cup of water for the dough – add small amount first and than, if necessary, add more (do not add cold water! Make sure it is at least lukewarm). Knead with your hands until the mixture is united. The dough should be soft, but not not sticky. If it sticks, you either added too much water (add in this case a little more flour), or you didn’t knead sufficiently. When you finally reach the desired softness and looks of the dough, cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise. I always take one (slightly larger) bowl that I previously filled with hot water, then put a bowl with the dough in it. Let the dough stand for about half an hour, or more if you have time – the longer, the tastier. After half an hour, knead the dough a little more. Then again let stand for at least an hour. Roll out to the desired shape, place in baking pan (if you are not in a hurry, you can let it rest for another 10-15 minutes for the dough to rise even more), add the toppings and bake for 12-17 minutes in a preheated oven at
220° C / 428° F.
As for the pizza toppings, everyone adds them in a different order, but I will share with you my own way. I chose my tomato puree to be of a thicker consistency, since I’ve learned it has the best flavor; I also noticed that, if you put cheese on tomato puree that is a bit more thin, it can often “swim” left to right when cutting (this happens if you put too much of the puree, too). Right after that, I put oregano – I noticed that oregano tastes better when “cooked” under the cheese (I also do not like to feel the pieces of dried oregano on top of the pizza). Next goes the cheese, and other ingredients to it. I usually put vegetables, mushrooms, etc. right after putting the cheese because it makes them roast just the way I like.
Everyone makes the pizza by their taste, but I hope that you’ll like this mixture of my nonna’s and mine pizza-style if you decide to try it 🙂
Quick tip: 1 cup ≈ 240 ml