Pizza bianca is ubiquitous in Rome, being the number one snack food that Romans buy and eat. It takes more time to make pizza bianca than your standard pizza crust, but the texture you get as a result it well worth the wait. It's best when enjoyed warm, while still springy, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.
Pizza Bianca [Vegan]
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup water, arm to the touch
- 2 cups “00” type flour (the ideal flour for making pizza crust)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water, or as needed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing over the dough
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling over the dough
- Stir the yeast in 1/2 cup water and let it sit, to activate and foam.
- Combine flour and salt in a bowl, then add the yeast and olive oil.
- Begin mixing the dough, adding just enough water, as the flour would absorb.
- Turn the dough over to the counter and begin kneading, until it is elastic.
- Brush a little olive oil inside a bowl that is just large enough to hold the dough with enough room to allow it to rise. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let rise at room temperature, until it doubles in size.
- Punch the dough down and reform it into a ball. Return to the bowl, cover, and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight. If you really want to bake it now, you can, but the dough will develop more flavor if you give more time to rise.
- The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm up. Continue to let it rise at room temperature.
- Place a baking stone in the oven and heat it to its maximum temperature. For best results, the oven should be hot for at least 30 minutes before you bake the pizza bianca.
- When the dough has warmed, and doubled turn it over onto a lightly floured counter, cut it in half, but do not punch it down. You want to leave as much air in the dough as possible.
- Working with half of the dough at a time, poke the dough gently with your fingers, stretching it into a rectangle as you go. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- Cover the dough rectangles with plastic and a kitchen towel and let them rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax.
- Repeat poking and stretching the dough again, then brush each rectangle with a generous amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Pick up the dough with the parchment paper and slide it onto the hot baking stone in the oven.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden and crisp.
- Remove and let cool slightly before diving in.
- Pizza bianca is best eaten while still warm.