Pizza is by far my favorite food, so when we were in Italy earlier this year you can bet I ate a lot of it. While we were in Rome, we discovered Pizza al Taglio. The bread of the pizza is thicker, similar to focaccia, and it is baked on a sheet pan to get a super crispy crust. It is then cut into rectangles. I fell in love immediately and set out to try and figure out how to make it. After a lot of trial and error, I figured out a recipe and technique that is close enough. This is now my go-to pizza dough for our Friday night pizza parties. It’s easy to work with and turns out perfect nearly every time. I’m always amazed at how much it puffs up in the oven! Go out of your way to find the Italian Tipo 00 flour – it makes a difference.
3 1/2 – 4 cups (500 gr) Tipo 00 flour or bread flour (I get the AnnA brand at Harmon’s – this should be about 1/2 of a 1-kilo bag)
1 1/2 cups (350 gr) water
1 1/2 tsp (3.5 gr) yeast
2 tsp (10 gr) salt
2 Tbsp (20 gr) Olive Oil
Get started about 24 hours before you want to eat your pizza! You’ll want to let it sit overnight.
In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the flour, water, and yeast until it is just combined. Then, add the salt and oil and mix together (probably with your hands at this point) until you have a wet dough.
Dump out your dough onto a floured board and fold it in half. Rotate it a quarter turn, then fold it in half again. Repeat this process a few times and then return it to the bowl. Let the dough sit, undisturbed, for about 15 minutes. Repeat this process three or four times until you have a pretty smooth dough. Don’t knead the dough. The magic of this recipe is how little you actually handle it.
Oil a half-size baking tray with olive oil and place your dough in the center. Shape it into a rectangle. Cover the baking tray with saran wrap that is sprayed with cooking spray (so the dough doesn’t stick) and put it in the refrigerator for about a full day – 20 to 24 hours.
About an hour or two before you’re ready to start making the pizza, take your dough and place it on the counter. Let it come up to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 450F. If you have a baking stone, place it in the bottom of the oven. This will help get the crispy bottom you’re looking for.
Once the dough has come up to room temperature, brush olive oil on your plan (including under the dough) and then use the tips of your fingers to lightly press the dough out until it covers the entire sheet pan. The goal is to expand the dough without pressing out all the air. It ends up really looking like focaccia bread. At this point, I like to brush on a bit of olive oil.
Top your pizza as you’d wish and bake it in the oven on the pizza stone for about 15 minutes, or until the bottom is crisp and the top is lightly browned. Enjoy!
Keep folding and rotating the dough on a lightly floured board. No need to knead!