Pizza bianca (with mortadella): the original recipe

As Neaples is worldwide known for its plated, round Pizza Margherita (with tomatoes and mozzarella), Rome specialty is Pizza Bianca: salty, oily white pizza to be eaten by the slice, plain or filled with mortadella or, in the summertime, with ham and figs. It sounds odd but it’s delicious!

It takes a little while to make it at home but it’s definitely worth it, imagine you don’t have to knead.

 

Ingredients

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  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 15g fresh yeast (or 5 gr dry active yeast)
  • 250g water at room temperature
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10g salt

  • For the salamoia
  • 65g water at room temperature
  • 65g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 25g salt

Preparation

To make the salamoia, whisk all the ingredients together with a fork or in a blender until emulsified.
Melt the yeast in the water. In a bowl mix together flour and salt, then add the yeasted water and the olive oil until a dough is formed. You must be able to stir it with a spoon, so you may need to add a bit of water. Rub the surface with a little oil and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.
Cover a baking tray with baking paper and transfer the dough (which will stay VERY smooth) to it, then rub a little more oil on the top and leave for another 10 minutes.
After that, with your fingers and starting at the center of the dough, gently spread it upwards and downwards. Be careful not to break the bubbles in the dough, so be light!
Leave for 40 minutes, during which time the dough will double in size.
With your fingertips, make deep dimples in the dough. Whisk the salamoia again, then pour half it over the surface and into all of the holes.
Bake it in a 220°C/425°F/GAS mark 7 for 15 minutes, then spread on it the rest of the salamoia and keep cooking for another 20 minutes, or until golden.

Let it cool on a wire rack.