Ultimate PizzaThanksgiving is a great time to look back at the year and find reasons to be genuinely thankful. I feel tremendously lucky to have the family I do, and bonding with them and breaking bread doesn’t always need to revolve around a holiday. While I host several festive gatherings at Chez Roach every year, it’s nice to take a break from hosting and head out to the country. There’s a special tradition at my Uncle and Zia’s farmhouse, each summer we meet at their beautifully restored 1800’s farmhouse to create something impossible almost replicate, a proper Neapolitan style pizza.
Pinched from Lievitazione per Tutti (which loosely translates to Leavens for All), my Zia says this recipe is il migliore, and I can attest to that fact. Italian customs mandate that you eat until you’re full, and then keep eating, another thing I can attest to!
This recipe requires 24 hours to have the yeast work it’s magic, so make ahead for the best pizza this side of Naples. Bonus points if you have an actual wood burning oven, but a Big Green Egg can also do the trick. Toppings are a personal choice, but if you wanna be legit, ditch the pepperoni and stick to evoo, fior di latte, San Marzano tomato sauce and whatever fresh veggies you have sprouting out of the ground. Zia keeps a tidy garden with zucchini blossoms, cherry tomatoes, onions, pumpkins, squash, peppers of all colours and spiciness and of course, herbs.
300 gram Pasini Reinforced W250, or 00 flour
215 ml of water- ideal dough temperature is room temp 20 °
2 tsp of salt
YEAST 1 gram, 1/2 gr. if dehydrated
First mix all the ingredients and then do the first fold after 12 hours. Second fold is at the 8 hour mark, and last fold is at and roll out is at the 24th hour. She keeps it a bit more casual, the very Italian way and measures the readiness with her trained eye (and hands). Leave it in a cool dry place, or in this case, she used the cellar/cold storage of the farm.
A wood burning oven will reach temps of up to 800-900 °, so your pie will cook to blistery perfection in under three minutes. Rotate around to ensure even crispiness. True to tradition, my uncle ‘cleans’ the oven between pies with a bundle of dried leaves, as Biggie says, wreck it buy a new one!
Hope you’re thankful and well fed this Thanksgiving!