∙ Gorgonzola, potato & radicchio pizza bianca
makes 6 balls of dough (250g each) | prep 1 1⁄4 hours (+ 17 hours resting, rising & chilling time)
1kg (6 2⁄3 cups) unbleached, stoneground whole-wheat flour or strong bread flour 550ml water, at room temperature 2g dried (powdered) yeast 20g sea salt 30ml extra virgin olive oil
1 Place flour and 500ml (2 cups) water in a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Begin mixing on low speed and keep mixing until the flour has absorbed the water but is not smooth. This should take 3-4 minutes. Rest the dough in the bowl for 15-20 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in remaining water. Once the dough has rested, turn the mixer on to medium and add the dissolved yeast. Mix for 2 minutes, then add the salt. Mix for 2 minutes, then add the olive oil. Keep mixing until the dough is shiny and homogenous, about 6 minutes. Turn the speed up a little and mix for 2 minutes more. 3 To check the elasticity is right, stretch a piece of dough – if it forms a strong, transparent membrane without breaking (similar to blowing a bubble with gum), it’s ready. Rest the dough, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes in winter or 15 minutes in summer. It is then ready to be shaped.
shaping dough into balls 1 Use a pastry scraper or large sharp knife to cut off about a third of the dough from the edge. Hold the piece of dough at one end and, using both hands, form a ball by tucking the folds under so the top surface is taut and smooth. When the ball is about 200-250g, pinch the dough underneath to separate it from the rest of the piece. Repeat this procedure to make 6 balls. 2 Roll each ball gently on the work surface to make it even and round. 3 Place balls on a non-stick tray with a cover. Make sure there’s at least one ball width between each ball and the edges of the tray, and that the balls don’t touch the cover. Spray the balls with a fine mist of water to hydrate them. Let them rise for 1 hour at 20-24°C, then place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The balls can stay in the fridge at around 4-5°C for up to 3 days.
shaping dough into bases 1 Once the dough balls have matured and tripled in size, remove from the fridge and leave at ambient temperature for 3-4 hours (less in summer and more in winter) before forming the bases. Choose the dough ball to be used and lightly sprinkle some flour over the top and along the edges where it touches the surrounding balls. Use a pastry scraper or knife to separate the dough ball from its neighbours. 2 Lift the dough ball from the tray and turn it bottom-side-up, revealing the bubbles. Place the ball, still bottom-side-up, on a small mound of flour and turn it over in the flour so that both sides are covered. 3 Begin by using your fingers to form the cornice (border) and push the dough out, making the circle larger (see pic A). Once the circle has doubled in circumference, remove it from the flour and place on the work surface. 4 Keeping one hand on one side of the base, gently stretch the opposite side with the other hand and lift and slap the dough circle from side to side (see pic B). This will stretch the gluten in the dough and the base will get larger and larger. 5 Once stretched to the desired size (our pizzas are around 30cm in diameter), place the base back on the work surface and neaten it into a circle (see pic C). The pizza base is now ready for you to dress with the toppings and then bake.