Bar style pizza

Bar style pizza

Pizza da bar

By
From
Florentine
Makes
2 large pizze
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

This style of pizza is one that you will find typically behind the counter at an Italian bar, that is, a coffee shop that sells pastries and ready-to-go savoury snacks to be consumed right at the counter or taken away in paper bags. Bakeries will often also prepare long, rectangular trays of this crisp, thin-crust pizza with an essential, simple topping of tomato passata (puréed tomatoes) and cheese, cut on demand and sold by the slice. As these are eaten as snacks rather than a meal in themselves, the toppings are quite plain, perhaps with a few simple variations such as the addition of capers, anchovies or prosciutto for those who want a little something more.

This is a quick and easy way to prepare pizza for a party or for snacks. This dough also freezes well (see note).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Dough

Quantity Ingredient
20g fresh yeast
or 7g active dry yeast
280ml lukewarm water
500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
handful semolina, flour or polenta, for dusting

Toppings

Quantity Ingredient
400g tomato passata, (puréed tomatoes)
15 basil leaves, torn or chopped
200g fresh balls of mozzarella
extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Stir or crumble the yeast into the water in a mixing bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes to soften. Sift the flour into a wide bowl with the salt and add the yeast and water mixture, and the olive oil. Combine to create a dough. Knead on a lightly floured work surface until elastic and no longer sticky, a few minutes.
  2. Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap and leave it to rise in a warm place free from draughts until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  4. In a small bowl, season the passata with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the herbs. Set aside.
  5. Prepare the mozzarella by draining any excess liquid and tearing into small chunks.
  6. Divide the dough into two even portions. Work with one portion at a time (keeping the rest of the dough covered) on a work surface dusted with semolina (or flour or polenta). Roll and stretch out the dough into a large rectangle (about 28 cm × 25 cm) to a thickness of about 3 mm and transfer to a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Spoon the tomato passata mixture over to just lightly cover the pizza bases, leaving a 2 cm border around the edge. Scatter the mozzarella chunks over the two pizze, placing them evenly over the surface of each pizza. Position the pizze on two shelves in the oven, one on the lowest rung possible, the other in the middle of the oven. Bake the pizze for a total of 12–15 minutes, swapping them around halfway (this is important to get evenly baked pizza, in particular to ensure the bottoms are cooked). The crust should be golden and crunchy and the cheese melted and bubbling.
  8. Before serving, drizzle the pizze with some extra-virgin olive oil.

Note

  • This dough can easily be frozen – double wrap the portions in plastic wrap and freeze. When you want to use it, thaw in the fridge overnight or on a kitchen bench for a couple of hours. Let it come to room temperature before using as normal.
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