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Pinsa Romana {Roman Style Pizza}

Have you ever dreamed of a healthier, lighter and more digestible version of pizza?

I have good news for you.

This Roman Style Pizza or Pinsa Romana is an ancient, healthier and more digestible version of classic Neapolitan pizza.

If you dig deeper into its origin, the recipe traces back to the times of Roman Empire. 

The word pinsa comes from the Latin “pinsère” which means to stretch, to press down and extend – the techniq used to shape pizza and focaccia.

Pinsa dough inside

In fact, Pinsa is a sort of a mix between focaccia and pizza and is considered an ancestor of the later.

In ancient Rome, Pinsa was made by poor peasant in the countryside.

According to the original recipe, poor farmers made Pinsa Romana with water and a mix of grounds cereals: millet, oats, barley and later farro (or spelt).

Spelled has been very important because it is the ancestor of the current wheat.

Once the dough was pushed down and stretched with the fingers into an elongated, oval shape is was flavored with easy-to-find simple ingredients like salt and aromatic herbs and cooked on the stones placed over hot coals.

A lot of times pinsa was also used as a container for other dishes. With a little change to the shape of the dough it started to give life to a ancestral form of pizza.

Even the poet Virgil in his Aeneid reports that peasants in the Roman countryside used to knead grains, salt, and aromatic herbs to make a “low and oval cake” cooked on hot coals. That cake was easily digested, and, as told by Virgil, it was one of the first foods that the Trojan Hero Aeneas bit into when he set foot on the Lazio coast.

It was considered so good that the ancient people used to offer it to the gods to win their benevolence.

Pinsa with Mushrooms and Smoked Provolone Cheese

Pinsa Romana, in the modern version that we know today is made of 3 flours: wheat, soy and rice flour, has high percentage of hydration, has elongated oval shape with light airy inside and a delicious crust.

The recipe I’m offering you today is simplified even further, so that you can have a delicious Pinsa Pizza made at home without major hustles.

Here’s how you make Pinsa Dough – the base for any kind of pinsa.

How To Make Pinsa Dough

  • In a large bowl mix all purpose flour, rice flour and yeast.
  • Continuously whisking slowly add cold water.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil and salt (photos 1-4).
Pinsa Recipe Steps 1-4
  • Mix well. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a lid and let rest for 30 minutes. Mix again and let rest for another 30 minutes.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon for the third time.
  • Now cover again with a plastic wrap or a lid and place the bowl with the dough in the fridge for about 24 hours (photos 5-8).
Pinsa Recipe Steps 5-8
  • Past that time turn the bowl upside down and let the dough come out of the bowl.
  • Divide the dough in 2 parts. Using your hands form a round bowl out of each piece of the dough.
  • Cut 2 rectangular pieces of parchment paper that fit your baking sheet.
  • Place each dough ball on a parchment paper and dust with rice flour (photos 9-11).
Pinsa Recipe Steps 9-11
  • Cover the dough with a linen towel and let rise for 60 minutes (photos 12, 13).
Pinsa Recipe Steps 12-13
  • Past that time pour a frizzle of extra virgin olive oil on each piece of the dough and using your fingers press into the dough stretching it from center to sides forming an oval pinsa shape (photos 14-17).
Pinsa Recipe Steps 14-17

At this point, your pinsa is ready for the oven.

Pinsa Toppings

Basically, all pizza toppings work great for pinsa too. Because, remember? The major difference is in the dough, not the topping.

You can do anything from classic Margherita (mozzarella + tomato sauce + oregano) to something special with fall flavors like I’m making today.

Pinsa with Mushrooms and Smoked Provolone Cheese.

Pinsa Romana - Roman Style Pizza

Pinsa Romana {Roman-Style Pizza}

This Roman Style Pizza or Pinsa Romana is an ancient, healthier and more digestible version of classic Neapolitan pizza.
Print Pin Rate / Comment
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Dough Resting Time1 d
Total Time1 d 40 mins
Course: Pizza
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 pinsa

Ingredients

Pinsa Dough:

  • 3 ½ cups all purpose flour , approx 420 g
  • ½ cup rice flour , approx 80 g
  • 1 ⅔ cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil + more for rubbing
  • ½ tsp dry yeast , approx 3 g
  • 1 tsp salt , approx 9 g

Pinsa Topping:

  • 1 lb mushrooms of your choice , 450 g (whole or sliced)
  • 12 oz smoked Provolone cheese , 350 g
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed with a flat knife
  • Fresh parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt , pepper to taste

Instructions

Pinsa Topping

  • Place a large skillet pan over medium heat.
  • Add olive oil and garlic cloves crushed with a flat knife or minced if you like more pronounced garlic flavor. Saute for a minute or two.
  • Add clean sliced mushrooms and stir everything together. Mushrooms will release liquid. Continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes until there’s no more liquid.
  • Add dry white wine and simmer for another few minutes. Add chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Cut provolone cheese in slices.

Pinsa Dough

  • In a large bowl mix all purpose flour, rice flour and yeast.
  • Continuously whisking slowly add cold water.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil and salt. Mix well. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a lid and let rest for 30 minutes. Mix again and let rest for another 30 minutes.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon for the third time.
  • Now cover again with a plastic wrap or a lid and place the bowl with the dough in the fridge for about 24 hours.
  • Past that time turn the bowl upside down and let the dough come out of the bowl.
  • Divide the dough in 2 parts. Using your hands form a round bowl out of each piece of the dough.
  • Cut 2 rectangular pieces of parchment paper that fit your baking sheet.
  • Place each dough ball on a parchment paper and dust with rice flour.
  • Cover the dough with a linen towel and let rise for 60 minutes.
  • In the meantime prepare the mushroom topping.
  • Past that time pour a frizzle of extra virgin olive oil on each piece of the dough and using your fingers press into the dough stretching it from center to sides forming an oval pinsa shape.

Baking and Assembling Pinsa

  • Transfer parchment paper with pinsa on a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake in a lower third of a preheated to 450F (230C) oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Top with sauteed mushrooms and smoked provolone slices and baking in the middle of the oven until pinsa has browned on the edges and cheese has melted.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley, and freshly grind pepper.
Liked this recipe?Follow @italianrecipeb for more!
Pinsa Recipe Pin

Love Italian Pizza?

Here’s more to try:

Pizzette – Mini Pizza Bites with 10 ideas for easy and delicious toppings. They can be made with store bought dough as well!

Pumpkin Pizza With Prosciutto & Gorgonzola Cheese – another delicious fall pizza with seasonal flavors.

Pizza Not Pizza 😛

Eggplant Pizzette – low fat, low cal, and naturally gluten free.

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