You might not picture pizza when you think of Arizona cuisine. But a visit to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix would alter your thinking. Its thin-crust pies, baked in a wood-fired oven, have garnered international attention.
This pizza requires the absolute freshest Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese you can find. When it is cooked correctly, the cheese will melt to form a lightly golden, oily crust that encapsulates red onion, pistachios and just the right amount of rosemary. Watch closely, as too much time in the oven will quickly turn this pie into a cracker.
Make Ahead: The dough needs to rise twice, for a total of 2 hours.
Yield: Makes two 12-inch pizzas
- 1 1/4 cups tepid water (105 degrees)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1/4-ounce packet) active dry "instant" yeast
- 3 3/4 cups flour, plus more for the work surfaces
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the proofing bowl
- 5 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a generous 1 cup)
- 1/2 large red onion, thinly shaved (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted pistachio nuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
Whisk together the water and yeast in a liquid measuring cup; let sit 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy.
Combine the flour, salt to taste and 1 tablespoon of the oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast mixture; beat on low speed just until a ball of dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Lightly flour a work surface. Place the dough on it and knead for 10 minutes; the dough should become smooth and elastic.
Use just enough of the oil to coat the inside of a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm location to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Lightly flour a large baking sheet.
Punch down the dough, then lightly knead it for a few minutes before dividing into 2 equal portions. Place them spaced well apart on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
Place a pizza stone in the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. (If you do not have a pizza stone, the pizza can be formed and baked on a large inverted baking sheet.)
Press or roll one portion of dough into a round about 12 inches in diameter. If you are using a pizza peel (wide paddle) to transfer the pie to the oven, first sprinkle it lightly with flour and transfer the round of dough to the peel. (Alternatively, the pie stays on its inverted baking sheet, or can be placed on a piece of parchment paper for easier transfer to the oven.)
Top the round of dough with half of the cheese, onion and pistachios, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle the pizza with 1/8 teaspoon of the rosemary, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Slide the pie onto the pizza stone (if not using a stone, place the baking sheet in the oven) and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the crust is lightly golden. Serve hot.
Build a second pie with remaining dough, toppings and remaining tablespoon of oil; repeat the baking process.
Adapted from a recipe on www.pizzeriabianco.com by Washington food writer Scott Reitz.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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