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Both very good, but each with its own characteristics, pizza and pinsa romana have won the hearts of those who love savory delicacies. Find out the differences!
Despite being mentioned in the Aeneid (as the first food consumed by Aeneas as soon as he arrived near Rome), until recently the pinsa was known only in the capital and in the surrounding area. In a few years, perhaps unexpectedly, this savory preparation has managed to conquer the palate of the sweet tooth, so much so that today there are more than 5,000 pinserie scattered all over the world. Born in ancient times, pinsa can be considered an ancestor of pizza. However, it will be enough for you to taste it to realize the difference that exists with it.
In addition to being smaller than the pizza, the pinsa gives away the classic "roundness" aesthetically, presenting itself with an oval shape. This choice is linked to its origins, dating back to the Roman Empire. In those days the pinsa was used as a "tray", and on it some rather juicy culinary preparations were placed, primarily stewed meats. The dough, in fact, cooked on stone, was excessively hard to be eaten alone. It was the encounter with the peasant culinary tradition that gave a new meaning to the term pinsa.
Hence the introduction of new flours and cereals, from wheat to kamut, but also barley, spelled and millet, and the addition of wild aromatic herbs,
Later, the recipe was perfected, leading to the use of wheat, soy and rice flours. Compared with the classic pizza dough, the pinsa one provides a different amount of water, and a lower percentage of yeast. The result is a more digestible and less caloric preparation.
The long leavening (minimum 24 hours) and the high hydration of the dough ( 80% water), the mix of flours, the presence of mother yeast, the absence of animal fat and the use of a limited amount of oil. Furthermore, the dough is worked in a completely different way from that of pizza, giving rise to a product that has one of its strengths in its uniqueness.
The softness of the inside of the pinsa is mainly the result of rice flour. The latter has the task of "fixing" the water poured into the dough during cooking.
The recipe for Roman pinsa: it all starts with the choice of the flours.
As already indicated, over the centuries the pinsa has been the subject of a series of reinterpretations; this, however, was always done with great respect for the original recipe.
The long leavening, for example, has never been questioned, ensuring maximum lightness and, at the same time, eliminating the typical sensation of thirst associated with traditional pizza. In this regard, it should be emphasized that the addition of salt occurs only after cooking; not even the complete absence of salt is rare. This happens when, for the filling of the pinsa, the choice falls on already very tasty ingredients. To obtain the basic version, pay particular attention to the Roman pinsa flour.
But what will you need to buy to prepare this delicious recipe at home?
Ingredients of the Roman pinsa
650 g of wheat flour
30 g of rice flour
20 g of soy flour
500 ml of cold water
1/2 sachet of baking powder
10 g of sea salt
10 g of extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt to taste
Rosemary to taste
Pour the flour mix and yeast into a mixer, then start working the hook.
Measure the cold water you will need for the dough and, without stopping the mixer, pour 80% into the bowl.
Remembering to keep the remaining water in a glass, continue to knead for 5 minutes, then add the extra virgin olive oil.
Only at this point add the water left aside, kneading for another 20 minutes or, in any case, until the dough is dry and strung.
Transfer it to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge, where it will remain for at least 24 hours.
Once it has risen, resume the dough and form some loaves, which will have to rise until doubled in volume (3 hours will be enough).
Take them back in your hand and spread them, with the help of a rolling pin, on an oiled baking sheet, giving them the typical elongated shape.
All you have to do is preheat the oven (in static mode at 250 °) and proceed with the dressing of the pinsa, exclusively based on extra virgin olive oil, coarse salt and rosemary.
Before putting the pan in the oven, lower the temperature to 200 °, cooking the pinsa for about 15 minutes. When cooked, it should appear a nice golden color.
Obviously, nothing prevents you from bringing a richer grip to the table, perhaps by offering a gluten-free grip, or adding cherry tomatoes and slices of buffalo mozzarella after cooking. Again, you can opt for mozzarella, tomato sauce, broccoli and sausage or for tuna, onions and flaked parmesan.
As you may have noticed, the recipe presented involves the use of dry yeast, but nothing prevents you from preparing a leaven (with flour, water and yeast). The result will be an even more natural and light dough. It is not uncommon, especially if you are preparing pinsa for the first time at home, to exaggerate the percentage of water for fear of not having a sufficiently hydrated dough. In this case, just add more flour. Conversely, if the dough turns out to be very dry, add cold refrigerator water flush.