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Franco Manca Tray Baked Pizza

Written by: Georgina Ingham | Posted 05 August 2015 12:51

Franco Manca Tray Baked Pizza
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Franco Manca has been on my ever-growing places to eat wishlist for quite some time. How could it not be given that the world and his wife seems to be chattering about them and posting glorious, hunger inducing photos over on Twitter every time I log on?

 

I was, of course, delighted when I spotted on Amazon that Giuseppe Mascoli & Bridget Hugo had released the Franco Manca Artisan Pizza to Make Perfectly at Home book. At least now I could have a go at recreating these delectable dishes at home. Sure, that’s got to be the next best thing hasn’t it?

 

 

I love pizza. I wanted to eat the pizza on the cover right there and then as soon as I unwrapped the newly delivered book.

 

Once I’d spent a pleasant few hours devouring this beautifully crafted book, full of age-old techniques, glorious recipes and photography that makes your mouth water I just had to get baking. Wood fired oven not essential, though I wouldn’t say no to having one in the garden – if you have the space, Butcher, Baker, Baby show’s you how it’s done.

 

I’ve made many round pizzas but never a tray baked one. I really don’t know why having seen, and eaten, plenty of them while holidaying in Italy. So Dough 2 for Tray Baked Pizzas seemed like a logical place to start. 

 

According to Franco Manca the best tray pizzas are made with a very wet and elastic dough, based on a method using a polish (an equal mix of flour and water with added yeast) which is made around 16 hours ahead of the dough. It is this pre ferment that adds both texture and flavour to the finished dough.

 

As we all know, good pizza is all about that base. So I decided to keep the toppings simple with a rich tomato sauce and some fior di latte (cows milk) mozzarella, which as it’s pointed out in the book is always used for cooking in Italy – the fine buffalo mozzarella is placed on top of a pizza after cooking or eaten fresh in salads etc.

 

As I’d a jar of Brindisa Iberico pork fat (yes don’t shout, I know it’s Spanish) in the fridge I thought I’d give the salsa lardiata a try. I used a combination of passata and fresh tomoatoes in the sauce, along with a couple of home made sunblush tomaotes.

 

There’s not a lot of instruction as to how thick to leave the pizza base, and I think I left mine a little too deep. Not that it wasn’t good – it was delicious but next time I’ll use a slightly larger tray and aim for a slightly thinner finish but surely that’s part of the joy of cooking: trial and error until you reach your version of perfection?

 

Sicilian style tray baked pizza. Recipe from @francomancapizz cookbook. Utterly divine. #pizza #foodphotography #Italia #italian #francomanca #instafood #baking #bread #dinner

  

All it needs alongside is a nice cold glass of Peroni.

Tray Baked Pizza

Adapted from Franco Manca Artesian Pizza To Make Perfectly At Home
 
Ingredients
For The Poolish
400ml lukewarm water
400g flour 0 or 00
4g dry yeast
For The Dough
160g flour
7g dry yeast
12g sugar
16g salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
  
The best way to mix the dough is with a free standing mixer with a dough hook. If working without be prepared to put in a lot of elbow grease.
   
Instructions
For the Poolish
1. Make the poolish the day before you make the pizza by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Cover and set aside in the fridge for at least 16 hours and no longer than 48 hours.
For the Dough
1. In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast and sugar into the polish and combine.
2. As it comes together use the strength of your arm and stiff fingers to beat it for about 6 minutes.
3. With a mixer this should take about 4 minutes.
4. You're aiming for a smooth, elastic dough that starts to shine.
5. Add the salt and oil and mix again until these ingredients are absorbed into the dough, then turn the mixture out into a lightly oiled bowl an rest for 20 minutes.
6. Transfer the dough onto an oiled tray and fold into shape, following the dimensions of the tray you are using.
7. Then turn it over so the 'good side' is up.
8. Turn your oven on to its highest setting and place a rack on the middle shelf.
9. Stretch the dough towards the edges of the tray in two stages, resting for 10 minutes between each stretch.
10. When stretching the dough, try not to tough it on top but use your finger tips from underneath the dough mass.
11. After the second stretch, add your toppings.
12. If using tomato sauce make sure it is spread right to the edges of the dough.
13. If you are using olive oil pour it into the palm of your hands and pat it lightly over the top of the dough, again making sure it touches the edges.
14. If the dough is deep (or the tray small) you can dimple the dough with your fingertips, making a focaccia style deep pizza and adding more sauce or oil. If you have stretched the dough very thin, simply add the rest of your ingredients and seasonings. Bake on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes. If you have created a very thin pizza base, check after 10 minutes.
15. If you have stretched the dough very thin, simply add the rest of your ingredients and seasonings. Bake on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes. If you have created a very thin pizza base, check after 10 minutes.
16. Bake on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes. If you have created a very thin pizza base, check after 10 minutes.
17. If you have created a very thin pizza base, check after 10 minutes.
 
Details
Prep Time 16-48 hours
Cook time: 12-14 mins 
Yield: 1 large pizza

Salsa Lardita

Use the best quality tomatoes you can get. You really do taste the delicate sweet flavour here.
 
Ingredients
500g pasata or freshly juicy peeled tomatoes
40g lard or cured lard
100g onion
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
 
Instructions
1. On a chopping board, with a heavy knife, chop the onion together with the lard, beating the lard into the onions with the blunt edge of the knife.
2. In a frying pan, season the crushed onion and sweat over a low heat until the onion has 'melted'.
3. Add the tomatoes, stir to combine and leave to simmer for at least 1 hour, but the longer the better.
4. Season to taste.
 
Details
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Yield:  Serves 4-6
 
 
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