The Romans’ crunchy, airy response to the soft, chewy pizza coming out of Naples is a style of pizza commonly referred to as Pizza al Taglio, or “pizza by the cut”. The fact that the pizza al taglio style is so ciabatta-like excites Australian born, Italian blooded baker Anthony Silvio.
In this masterclass recipe, Anthony uses Emmer grown by Geoff Black in Parkes NSW and Lancer wheat grown by Simon Doolin in North Star NSW.
Anthony entered the industry working at Brasserie Bread’s café and became extremely passionate about their philosophy of sourcing Australian single origin, single varieties of wheat; so much that he began baking under the guidance of Brasserie’s artisans. Now as training manager he runs a custom built baking school, rightfully named Breaducation. People from all walks of life (including kids as young as 5!) go to sink their hands deep into dough making and their teeth into crusty sourdough bread, learning about the ins and outs of fermentation. Anthony’s aim for Breaducation is to support Brasserie Bread’s attitude towards celebrating the source, bringing the farmers to the forefront so that customers can continue being more connected to their food.
This is an outlook instilled in Anthony by his grandparents; especially his “nonni” who grew all their vegies in the backyard garden, and made all their bread and pasta by hand.
Pizza al Taglio
WHAT YOU NEED
44g Lancer Flour (or Stoneground Baker’s Flour)
0.01g Fresh Yeast
75g Wholemeal Emmer Flour
Final Dough (stage 1)
300g Lancer Flour (or Stoneground Baker’s Flour)
9g River Salt
4g Fresh Yeast
2g Diastatic Malt Powder
Final Dough (stage 2)
10g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
WHAT TO DO
To make the biga, combine the ingredients and ferment until ripe. (This takes 12 hours at our bakery.)
Prepare the soaker 1 hour before the biga is ripe by combining the wholemeal emmer flour with the water and allow to soak.
To make the final dough, start by combining the stage 1 ingredients in a mixer on slow. Once combined, switch to fast and mix until about ¾ development.
Switch back to low speed and start adding stage 2 ingredients, first the biga until well incorporated, then pour in the extra virgin olive oil and continue mixing to full development.
Ferment in an oiled tub for 2.5 hours, giving the dough a fold after the first hour.
Carefully tip the dough onto a heavily floured bench with semolina and gently stretch the corners out so it resembles a rectangle. Begin pressing the dough with flat fingers and even pressure all over until it has flattened and reached ¾ of its ultimate size.
Flip the dough over the backs of your hands, allowing any excess semolina to fall off, and carefully lay onto a peel.
Load into a preheated deck oven at 260°C for 15 minutes without steam.
Remove the oven and allow to cool completely before using scissors to cut into smaller squares.
Prepare toppings of your choice; I have prepared some roasted kipfler and chard that I have smashed together and topped with anchovy and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil).