New York style. Neapolitan style. Sicilian style. If you’re a pizza lover, chances are you’re not just familiar with different variations, but you probably have strong opinions about most of them, too.
In 2021, it’s time to add a new pizza type to your repertoire: Say hello to pinsa.
While this style of pizza might be fairly new (and is slowly popping up on restaurant menus around the world) it’s actually been around since ancient Roman times. Back in the day, it was often made by people living in the countryside around the city. Some chefs say it predates all other styles of pizza due to its rustic style.
What Is Pinsa?
Pinsa comes from the Latin word “pinsere,” which means to press down with your fingers. Compared to pizza, pinsa crust is lighter and airier, like a cloud of dough. This is primarily due to the ingredients. Traditional pizza is made with flour, making it heavier and harder to digest. Pinsa uses a mixture of flours, including wheat, rice and spelt, along with more water and less salt.
Pinsa vs Pizza
To specify their main differences, we’ve broken them down for you:
- Made from all-purpose flour
- Most commonly served in an oval shape
- Fermentation for pinsa ranges from 48 to 72 hours
- The dough uses more water than standard pizza dough
- Thinner and lighter in texture
- Pinsa dough is pressed and flattened by hand
- Made from wheat flour
- Circular in shape
- Pizza dough ferments for a minimum of 24 hours
- Contains more flour than pinsa dough
- Variety of crust thicknesses
- Pizza dough is tossed or thrown by hand
How to Make Pinsa Dough
Pinsa dough is not hard to make. As long as you have the right ingredients and follow the directions, you can cook up a delicious pinsa. To make the perfect pinsa dough, follow this recipe.
Pinsa Dough Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups of bread flour
- 1/2 cup of rice flour
- 1/2 Tbs. of active dry yeast
- 1 3/4 cup of cold water
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sheets of parchment paper
- Mix both types of flour and yeast together in a large bowl.
- Add in the cold water slowly while whisking it together with the flour.
- Add in the olive oil and salt and mix together until there is no dry flour and the dough is smooth and elastic in texture.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, mix for a final time, cover again, and let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, take the dough out on a powdered surface and split the large ball in half.
- Shape each piece into two smaller balls and place them on parchment paper on their own baking sheets.
- Dust the tops with a little flour and follow the pinsere method.
- Using your fingers, begin to push the dough towards the sides of your baking sheet and make an oval shape with the dough.
- Once flattened, use a basting brush and cover the dough in a light sheen of olive oil before arranging your desired toppings for baking.
And now the fun part ! Pinsa Toppings
When choosing the toppings for your pinsa, you can be as creative or as normal as you want! Whether you have picky eaters like children who might only like a cheese or pepperoni pinsa or their parents who have more experienced taste buds, you can craft a pinsa to please both. Try a margarita style or a more traditional cheese and mushroom pinsa called Pinsa Romana.
What we think
South African’s love pizza and this just happens to be a different version of an old favourite. There’s no such thing as bad pizza, and there is plenty of room for styles coming from different regions. So we think it’s a winner, something exciting, something different and just totally delicious. Try it !