The absolute best Italian rustic pizza dough you will ever make.
Rustic pizza , because is there really any other kind ?! Pizza must be rustic and that’s all there is to it. With a name like Florentina you would probably be willing to bet that I live La Bella Vita Under The Tuscan Sun and I can toss a rustic pizza like no-body’s business.
The truth is I do live La Bella Vita but under the California Sun, and I can’t toss a pizza for the life of me. True story! I can eat a rustic pizza like a champion tough 😉 I am just more interested in topping it and eating it.
However, I can assure you I make a killer rustic pizza dough, and since I finally got myself my first candy apple red Kitchen Aid Mixer – we can have pizza anytime! This is a very simple, very old rustic pizza dough recipe. And after constantly adventuring and trying new recipes and formulas, and after having gone to Italy in the search of the perfect rustic pizza, I am even more confident that this is the one pizza dough recipe that needs to be passed down to all future generations. Children, grandchildren, your cats and dogs and even squirrels. Whaat ? Squirrels love pizza too. But really, you must try it for yourself and decide.
I go with simple toppings at Casa Florentina: a light homemade arrabiata sauce; some great whole milk mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes and with fresh basil. Or lately it’s been perfectly caramelized onions, grilled sweet bell peppers and a few slices of grape tomatoes. Crack an egg in the middle of that rustic pizza before you throw it in the oven and sprinkle it with thinly sliced green onions and basil when it comes out, now that’s the breakfast worth getting out of bed for.
You want perfection ?
Bake your rustic pizza dough on a Pizza Stone, lightly brushed with some olive oil and a little sprinkling of parmigiano reggianno. As soon as it comes out of the oven top it with wedges of fresh tomatoes, basil, oregano and slices of fresh mozzarella.
There’s nothing like home made rustic pizza dough, and on a serious note, I really wanna beg you to invest $15 in a pizza stone like this. It is all you need unless of course you really want something fancy. But even the most basic kind gives you the closest result to a wood burning pizza oven; but remember to heat it up with the oven or it will crack. Give it plenty of time to warm up, even an hour if you aren’t in a rush, it will make a difference in the crispiness of the crust.
Worth noting: If you are looking for those nice charred little kisses on the rustic pizza crust , but your oven doesn’t go higher than 500″F, I would suggest finishing your pizza under the broiler flames for the last minute or so. It will give you a similar effect as a wood burning pizza oven, and make you feel kind of like a big deal rustic pizza chef ha! Forget about it! Just do it !
As you can see in the photos below I stretched this one thin and went super easy with the toppings, but it is equally delicious if you want a thicker fluffier end result that will hold more goodies on top. My favorite one, forever and ever until the end of time will be the burrata pizza with fresh or roasted tomatoes and basil.
Hey, if you made some extra pizza dough and have leftovers, don’t forget to freeze it, learn how: here !
Otherwise here are some to die for rustic pizza recipes to make:
- Burrata Pizza
- Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Ricotta Spinach Pizza
- Egg Pizza with Prosciutto Ricotta & Spinach
- Berry Pizza with Whipped Ricotta
- Pizza Bianca
- Chicken Calzone
- Fried Pizza Dough
- Savory Pie Pizza
- 5 c flour + some for dusting
- 1½ tsp yeast
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 2¼ c cold water
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven as high as it will go for at least 45 minutes to one hour.
- In the bowl of your kitchen aid and using the paddle attachment mix the flour, sea salt and yeast on low speed until all is incorporated then add the water.
- Switch to the dough hook and mix together on low speed for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and sticky but should not stick to the sides of the bowl, only a little to the bottom.
- (If the dough sticks to the sides sprinkle in a little more flour, if it is too dry then add a bit more water).
- After the 8 minutes have passed remove the dough from the kitchen aid and cut it into 6 pieces and form them into rounds. Place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature and rise for 2 hours in a draft free area. ( I prefer the oven )
- Sprinkle the counter with a little bit of flour, take one piece of dough and press down on it with your fingers until you have ½" thick circle or oval. Using your fists and knuckles start stretching the dough until 10" in diameter making sure not to tear it ( this should be easy since it is a small pie).
- Dust your pizza peel (or a piece of cardboard) very well with semolina flour or corn meal and set your pizza dough on it making sure it slides easily when moved. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce in the center and spread it around with the back of a spoon leaving 1 inch of space at the edges and making sure not to get any on the peel. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and add your favorite toppings. ( Don't add too many toppings, keep in mind this is a thin crust and a couple of toppings will suffice ).
- Gently slide the pie on the preheated pizza stone in a hot 525 degree or more oven, and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. When making the breakfast pizza I find that the egg cooks perfectly in 6 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil and freshly grated parmigiano reggianno. Allow to rest for a few minute for the cheese to set.
If topping with heirloom tomato slices, make sure to use the firm ones, otherwise the pizza would be watery. Thin firm slices is the winning combination.
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