Cristian Marasco teaches us to make pizza without yeast... - VIDEO

With a how-to video explanation

21-05-2020

You’re stuck at home without any yeast and want to make pizza? It can happen. Cristian Marasco, leavening expert, as proven by his iconic “pizza 96 hours”, explains the method to create yeast starting simply from water and flour. The proportions indicated by Marasco make a pre-dough (that acts as “yeast”) to make 3 pizzas of a diameter of 24 cm.

The pre-dough. All the photos are from Brambilla-Serrani

The pre-dough. All the photos are from Brambilla-Serrani

STEP ONE 
150 g flour
100 g water 
sugar

First you need flour, any flour. Better if whole wheat because it helps with the leavening. If you use white flour it works all the same, it’s just a question of time. Add 100 g of natural water, possibly from a bottle with a pH of 7 (neutral), lukewarm, and finally half a teaspoon of sugar. In a bowl of glass or plastic, not steel because it doesn’t help with the leavening, mix the ingredients with a whisk until you have a firm mixture. Then change the bowl or clean it and dry it well: there must not be any traces of dough on its sides.

Leave to rest

Leave to rest

Cover the bowl with film and make many holes with a toothpick or the tip of a knife, so the oxygen can pass through. Now put the bowl in a part of the kitchen that is neither too hot nor too cold, for 24 hours (at the so-called room temperature). After 24 hours the pre-dough has doubled. If this doesn’t happen, wait: it’s nature that decides when the fermentation will begin. Remember that if the flour is whole wheat it won’t double. When the pre-dough has doubled, the second step begins.

 

The pre-dough is ready 

The pre-dough is ready 

STEP TWO
250 g pre-dough
250 g flour
150 g water

Mix 250 g of pre-dough made with 250 g of flour, thus making a new dough of some 500 g. Now add the water: first 100 g of water, always lukewarm, then 50 g of water in which I melted 10 g of salt (you must always add the salt at the end because it “irritates” the yeast). If you use whole wheat flour, 7 g of salt are enough. Knead until the dough is soft (without adding oil).

 

Mix the pre-dough with some more flour 

Mix the pre-dough with some more flour 

STEP THREE 
Now use the dough as usual, for instance by making three balls weighing around 210 g for a 24 cm baking tin. Put some oil on the baking tin, place the ball in the middle massaging it with your oiled fingertips, and don’t let the dough stick to the baking tin. Let rise again (so it doubles in size).

The final dough

The final dough

Spread the ball with your hands. Do it delicately, without breaking it: if it breaks, stop and wait for it to “relax”, then continue spreading it. You can bake it immediately or let it rise further.

If you bake it immediately (to make the classic thin pizza), spread the tomato sauce (previously seasoned with salt and oil, the latter to safeguard the tomato during the baking). If you wait it to rise some more, cover it with a kitchen towel with some oiled paper until it has risen to your liking.

The tomato sauce must be made with uncooked peeled tomatoes: if you prefer it in pieces, you can break it with your hands or use a chinois to have it creamy (the amount is always 1 g of salt for 100 g of tomato).

Spreading the dough

Spreading the dough

Heat the oven to the highest temperature, place a saucepan with hot water at the bottom: the pizza must be cooked on the base of the oven for about  1 minute,  then move it to the layer above for further 9 minutes, better if with a ventilated oven (which dries the humidity).

You should choose the topping before these steps. In the case of the classic Margherita, the mozzarella should be previously drained, better if with a weight, for at least two hours, so it looses as much liquid as possible. You can then break it you’re your hands and place on the dough which you have just baked. You can do this at the last minute, or even after the baking. The same rule applies to the other cheeses, often to be added after the baking. As for the vegetables, you can fry them after cutting them in thin slices, and to give a sense of grill, add them after the first 5 minutes of baking.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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