Brad’s Corner: Pizza Bianca Calabrese
Look at that pizza!
I was recently recommending some pizzerias for my brother to take his family while on a trip to New York City. I sent him a link to Una Pizza Napoletana. I told him about Anthony Mangieri and how he was one of the pizza greats who literally makes every pizza he serves. After I sent him the link I poked around the website and checked out the menu and photo gallery and some of his great videos. I just loved that photo of his Bianca Pizza and I knew I had to make it next time I fired up the oven.
What I see in Anthony’s original Bianca pizza is “balance”. The simple ingredients blend together giving hints to their presence throughout but all support each other. On top of Anthony’s beautiful dough (You have to try it in person some day!) the creamy buffalo mozzarella lays the foundation that is accented with sweet aromas of the garlic and fresh basil. Also, notice the bits and pops of charred crust and basil, which adds yet another layer to the flavor. Very nice!
It was pizza time. While shopping I found some fresh buffalo mozzarella at the store and picked up some fresh garlic and basil and planned on making my version of Anthony’s Bianca. Being 3000 miles from Una Pizza Napoletana my version of this pizza would just have to do.
When I started to make the pizza, I felt like I wanted to add something else. I had picked up some thinly sliced calabrese salami and knew that would hit the spot for me at that time.
Despite my side step of a Bianca pizza, I did want to keep things balanced and only added a few torn pieces of the calabrese salami so that it became another hint — rather than allowing the spicy salty salami take it over the pizza. This was not going to become a fancy pepperoni pizza!
This came out beautifully! It hit the perfect notes for what I was feeling and wanting to pull ot out of my wood fired oven and sink my teeth into. There was that comforting savory simplicity, but also hits of a beautifully salty and spicy calabrese salami that just nailed it for me. This was exactly what the doctor ordered!
One of the interesting things about making pizza is that you are always able to play with your ideas and try something new. You pick up ingredients at the store and almost always add or change things no matter what your original recipe plans were. Being able to feel your way through the process of making a pizza and then be tasting it hot out of the oven only minutes later is a unique and interesting thing about making pizza at home. I often stumble on something and then make an adjustment on the 2nd pizza and nail it with the final ingredient! My Bianca Calabrese pizza here is a great example.
The Cast of Ingredients:
– Buffalo Mozzarella
– Garlic – thinly sliced
– Calabrese Salami – always thinly sliced!
– Olive Oil
*I sliced up some garlic super thin and put the slices in a ramekin and poured the olive oil over them sort of making a garlic oil that would be a toping and also a nice oil for use on this and other pizzas.
Spread the dough.
Add the mozzarella
Add the garlic and oil
Add the basil
Tear pieces of the Salami up and place around pizza. Balance! Give everything room. It will come together in the 800 to 900 degree oven (or as hot as your home will allow).
*Make sure to check out our webisodes featuring Anthony starting with this one! *Link
Pizza Quest Info
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on Amazon.com