Tony Gemignani’s Pizza Napoletana | Wine Enthusiast
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Tony Gemignani’s Pizza Napoletana

Adapted from The Pizza Bible (Ten Speed Press, 2014), by Tony Gemignani

Tony Gemignani, author of The Pizza Bible, is a 13-time world pizza champion and owner of several restaurants in Northern California and Nevada. His traditional pizza Napoletana dough takes 48 hours to rise and calls for some technical-sounding ingredients like diastatic malt powder, which has enzymes that promote yeast development and char. Feel free to omit it, or purchase online.

Pizza Ingredients

¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
3¾ cups 00 flour, plus more for kneading
1 tablespoon diastatic malt powder (optional)
3 ounces poolish (recipe below)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
2 (28-ounce) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
4–5 ounces mozzarella fior di latte or di bufala

Pizza Directions

In small bowl, combine yeast and ⅓ cup warm water (85˚–90˚F). Whisk vigorously for 30 seconds. Set aside. Combine flour and malt in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook. With mixer running on lowest speed, add 10 tablespoons of ice water, followed by yeast mixture. Rinse yeast bowl with 2 tablespoons of ice water, and add to work bowl. Mix for 15 seconds, then add poolish. Continue to mix at lowest speed for approximately 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl, and add salt. Mix for 1 minute.

Transfer dough to unfloured work surface and knead for 2–3 minutes. Cover with damp dish towel, and let rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Divide dough into 3 balls, place on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 48 hours.

To make sauce: Pour canned tomatoes into strainer set over bowl. Reserve liquid. Pinch stem ends off tomatoes, squeeze out seeds and discard stems and seeds. Tear tomatoes­ into large pieces, and place in second bowl. Work tomatoes through food mill or purée in blender. If sauce is too thick to spread, stir in reserved juice. Season with salt, to taste. Refrigerate in airtight container­ for up to 2 days.

Heat oven to 450˚F. Remove 1 dough ball from refrigerator, let sit 30 minutes, and roll out on floured surface. Use hands to stretch dough to fit a 13- to 14-inch round pizza pan. Top each with sauce, mozzarella and any additional­ desired toppings. Repeat with two remaining balls.

Bake about 12 minutes, or until crust is browned and cheese is melted. Cooking time can vary depending upon your oven. Serves 6–8.

Poolish Starter Ingredients

½ teaspoon active dry yeast
¼ cup 00 flour

Poolish Starter Directions

Combine yeast and 3 tablespoons cold tap water. Whisk vigorously for 30 seconds. Add flour and stir well with rubber spatula. Scrape down sides of bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for 18 hours. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Optional Toppings

Fresh garlic
Chopped cherry tomatoes
Prosciutto and arugula (added after baking)
Quattro Stagioni: black olives, jarred artichoke hearts, ham and sliced mushrooms
Quattro Formaggi: Pecorino Romano, gorgonzola, Swiss and Asiago

Wine Pairing

Jules Gregg, wine director at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, loves to pair the Napoletana with Planeta 2017 Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Sicily. It’s a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato grapes. The bright fresh-fruit tones of the Frappato mellows out the acidity of the Nero d’Avola, which makes it a perfect pairing with the San Marzano tomato sauce, while accents of pepper and smoke go well with the char of the delicate crust.

For a wine with a bit more heft, try Domaine Les Alexandrins 2016 Saint-Joseph. This 100% Syrah from the Northern Rhône Valley has a firm network of tannins that support cherry and raspberry flavors and vibrant acidity.

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