Note to all JCU students: you might not want to read this article on an empty stomach. As one of the Italian capital’s most iconic delicacies, Roman-style pizza is not only distinctive in terms of how it’s made, but also its crispy, crunchy texture. Pizza Romana is a must-try for anyone studying abroad in Rome—especially when warm, tasty food is needed ahead of exams during the cold winter months!
Here are three things you should know about roman-style pizza!
The Foundation of Any Great Roman Pizza is in the Flour and the Dough
While this should arguably be the foundation of any great pizza, it’s especially important with regards to the Roman-style variety. This is because the type of flour needed for this pizza needs to have a high capacity for water absorption, as well as be strong enough to withstand fermentation and kneading. The dough for Roman-style pizza will need to have a water content percentage of more than 60%, so flour that can absorb high amounts of water is typically used during the preparation phase. Significantly less water is used compared to Neapolitan-style pizza, and the dough has oil added to it. Students at John Cabot University should also know that the dough is made with yeast, flour, olive oil, salt, water, and sometimes sugar—with the olive oil in particular helping to add flavor and provide the pizza with its distinctive crunch.
It’s All About the Fermentation and Cooking
Students at American universities in Italy might find it interesting that ingredients alone aren’t all that make Roman-style pizza dough distinct. Its preparation also has a huge impact on taste and texture. Not only is the flour used more refined in nature, but fermenting it necessitates three separate phases compared to Neapolitan-style pizza. The fermentation process is how the pizza gets its crunchy, crispy texture, and is a procedure that should take at least 24 hours. Roman-style pizza also doesn’t truly live up to its name unless it is cooked in a wood-burning oven, since the wood used helps give the pizza certain flavors an electric oven can’t quite match.
Roman-Style Pizza’s Magic Is Also in the Toppings
Although the processes behind the Roman pizza variety are distinctive and help give it its signature taste and crunch, what’s even more interesting is in its ingredients, dressing, and structure. The pizza’s batter is light. This is in addition to its rectangular structure and thick, moist feel. Its dressing often consists of fior di latte mozzarella cheese with tomato sauce, though other varieties of toppings—artichokes, prosciutto, garlic, mushrooms, and/or crushed tomatoes—are common. All over the city, students can find pizzas with different toppings!
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