Cooking With a Little Chef:
a Pizza That Won’t Make You Gain Extra Pounds

Evgenia Bereziuk
Cooking With a Little Chef: Pizza That Won’t Make You Gain Extra Pounds
Being a seven-year-old, Olya has already tasted all the pizzas in Copenhagen and has a long list of her preferences. “In some places it’s too thin, in others they only add a small amount of topping or use tasteless cheese,” she comments. “But there are places where it’s great! When we find one, my parents always leave positive feedback for the cafe.” But Olya honestly confesses that she has never eaten a more delicious pizza than the one her uncle cooks. Specially for the Workee blog, Olya, a young chef assistant, has shared her favorite pizza recipe.
Little Chef starts

“This pizza is called pinsa and it is oval. This is a modern version of the old Roman pizza recipe,” says Olya, putting on an apron that her parents bought specially for her. Even those who want to keep their figure can eat it. It won’t make you gain extra pounds because the dough is prepared for three days and healthy proteins are produced during this time.

Olya is already waiting for her uncle in the kitchen – he has prepared the dough in advance.

“The dough for pinsa takes three days to prepare!” Olya is still surprised. “But I will still show you how we knead it. I will use it later, as I want to invite my friends to a children’s pinsa party.”

The pinsa has two main features. The first is high humidity – about 80% of the total mass – whereas in a regular pizza the humidity is about 60%. It means that 800 milliliters of water is added per kilo of dry ingredients.

“The second feature is that the recipe includes three types of flour: soybean, rice, and soft wheat flour,” says Olya, pouring the flour into the bowl. “If we were cooking regular pizza, wheat flour would be enough. Then we add a little bit of dry yeast, 80% of the total amount of water, and salt.

For the dough, you will need:

– 800 g of 00 type flour

– 150 g of rice flour

– 50 g of soy flour

– 30 g of salt

– 10 g of olive oil

– 4 g of dry yeast

“Knead carefully at medium speed,” the uncle tells his little assistant. “Don’t forget that you need to add a lot of water, then olive oil, and just a little bit of dry yeast. Add salt only after ten minutes – otherwise it will kill the yeast.”

Olya nods. She knows the recipe very well.

The dough is mixed into a lump and is put into a lightly oiled container. It is supposed to stay like this for about 30 minutes at room temperature. After that, it will be refrigerated for 72 hours.

“Of course, it takes a lot of time and it’s easier to cook a regular pizza. But pinsa is worth the wait! Natural enzymes, healthy for our body, are produced in the dough over the three days,” Olya explains.

In the meantime, the team of cooks uses pre-prepared dough – it is unloaded from the container and molded into 200 g balls.

“Now these balls need to have ‘rested’ for 15 minutes, right?” Olya clarifies with her uncle.

The dough for pinsa is rolled out manually without rolling pins.

“You just stretch it with your hands and knead it. That’s the best way,” Olya demonstrates. “After this, you need to sprinkle the dough with olive oil, and then it’s ready to go in the oven.”

The best pinsa is cooked in a real oven at a temperature of 380 degrees. In those conditions, it is ready within 1 minute.

“The maximum temperature in our oven is 300 degrees, so it will take us about 3 minutes,” says Olya.

After 3 minutes, the dough is taken out of the oven and tomato sauce is added on top.

Tomato sauce recipe:

Put San Marzano tomatoes in their own juice in a stewpan, add salt, sugar, finely chopped garlic, and simmer for about 40 minutes under a lid (until the excess moisture is removed). Knead the tomatoes directly in the stewpan with a spoon, then remove the pan from the heat, add olive oil, basil, and mix everything.

“We spread the tomato sauce on the dough and put it in the oven again for a couple of minutes until it’s completely ready,” says Olya, covering the dough with the sauce.

When the pinsa is taken out of the oven for the second time, the cooks add the cheese – stracciatella.

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“Pour on the green oil,” the uncle reminds Olya.

Green oil recipe:

Mix parsley leaves with olive oil and add grape seeds. Grind it in a blender until smooth. Pour it into a stewpan and warm up to 104 degrees. After this, filter the mass through coffee filters. The fragrant oil is ready.

Olya pours the green oil over the pinsa, along with a little olive oil, and salt, and garnishes it with chervil and basil sprouts.

“It’s turned out something like a ‘Margherita’ pizza with tomatoes and cheese. But you can put anything on top, anything that you like – ham, vegetables, chicken, meat, sausages.” Olya bites off a piece. “For me, this is the perfect pizza with any combination of toppings!”

Also read: The story of the café owner who had already survived four crises before coronavirus