Roman pizza is one of my favorite styles of pizza to make at home. Unlike Neapolitan style pizza, there is no officially agreed upon definition of what exactly a “Roman” style pizza is, but for this recipe I’m going to base it on the classic Pizza al taglio or “pizza by the slice”.
Pizza al taglio is a casual, take-away pizza common in central Italy. It’s very similar to Neapolitan style in terms of ingredients, but with a twist in the way you shape the dough and serve it.
My favorite part about this kind of pizza is how airy and bubbly it is in the middle. Unlike a normal pizza that you stretch and flatten in the center, Pizza al taglio is left relatively untouched in the middle which allows it to rise in the oven.
Roman style pizza is usually rectangular in shape, but it isn’t always baked in a pan. For this version, I’m going to be baking it directly on my pizza stone. I’m also going to make mine a bit smaller than a traditional Roman pizza using only a 250 gram dough ball. This is simply so that it fits better in my home oven.
If you don’t have a stone, you can easily make this on a pan as well. But in order to get a crispy bottom, I recommend taking it off the pan after step 5 and placing it directly on the oven rack or on top of a piece of parchment paper.
Need a pizza dough that works with this recipe? Check out my no-knead pizza dough recipe here.
1. Start with a well-proofed dough ball at room temperature.
2. Gently press out the dough into a rough rectangle. Don’t stretch, just press. Leave lots of air bubbles.
3. Pre-bake the dough plain for 2-3 minutes on a stone, 4-5 minutes in a pan.
4. Add sauce, dried oregano, black pepper and other toppings.
5. Bake pizza until fresh mozzarella is melted and bubbling (not brown) and crust has some golden brown spots. Add fresh parmesan and fresh basil.
6. Bottom of crust should have some deep brown spots as well if baked on a stone.
7. Let pizza rest for 2-3 minutes on the cooling rack to prevent steaming the crust. Slice and serve.
8. If all goes well, you should have light fluffy slices just like this. Look how airy each slice is.
- 250 gram pizza dough ball (link to recipe above)
- 80-100 grams fresh mozzarella (swap for shredded low-moisture mozzarella if you prefer it)
- Tomato sauce (link to recipe above)
- Dried oregano
- Fresh basil
- Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
- Start with a proofed ball of dough. If it's been in the fridge, make sure it's been resting at room temperature for 2-3 hours (depending on how cold your kitchen is). If you need instructions on this, follow the recipe above.
- Gently press the dough out using the flat side of your fingers on a thick bed of semolina flour - don't poke it. This isn't Neapolitan or NYC style so you don't need to leave a 1 inch crust. Just press it out evenly into the rough shape of a rectangle. The end result should be bubbly all over, not flat in the middle like a typical pizza. Flip it over several times during this process to make sure it's not sticky. (see photos)
- Slide the plain pizza dough right onto the pizza stone. Let it pre-bake for about 2-3 minutes and take it out. The dough should have risen and bubbled up in the oven but should not be browned yet.
- If you're not using a stone, you can use a pan but you might not get as crispy of a bottom. Give the dough about 5 minutes until it's begun to bubble up but not browned yet.
- Remove the pizza dough from the oven and add tomato sauce and cheese, as well as any other toppings you like and slide it right back onto the pizza stone. If you're not using a pizza stone, you can place it right onto the oven rack or with parchment paper underneath to prevent spillage.
- When the crust has golden brown spots on the bottom and the cheese is melted and bubbling, remove it from the oven and place it directly on a cooling rack to avoid steaming the crust.
- Add fresh basil and shred some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano (or regular parmesan) on top.
- Let the pizza settle for 3-4 minutes then cut and serve.