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Pinsa Explained

Pinsa (pronounced “peen-sa”) is an Italian delicacy of hand-pressed pizza that's just beginning to be discovered outside of Italy. Pinsa paired with an appetizer, like a charcuterie board, can really make your customers feel like they are sitting at an Italian bistro watching the sun set over the Amalfi coast. Learn more about pinsa, how it is made, and the most common type of pinsa pizza you can offer to customers at your restaurant.

What Is Pinsa or Pinza?

Pinsa is a style of hand-pressed pizza dough that has been a part of Roman artisan baking and cooking for over 100 years. The name pinsa is derived from the term “pinsere,” which means “push the dough by hand” in Latin. You may have heard of pinza, but to clarify, pinsa and pinza are the same thing, they just have slightly different spellings based on where the term is being used.

Pinsa vs Pizza

A lot of people do not know the difference between pinsa and pizza or consider them one in the same. To specify their main differences, we've broken them down below.

Pinsa Differences

Pinsa Flatbread
  • Made from all-purpose flour
  • Most commonly served in an oval shape
  • Fermentation for pinsa ranges from 48 to 72 hours
  • The dough uses more water than standard pizza dough
  • Thinner and lighter in texture
  • Pinsa dough is pressed and flattened by hand

Pizza Differences

  • Made from wheat flour
  • Circular in shape
  • Pizza dough ferments for a minimum of 24 hours
  • Contains more flour than pinsa dough
  • Variety of crust thicknesses
  • Pizza dough is tossed or thrown by hand

How to Make Pinsa Dough

Pinsa Dough

Pinsa dough is not hard to make. As long as you have the right ingredients and follow the directions, you can cook up a delicious pizza for your customers. To make the perfect pinsa dough, follow this recipe.

Pinsa Dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • 1/2 cup of rice flour
  • 1/2 Tbs. of active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sheets of parchment paper

If you would like to make pinsa pizza dough but do not have yeast for this recipe, there are a variety of yeast substitutes that you can use instead.

Directions

  1. Mix both types of flour and yeast together in a large bowl.
  2. Add in the cold water slowly while whisking it together with the flour.
  3. Add in the olive oil and salt and mix together until there is no dry flour and the dough is smooth and elastic in texture.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, mix for a final time, cover again, and let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  6. After 24 hours, take the dough out on a powdered surface and split the large ball in half.
  7. Shape each piece into two smaller balls and place them on parchment paper on their own baking sheets.
  8. Dust the tops with a little flour and follow the pinsere method.
  9. Using your fingers, begin to push the dough towards the sides of your baking sheet and make an oval shape with the dough.
  10. Once flattened, use a basting brush and cover the dough in a light sheen of olive oil before arranging your desired toppings for baking.

Pinsa Toppings

When choosing the toppings for your pinsa pizza, you can be as creative or as normal as you want! Whether you have picky eaters like children who might only like a cheese or pepperoni pinsa or their parents who have more experienced taste buds, you can craft a pinsa to please both. Try a margarita style or a more traditional cheese and mushroom pinsa called Pinsa Romana.

Pinsa Romana

Pinsa Romana is a classic type of pinsa made in Italy and many other places around the world. Known for its aged provolone and sauteed garlic and mushrooms, Pinsa Romana is a light and tasty dinner option. To make Pinsa Romana yourself, follow our pinsa pizza dough recipe and once you are ready for toppings, add the following:

  1. Take a large skillet and warm it up to medium heat.
  2. Add in a pound of chopped mushrooms, two cloves of chopped/crushed garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil to sautee.
  3. Pour in 1/2 a cup of white wine to the pan and simmer.
  4. After simmering for 5 minutes, add salt, pepper, and parsley to taste and remove from heat.
  5. Cut provolone into slices and place on the pinsa dough.
  6. Sprinkle mushroom topping over the cheese and bake for 12 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Try taking your own twist on a classic pinsa recipe or make up your own pinsa toppings for your restaurant customers. Pinsa is a quick and easy menu option that many people would love to experience at your restaurant!

Posted in: Recipes | Menu Tips | Kitchen & Cooking Tips | By Angalena Malavenda
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