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The authentic Milanese pizza al trancio: discover how to make it at home

Today I want to talk to you about a true icon of Milanese tradition: the pizza al trancio! In this recipe, I will reveal every secret to prepare a tasty and crispy pizza al trancio, just like in the best Milanese tradition. Grab a pen and paper (or better yet, your smartphone) and follow me on this adventure!

Recipe by

 Rudy 

of

 9 February
PREPARATION
40 minutes
COOKING
15 minutes
LEAVENING
15 hours
PORTIONS
2 baking pans 30×40
DIFFICULTY
Easy

Today I want to start by telling you a story. I imagine you have tasted at least once in your life a Milanese-style pizza al trancio or by the slice. The baker’s in short.

 

Giving a geographical location to this type of pizza is very complicated if not impossible. It is those preparations that are lost in time and tradition, but if you read the article to the end you will not only know its origins but also know how to prepare it simply and flawlessly.

 

The protagonists of my story today are 3:

Sicily, Tuscany and Lombardy.

Let’s start with the last one. Lombardy is definitely the region that has made a seemingly poor and not very “interesting” product famous from a culinary point of view. But here with us, it was the snack at school, it was the afternoon snack and it was the lunch of the biggies in the metropolis, in short, it was the “quick dish” that accompanied our youth.
Spontini, with his pizzerias, made Milanese pizza by the slice famous throughout the world.

 

The Innocenti family took over the first Spontini pizzeria in the 1950s and began selling its pizza by the slice that originated in Toscasa in the 1920s.

“So Milanese Pizza al trancio has Tuscan origins. What does Sicily have to do with it?”

A second now I’ll get to that. After the end of World War I, the progenitors of the Innocenti family, during a trip to Sicily, discovered and fell in love with a typical leavened product from Palermo, lo Sfincione, and back in Tuscany they decided to readjust the dough to local culinary customs and stuff it with only tomato and mozzarella so that they could sell it by the slice in their trattorias.

 

But why am I telling you about this much-maligned pizza that in the collective imagination is pigeonholed as junk food?

Simple, because the collective imagination is wrong.

Albeit timidly, pizzerias are springing up that have made it their workhorse, with very light doughs and incredible fillings such as Filante in Milan.

 

Pizzeria Filante Milan

 

In addition, pizza by the slice is the only one that is perfectly replicable in the home without special equipment or experience and that allows even those who are completely unfamiliar with the white art to become familiar with the steps vi processing and rising.

All you need is an ordinary, not particularly high-performance oven, a nonstick baking pan, a bowl, and some food containers.

The Milanese pizza by the slice that you will prepare today will have nothing to do with the greasy, bisected pizza you have become accustomed to; it is a light mattress, with a very soft crumb with small, well-distributed alveoli, crispy on the outside and very light to the bite.

THE DOUGH FOR MILANESE-STYLE PIZZA AL TRANCIO


Before we start making the best Milanese slice pizza you’ve ever eaten, a clarification should be made; we define the Milanese slice “pizza” solely and exclusively by its appearance. There’s tomato, mozzarella, oregano, but technically what distinguishes a pizza from a focaccia is the last stage of rising before baking.

Remember, if a risen dough is baked immediately after being rolled out, what will come out of the oven will be a pizza.

If, on the other hand, the dough is rolled out and allowed to rise further before being put in the formo, we are making a focaccia.

With the pleasantries over
, let’s get the dancing started, and let’s look together at the ingredients you’ll need.

 

Pizza by the slice without mozzarella

THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE DOUGH

Flour – For today’s pizza by the slice, the flour to use is a soft wheat type “0” or “00” of strength between W320 and 370.
If you are not clear on the concept of “flour strength” for the time being, I would ask you to trust me, it would be premature to delve into this topic, but I will soon, I promise.

The flour I recommend you use if you are just starting out is our Manitoba, a strength flour particularly suitable for this product. It will allow you to manage all the steps in a simple and perfectly visible way.

The low concentration of water, that is, the hydration we will use to prepare this dough, will not give you any absorption problems, and I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the few doughs that succeeds better by hand than in planetary or professional mixers.

 

Water- Normal tap water if not excessively hard, don’t get too much trouble, at the limit any natural mineral water will do.
The advice is to put it in the refrigerator a couple of hours before you start kneading especially in warm months or at any rate if you work in environments with temperatures above 22 °C.

 

Yeast-you can choose to use fresh, cubed yeast that you find in the supermarket or dry yeast in pouches that you find in the store.
The dosage of course changes but don’t worry, you can find everything written in the lines to follow.

 

Salt Salt is salt, sodium chloride (NaCl) there are no magic salts so use what you have in the cupboard.

 

Malt (diastasic) – When you need to rise a dough very quickly, as will happen in our case, it is likely that our little yeast friends (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) will run out of nourishment at some point, consuming so much sugar that you will get a “pale” product after baking.
The malt allows the yeasts to feed constantly throughout the leavening process, averting the risk of arriving at the bake with a dough low in sugars and failing to achieve proper surface caramelization (Maillard reaction).

Diastatic malt can NOT be substituted with sugars such as fructose, glucose, sucrose, or honey, as is sometimes suggested.

Pardon the term, but it is another one of those unlistenable hogwash things you read around. Simple sugars have no “diastatic power,” which, greatly simplified, is the ability to transform the starch in the dough into sugars.
It is completely useless, they would be consumed by the yeasts in the initial stage without giving any benefit to the final product.

 

THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING

Tomato – Tomatoes are not to be trifled with; they should be used of quality, with low seed and placental fiber content, sweet flavor and moderate acidity.
Peeled San Marzano dell’Agro Sernese Nocerino DOP or a good organic peeled one are the best varieties for long cooking, 15 to 20 minutes of a pizza by the slice.

Fior di latte – Preferably d’Agerola with a paste slightly different from classic mozzarella, more fibrous, with less whey and a thinner “film.” Alternatively, a good mozzarella braid can be a good substitute.

EVO oil – A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil before baking and a swirl before serving and your dining room will be an explosion of scents.

Dried oreganoUnmissable aromatic herb that should never be missing on pizza by the slice and accompanies the tomato, enhancing its flavor.

 

MILANESE SLICE INSTRUCTIONS

We will prepare 2 Milanese-style slices together with buns weighing about 700 grams each and knead them the day before to bake the next day.

Ingredients

for the dough

 

for the filling

 

recommended equipment

KNEADING

As I mentioned earlier, Milanese pizza al trancio is kneaded by hand, but if you happen to have a stand mixer or a spiral mixer, you can safely use them, although they are not absolutely necessary for this type of dough.

 

  • First pour all the flour into a bowl large enough to hold about three times as much.
  • Fill a pitcher with the 500 g of water taken from the refrigerator and dissolve the yeast and malt in it.
  • At this point create the classic “volcano” in the center of the flour and insert the previously prepared solution.
  • Start mixing the ingredients using a spoon, pay special attention to lumps, which should be completely absent, and continue until the water and flour are coarsely blended.
  • Then add salt and proceed to manipulate the dough.
    In order for all the elements to be mixed in the best way, the easiest method is to rotate the bowl with one hand while using the other to bring the dough from the bottom to the center, never stopping.
  • Once you have a smooth, nonsticky loaf you are ready for the next step.

 

 

STRETCHING AND FORMING OF BUNS

In Italian, “staglio” is simply the division of the dough into portions of desired weight, which will then be shaped into regular dough balls and proceed to the next stage. Then, as soon as you finish kneading:

 

  • Let the dough rest on the counter for about 30 minutes covered with plastic wrap.
  • Prepare 2 ofour leavening containers or get 2 similar ones of at least 2 liters well oiled.
  • Divide the dough into two loaves of about 700 grams each and close the cut side by accompanying the dough on the surface, forming loaves that can be conveniently stored in containers.

 

FIRST RISING

After forming nice oval-shaped balls you need to put them in a condition to rise without drying out or damaging them.

  • Drizzle a little oil over the buns, place them in the containers and close them with their airtight lids.
  • Then place them in the upper part of the refrigerator, the warmer part that should have a temperature of about 6°C for approximately 12 hours or until they double in volume.
    The rectangular shape and the transparency of the containers are not insignificant aspects; they will greatly help you to have a certain visual effect of how much the dough is growing and make it easier for you in the next step, the rolling out.

STYLE

After the night has passed, your leavened loaves are ready to be spread out on well-oiled baking sheets. Check that the doughs have at least doubled in volume and proceed.

 

  • Grease 2 aluminized 30x40x3 cm baking pans with a well-poured oil drizzle on both the surface and the edges or use similar ones preferably nonstick. NEVER USE BAKING PAPER.
  • Dust the work surface with very little semolina to prevent the dough from “sticking” to the surface and turn the container upside down so that the dough ball lies on the surface. If it does not come off help yourself with a spatula trying not to damage it.
  • Give it a rectangular shape by helping yourself with your fingertips and start rolling it out with a rolling pin. Try to “copy” the shape of the pan into which it is to be placed.
  • Once the rolled out dough has almost reached the size and shape of the baking pan, gently bring it to your forearm and lay it inside .
    Alternatively, if you don’t feel up to handling already rolled out dough, you can do the whole operation inside the baking pan, provided you have a rolling pin of the proper shape.
  • Now all you have to do is “dress” the pans by arranging the edges and corners and cover them with plastic wrap.

LEAVENING IN THE PAN

The second rising will take place directly in the baking dish. If everything has gone well so far, you can relax because now it is time to see the results of your efforts.

 

  • Turn on the oven light to create an environment that reaches 26/27°C, place the covered baking sheets in the oven and let them rest for about 2 hours.
  • While your dough is “resting,” prepare the San Marzano peeled tomatoes in a bowl by crushing them with your hands, season with oil and salt, set aside, and cut the mozzarella into thin strips.

CONDENSATION

At this stage you can actually indulge, but the first few times I advise you not to take too much “initiative.” Moisture in the filling can greatly affect successful baking. Familiarize yourself with your oven first and then venture more elaborate toppings.

 

  • After the 120 minutes has elapsed, or however long it takes for your dough to have nearly tripled from its initial volume, take out the pans and preheat the oven to 240°C in static mode.
  • Start spreading some of the tomato with your hands (about 150 g per pizza), covering the edges as well but being careful not to go over.
  • A good sprinkling of oregano and a drizzle of excellent organic extra virgin olive oil will give character, fragrance and color.
  • Once you have evenly distributed the toppings, you can finally proceed to cook your Milanese-style pizza al trancio.

 

 

COOKING

This is it, it’s time to really bake and in 16 to 20 minutes your Pizza la Trancio Milanese will be ready.

 

  • When the oven has reached the set temperature, bake one pan at a time at about half height for 7 to 8 minutes.
    Consider that each home oven works differently and each pan has a different response to heat transfer, so the baking position you will have to adjust with experience.
  • When the first stage of cooking is finished, season with more tomato by gently spreading it with your hands or the back of a spoon.
    In case the seasoning distributed initially has not dried properly skip this step because you may have difficulty finishing the cooking.
  • Add another sprinkling of oregano and bake again in the same position for about 7 to 8 minutes more, or at least until the edge a has reached a nice golden color.
  • At this point remove from oven again, finish topping with mozzarella cheese. Finish cooking only when it is completely melted, 2-3 minutes will be enough.
  • Now you can “bake,” remove the steaming, fragrant slice from the pan and place it on a raised rack so that condensation does not “soften” the golden bottom and it becomes crispy.
  • Finish with another sprinkling of oregano and drizzle with excellent extra virgin olive oil.

 

CONCLUDING

Now you can cut and enjoy together with your diners this soft, fragrant, and enjoyable Milanese pizza by the slice.

If done properly this is a pizza that has no equal.

It is by far the one that best represents conviviality and sharing and, like Roman-style pan pizza, is also exceptional regenerated (reheated). Have you already sent messages to friends and family to let them try your next creation?

 

What if I told you that there is a valuable box set that, in addition to all the ingredients, contains a real detailed manual that will guide you step by step in creating the perfect pizza?

 

Pizza al Trancio box MILAN

 

The MILAN box is all this and much more! Click below and find out what it is and how you can get it home in 24 hours with no shipping charge.

 

Show me the details of the MILAN box!

 

 

 

Have fun!

 

Rudy.

Ingredients

for the dough

 

for the filling

 

recommended equipment

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