When in Rome, do as the Romans do and eat pizza al taglio. Rome is known for the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Sistine Chapel. But did you know it’s also known for its pizza style too? Pizza al taglio is Rome’s signature pizza that you can find throughout the city.
We have to say it was one of our favorite things about Rome. Luckily you don’t have to go all the way to Rome to get it (but hey, if you can, go to Rome), but if you can’t, don’t worry, we can teach you how to make homemade pizza al taglio.
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What is Pizza Al Taglio?
Pizza al taglio translates to “pizza by the cut” and is a rectangular slice of pizza. It is traditionally sold the kilo, and diners grab and go a slice from one of the many shops that sell it throughout Rome and the rest of Italy. Some call it Roman pizza.
Pizza al talgio is not in a traditional round pizza shape cut into slices. Instead, it is made in rectangular pans and cut into squares or rectangles. Diners can choose how much they want, and it’s sold by weight. The crust is thick and airy with a crispy crunch finish.
The crust is almost a mix of focaccia and Detroit-style pizza, similar to a Philly tomato pie but with toppings. The dough has a unique texture that makes it light and dense at the same time. Pizzaiolos use a cold fermentation process to allow the gluten to build, and the dough is left to rise in the refrigerator for anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours.
This long fermentation and the dough’s high hydration are what create that special crust.
When it comes to toppings on pizza al taglio there are no limits. Toppings can be anything from a classic margarita to cured meats like salty prosciutto to seasonal vegetables. Pizza al taglio is where creative pizzaiolos can really shine.
Where to Find Pizza Al Taglio?
Pizza al talgio is available throughout Italy, but the best is, of course, in Rome. But some pizzerias are catching on in the States and offering up pizza al taglio.
One of the pizzaiolos considered an innovator for this style of pizza is Gabriele Bonci, who you may remember from Chef’s Table: Pizza Edition, who opened a pizza al taglio pizzeria in Chicago. And there are other pizzaiolos that are taking note, and now there are more places offering this delicious pizza style.
Diners are embracing this pizza because it is affordable, filling, and tasty. Plus, it also has some wiggle room to try different flavors and toppings. Pizza al taglio lets diners try a little of this and a little of that. Diners don’t have to agree on pizza toppings because everybody can choose their own pizza adventure when eating pizza al taglio.
Notable Pizza Al Taglio Spots in the U.S.
More and more pizza al taglio pizzerias are opening up throughout the U.S. as pizza lovers are eager to eat pizza al taglio. Here are a few in the U.S. that are highly recommended.
Bonci in Chicago (there is one in Rome. too)
Rock Pizza Scissors in New York City
Rione in Philadelphia
Triple Beam Pizza in Los Angeles
How to Make Homemade Pizza Al Taglio
If you can’t make it to Rome and your city doesn’t have a pizzeria that makes pizza al taglio you can still try it because we are going to teach you how to make homemade pizza al talgio.
First and foremost, we should mention that pizza al taglio is made with a high-hydration dough, usually at 80% hydration, which means it’s a sticky dough that can be challenging to work with, so you may need to have a few practice rounds to get the hang of it before you invite your friends over for a pizza al taglio pizza night.
You will need:
This is an Italian recipe, so you can see why you need a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients. When it comes to dough hydration and the real nuts and bolts of pizza dough, then using a kitchen scale is highly recommended by expert pizzaiolos. Not Italian like mortadella, more like Italian more-the-merrier.
Start by activating the yeast with some of the 400 grams of warm water. We suggest measuring out the water and then taking a little from that to activate the yeast. Then gradually start mixing the ingredients together. You can use a silicone spatula to start getting it mixing.
After all of the flour is mixed in, ditch the spatula and use your clean hands to stretch and fold the dough. It will be sticky and have a shaggy look to it. Fold and stretch several times, then cover and let the dough rest for thirty minutes.
You are going to stretch and fold again and let rest for thirty minutes. Do this three times. The last time form a ball and cover it in an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours.
Take the dough out and let it rest at room temperature for two hours. Then lay the dough on a floured surface and start stretching it out. Don’t overwork the dough and ruin those airy bubbles. Oil your pan and lay the dough in the pan, and stretch to fit the pan.
If you want a crispy edge, remove the pizza from the pan for the last five minutes of baking and let it finish on a pizza stone. When the pizza is done, let it rest for a few minutes before cutting.
Pizza al taglio is usually cut with scissors to keep the airiness of the dough, but if you don’t have pizza scissors, just use your pizza cutter. Serve this homemade Roman pizza with your favorite beer or wine.
And while the dipping sauce isn’t a traditional Roman thing, we won’t tell the pizza police if you serve your homemade pizza al taglio with your favorite pizza dipping sauce.
Fresh Toppings for Pizza Al Taglio
Think fresh and seasonal for toppings, and let your imagination take over. Some of our favorite pizza al taglio toppings are a mix of classic flavors and modern seasonal twists.
Some topping ideas:
- Fresh mozzarella with asparagus
- Mushrooms with pea shoots
- Spinach and artichokes
- Fontina cheese and salami
- Broccolini with prosciutto
- Ricotta and pears with honey
- Grilled eggplant with pancetta
- Potato, rosemary, and mozzarella
- Zucchini and ricotta
- Vodka sauce and ricotta
- Arugula, tomato, and ham
- Blue cheese and steak
- Anchovies, black olives, and cherry tomatoes
These are just some ideas for pizza al taglio toppings. We suggest you take a trip to your local farmers market, see what is in season, and start from there.
Have you tried pizza al taglio before?