[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]
Whereas the state of on-the-go pizza in Rome by no means reached the abysmal lows of New York’s postrecession dollar-slice years, town has loved an analogous increase interval of thrilling, fashionable, and scrumptious pizza al taglio over the previous 15 years. Due to pizzaioli, comparable to Gabriele Bonci and Stefano Callegari—who share lots of the values of New York’s pizza revivalists (using sluggish and pure fermentation, high-quality elements, and freshly milled flour)—Rome’s equal of pizza by the slice has exploded in reputation. Each Bonci and Callegari now have outposts in the US, and this has meant that among the best pizza-related improvements of the previous few a long time has crossed the Atlantic: the trapizzino.
The trapizzino, invented by Callegari at his authentic pizza store 00100 within the Testaccio neighborhood of Rome, is a hybrid of Roman pizza bianca and a sandwich. The title is a mashup of the phrases “pizza” and “tramezzino,” a mode of sandwich in Italy that is made with crustless white bread and is reduce into triangles (as a result of Italians additionally know triangles style higher). For his trapizzini, Callegari bakes up puffy squares of pizza bianca that he then cuts into triangles, slits open to kind a pocket, and fills with riffs on conventional Roman dishes, like braised oxtail and meatballs.
Throughout a latest game-day meals brainstorming session, I noticed these pizza pockets would make an ideal sport-viewing snack: They are often baked upfront and full of any variety of tailgate-friendly fillings. Who wants a soggy sub roll when you can also make sandwiches out of pizza dough? I set off to recreate the magic of the trapizzino, the Platonic very best of pizza pockets.
The Dough
As I discussed earlier, the trapizzino dough is a variation of pizza bianca, which is offered at each bread bakeries and pizza al taglio outlets (the Roman equal of a New York slice joint). Bakery pizza bianca, just like the one from Forno Campo de’ Fiori that impressed Kenji’s no-knead, at-home model, is often baked immediately on the bakery’s oven deck in lengthy items. This yields a thinner and crunchier product than the puffier and doughier al taglio variations, that are baked in black metal pans referred to as teglie, just like the trays used to make Sicilian-style pizza right here within the States.
Trapizzino dough ups the ante on the puffiness of al taglio pizza bianca. It must have sufficient peak and construction that it may be break up open and full of saucy fillings with out falling aside, nevertheless it additionally must be gentle and ethereal in order that it does not simply grow to be a heavy intestine bomb.
Callegari’s proprietary trapizzino dough recipe is leavened with a pure sourdough starter, which makes for scrumptious pizza however not a straightforward at-home, game-day-friendly recipe. To make a extra user-friendly model, I made a decision to adapt Kenji’s pizza bianca recipe, which will get its rise from instantaneous yeast, whereas additionally incorporating the cold-fermentation and dough-folding strategies utilized by Bonci. I began by scaling up Kenji’s recipe so as to yield a full 13-by-18-inch baking sheet of pizza.
I whisk collectively bread flour, salt, and instantaneous yeast to verify the yeast and salt are evenly distributed. Subsequent goes within the water, which will get stirred into the dry elements with a picket spoon till a lumpy dough types, with no seen dry flour remaining. To ensure the dough would not find yourself being too dense when baked as a thicker piece, I elevated the hydration barely (as much as 80 p.c) to make it extra extensible and provides it a extra open crumb.
First Rise
After the water, I incorporate just a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil into the dough itself. Whereas the underside and prime crusts will probably be coated with loads of olive oil earlier than baking, including oil to the dough ensures its taste is not simply on the floor however is carried all over this thicker pizza bianca. The dough is positioned in an oiled bowl, lined with plastic wrap, and allowed to rise for one hour at room temperature.
Doughrigami: Folding the Dough
As soon as the primary rise is full, the dough is turned out onto a floured work floor and will get folded to include air into the dough and strengthen the dough’s gluten community. This step additionally eliminates extra carbon dioxide produced through the preliminary rise, which may find yourself inhibiting yeast exercise through the longer bulk fermentation.
To fold the dough, pat it right into a rectangle, after which gently pull the higher and decrease edges of the dough into the middle of the rectangle and pinch them collectively to kind a seam operating parallel to the countertop’s edge. Rotate the dough 90 levels, so the seam is perpendicular to the counter edge, and repeat the folding and pinching movement. Repeat the rotation and folding step as soon as extra earlier than protecting the dough with a clear kitchen towel, permitting it to calm down for 15 minutes.
Chilly Fermentation
Repeat all the folding and rotating sequence as soon as extra, providing you with a complete of six folds. Strengthening the dough and incorporating air into it with this folding course of offers the inside of the completed pizza an ethereal lightness that also has loads of chew. As you may see within the picture under, the folded dough enjoys a extra even rise and is much less dense with extra uniform air pockets in its crumb.
On the left: cold-fermented, folded dough. On the precise: room temperature-fermented, no-knead dough.For the majority fermentation, the dough is positioned in a big bowl, which is wrapped in plastic and transferred to the fridge for at the least 18 hours and as much as three days. Chilly fermentation causes yeast to provide carbon dioxide at a slower charge, which creates a extra uniform rise as nicely extra complicated taste compounds than doughs fermented at room temperature.
Closing Proof
The subsequent day I flip the dough out onto a well-oiled rimmed baking sheet, and gently stretch the dough to fill the pan earlier than protecting it as much as permit it to proof and rise one remaining time. Whereas the dough rises, I set a Baking Metal or pizza stone within the oven and crank up the oven as excessive as it would go. That is additionally a good time to place collectively or, higher but, reheat your trapizzino fillings. Throughout testing, I stored my fillings fairly traditional Italian: pulled hen cacciatore, sautéed broccoli rabe, and a batch of Daniel’s Italian-American meatballs. All of them labored superbly, however that is to not say you may’t department out and stuff your pizza pockets with one thing decidedly completely different, like Texas-style chili or braised lamb shoulder. For stress-free game-day entertaining, I might suggest braised meat or vegetable dishes that may be stored heat in a Dutch oven in your stovetop or in a sluggish cooker, if that is one thing you’ve got in your kitchen.
Earlier than baking the pizza, I divide the dough within the pan into eight rectangles utilizing a bench scraper. Olive oil will get drizzled across the edges of every rectangle and over all the floor of the dough, earlier than all of it will get a remaining sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Every rectangle will make two pizza pockets, for a complete of 16 parts—good for a crowd.
Get Artful
Whilst you’re making the magic occur within the kitchen, get some assist with the ending trapizzino touches. You probably have any industrious little ones round the home, or some artful adults who have not been postpone of paper boats for all times by Pennywise, have them trend some pizza pocket holsters out of parchment paper. I’m by no means completed at nighttime arts of paper-folding and even I managed to make some satisfactory paper cones, due to a step-by-step on-line tutorial. The web comes via every now and then.
Twice Baked
I discovered that these pizza pockets want the identical twice-baked remedy that Kenji gave his pizza bianca so as to correctly crisp and brown the underside crust. After baking the pizza within the rimmed baking sheet till the dough is cooked via and the highest is a burnished golden brown, I take away them from the oven and allow them to cool barely.
I then pop the rectangles out of the baking sheet and place them again within the oven, immediately on the Baking Metal. After a couple of minutes the underside crust will probably be crisp and nicely browned, and your trapizzini are able to be portioned and crammed. You possibly can maintain off on this step till you’re prepared to begin consuming, in order that the trapizzini might be loved heat.
Reduce ‘Em and Stuff ‘Em
All that is left to do is reduce every rectangle in half diagonally to kind triangles, after which reduce a slit down the center of the reduce facet to open up a pocket. Nestle pockets of their parchment wrappers, and pile them up with fillings of your alternative. Seize a beverage, a seat on the sofa, and bask within the wonderful union of pizza and sandwich.

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