Pizza is one of the best dishes you can cook at home as it is easy and fast to make.
The pizza cornicione was interesting to listen to yet what it is and how to make it was the first thing that came to my mind when I came across it.
There are people(including me until now) who refer to the pizza crust as the edge of the pizza.
It is technically not right because the crust is the whole base of the pizza or the dough.
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Terminology is important if you want to teach someone how to make the perfect pizza.
Pizza Cornicione is the raised edges of a pizza.
You can easily see it on a Neapolitan Pizza, and the thickness of this raised part is usually about 1-2cm.
To make it, you need to know how you knead and shape the dough.
You need to be careful in making it or not make it perfect as you are supposed to.
To make the best cornicione pizza, you will need to know what the components are.
You need to make sure that you have the right ingredients and cook the pizza at the right temperature.
So with this post, you will know what exactly this type of pizza is and how to make it.
Follow and read on to get tips and guides on making the best pizza with the perfect pizza cornicione at home.
What Is Pizza Cornicione?
Most Americans refer to the edge of the pizza as the crust.
However, this is not right since the crust is the base of the pizza itself, and it includes the one at the bottom, not only the edge.
Pizza is typically an Italian dish, and they have a term for the raised rim of the pizza, also called cornicione.
The cornicione is only the edge of the pizza and not the whole crust or base of the pizza. The edges or rim of the pizza are about 1 inch high and it is crunchy on the outside and nice and airy on the inside.
So with that, you can have an idea of what is cornicione, and in a bit, I would explain how to make the pizza cornicione.
To make the perfect cornicione on your pizza, you need to perfect the shaping of the pizza dough and cook it at a high temperature to get the perfect cornicione.
The cornicione should be airy and crispy. This happens if there is a proper gluten development that traps the air bubbles in the dough when cooking.
And hence you get a nice crispy airy cornicione which we want to achieve in our pizza.
Most pizzerias attain the slightly raised edges on their pizza and the crispy crust.
The edges should have a nice browning on them, and it tastes divine.
The texture is perhaps one of the most important parts of this pizza.
The edge needs to be crispy on the outside and chewy inside to be considered a perfect pizza cornicione.
Having the right pizza dough is extremely important to get the perfect texture and we would get more into its detail in the next section.
What is a True Neapolitan Pizza Cornicione?
There are standards set for a pizza to be called Neapolitan pizza cornicione.
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association international standards state that a true Neapolitan pizza should have somewhere between half of an inch to an inch thickness on the edge of the pizza.
If you see a pizza with a flat edge with the sauce almost dripping off the pizza, that is not a true Neapolitan pizza cornicione. The raised edge has a crispy outside and chewy interior.
How To Create The Perfect Cornicione On Your Pizza?
Cooking the pizza itself is pretty much the same as how you would cook your regular pizzas.
So with this, we will look at the different aspects when it comes to making pizza cornicione.
The most important thing about making pizza cornicione is the development of gluten.
You need to make sure that you put enough air pockets in the dough to get the right texture on the edge.
You need to use good quality pizza flour, Caputo 00 pizza flour is the best that I recommend as it has more gluten.
You need more gluten to get the gluten development needed to get that perfect air pockets in your pizza cornicione.
Proper gluten development and hydration that happens when you knead the pizza dough, it helps form small air pockets.
The air is released from the fermentation of the yeast.
So, Gluten stretches and creates spaces within the dough when they are hydrated.
These spaces fill with the gases that the yeast in the dough produces when fermented.
With the bubbles inside the dough, all you need to do is push them to the edge of the pizza dough to create that bubbly or airy interior of the cornicione and the crispy exterior.
You need to make sure to use Tipo 0 or Tipo 00 flour for this to happen as these flours are finely milled and the best flour for making a pizza.
Activate The Yeast
Aside from the pockets that the gluten structure creates, you will also need to activate the yeast you use properly to get those gases to fill up the pockets and make a fluffy finish inside the dough.
You can use fresh yeast or instant yeast for this to happen.
I usually add my yeast to a water+salt+one tbsp flour mixture and then I add my flour and start kneading my dough.
So, adding flour is the last thing I do while making my pizza dough and this results in the best gluten developments.
You would want long and slow fermentation to get the most out of the yeast if you want to do some cold fermentation.
If you are doing cold fermentation, then using a lesser amount of yeast will do.
Reducing the amount of yeast you use will allow the dough to rise slowly between 8 hours and a day.
I usually follow my authentic Neapolitan pizza dough recipe, and I’m pretty much happy with my results.
Still, you can play with the quantity of these basic ingredients and see which results you like the best.
Shaping The Dough
After kneading the dough, you will also need to shape it into the pizza that you want.
To attain the cornicione on the pizza, you need to shape and stretch the dough properly.
The secret here is to make sure that you push the air pockets to the edge of the dough by starting the shaping procedure from the middle and pushing out as you shape the dough.
Roll around and slightly toss the pizza dough with your hands as you stretch it.
I stretch it with my knuckles because let’s face it, I cannot toss it in the air since I’m not that pro yet.
Ensure not to let the bubbles go out of the dough and never use a rolling pin to squeeze the bubbles out.
How To Make the Perfect Pizza Cornicione
What You Will Need
- Caputo Tip 00 Pizzeria Flour
- Sauce And Toppings Of Your Choice
Step 1: Make The Dough
First, take water in a bowl and add some salt to it. Now add 10 percent of the total flour you have or just two tbsp to form a crepe-like batter.
Once you have diluted the salt in the water with some flour, add some yeast and mix it.
You can add fresh yeast or instant yeast as per your choice.
Now slowly add the dough and keep kneading it till you get a nice smooth pizza dough ball.
Knead the dough for a few minutes
Once you get to the right consistency, use your hands to roll the dough into a big ball. Place it in a bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and rise at room temperature for at least an hour.
Step 2: Shape The Dough
Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it into two and get one ball of dough.
Start kneading it by pushing your hands in the middle of the dough as you fold the edges to the dough.
Shape and stretch the dough with your hands by pushing the center to the edge.
Turn the pizza slightly with one hand as you stretch the edges with the other hand.
Push the bubbles(basically the dough) in the middle to the edges, and then make sure that you have raised edges.
Step 3: Assemble And Cook
Once the dough is ready, put your pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings on the dough and then cook it in a preheated oven.
Make sure that the oven reaches at least 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the pizza for about 90 seconds and then remove it from the oven once the edges start to brown and the cheese melts to perfection.
Let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving!
Cooking The Pizza
To achieve the crispiness of the cornicione and the chewy interior, you need to cook the pizza at a temperature of at least 800 degrees Fahrenheit to get the moisture evaporated quickly.
You can try making it inside your home oven, but I highly doubt you would get results as good as you can get with some good outdoor pizza ovens.
To get the best Pizza Cornicione the temperature is pretty much important hence you can use these tips.
Ensure that you use the highest heat on your pizza oven and preheat the pizza stone with the oven.
This way, you maximize your chances of getting the best results, and to be honest, the results are not bad, just that they might not be as good as in a wood-fired pizza oven.
The high temperature will give the pizza crust a crispy finish and the edges will puff up.
This will let the moisture leave the cornicione with a crispy outside and a chewy interior when cooked.
Using Broiler for Maximum Heat
The last option is to use the Broiler in your oven as this maximizes the heat and many can create the leopard spots in their pizza with it.
This is the maximum temperature, and you need to place your stone as close to the broiler as possible.
It is best to place it in the top rack of the oven as that is the best way to take advantage of it.
You can even preheat the stone this way to get the best Neapolitan pizza at home using your broiler.
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