Experimenting With Pizza Stone – Pizza with Poolish Method by Alterkitchen

Pizza with Stracchino, Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula


We’re into the last week of our kitchen remodel (hopefully), so my dear Italian friend Giulia of Alterkitchen has brought us pizza to help get us through the week!  What a friend!!!  When I first came across Alterkitchen well over a year ago, I knew that I needed to know more about the person behind the blog.  Everything on her About page hit home.  She loves to read, travel, watch movies, cook, knead bread, and even though she is only in her 20’s, she loves 70’s rock music! Talk about having a lot in common (everything but being 20 something :))!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my young Italian friend, her food, and her country.  She has taken me to places I have never seen and has turned me on to dishes that I had never heard of.  Thank you Giulietta!!!

Today Giulia is sharing a traditional Italian method for making pizza (pizza crust) – the Poolish method; something else I’ve never heard of and can’t wait to try!  To check out her other wonderful recipes, be sure to click on Alterkitchen before you leave here.  So I’ll shut up now and turn you over to Giulia!


Pizza is one of the GREAT ITALIC LOVES.  We can fight as much as we want, the stereotypes about Italians and our pizza, pasta and mandolin, but I candidly admit that I couldn’t give up pizza. About a year ago I wrote about Gabriele Bonci’s pizza, a high hydration pizza to prepare in a pan. I didn’t finish with it, because I have a lot of seasonal combinations to try.

I’m always looking for new pizza recipes. Then, on my birthday, a pizza stone arrived unexpectedly, an object of desire for a very long time. I immediately started looking for a recipe expressly created to use my brand new pizza stone (which is nothing more than a refractory stone/brick, available in any building materials store)!

Of course, we came close to drama when we found out, a few hours before the first experiment, that the stone didn’t allow the oven to close properly, but thanks to MacGyver’s intervention (aka my father) we managed to avoid the crisis. Who would stop me now?

The recipe I propose you came from Adriano of Profumo di lievito, a recipe that I have seen so many times around the net, and now I can confirm its magnificence. I’ll continue to experiment, but with this exciting beginning, I can only improve!

ATTENTION: For this preparation you’ll need a full day: the process starts the evening before (otherwise you could prepare some dough in advance and freeze it.  For the freezing solution, look at the bottom of the recipe).


Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella, ‘Nduja and Grilled Zucchini


I copied the definition given by Adriano: “More than a recipe, this is a way to home-made the round pizza typical of an Italian pizzeria.

With this recipe you’ll have a pizza with slightly crispy edges and with pleasant smell of freshly baked bread”



Pizza with Poolish Method Recipe

Yield: 7 pizzas


270 g 0f flour
80 g of durum wheat flour (semolina)
500 g of Manitoba flour
3 g of fresh brewer’s yeast (during summer the amount should be reduced to 1.5 g)
1 teaspoon of malt (optional, I didn’t use it)
25 g of salt (you could use less if desired)
30 g  (~2 Tbsp.) of extra-virgin olive oil
500 g (~2 cups) of lukewarm water


The evening before, prepare the poolish with 500 g of Manitoba flour, 3 g of fresh yeast (ambient temperature about 68° F/20° C; in summer the amount of yeast should be reduced to 1.5 g) dissolved in 500 g of lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of malt (optional, but during winter it helps the rising). Put in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or with a towel and let it rest until the next day.

The next morning knead the poolish with the remaining flours (270 g of flour and 80 g of durum wheat flour), sieved and added 2 tablespoons at a time; then add salt and oil and continue kneading.

Let it rest for 30 minutes, then divide the dough into 200-250 g balls (you should obtain 7 of them): place them in airtight containers (if you put more dough balls in a single container, leave them well spaced, because they’ll grow) sprinkled with flour and covered with parchment paper (it may seem excessive, but it’s not: you’ll be sure they don’t stick to the container), then place the containers in the coldest area of your fridge (the bottom shelf).

Two hours before rolling out, take out the dough from the refrigerator.

A little time before dinner time, place the pizza stone close to the top grill of your oven (12 cm (~5 in) max) and turn the oven to maximum.

While the oven heats up, roll out the pizza dough (here you can see Adriano’s method).

Once the oven reaches maximum temperature, turn on the grill (if you’re going to use the grill), garnish a pizza with the topping you like (you’ll bake a pizza one at a time) and place it on the pizza stone with the aid of a peel (even a rudimentary one, made with a piece of wood or the back of a baking pan. The important thing is that you find it useful and that you sprinkle it with some semolina or flour (this will make it easier to slide the pizza onto the stone).

The ideal cooking on the grill, recommended by Adriano, is around 3 minutes. In my oven (maximum temperature 392° F/200 ° C), the optimum cooking takes about 10 minutes. Try your oven!

Once the pizza is ready, take it out of the oven (thanks to the peel) and serve it piping hot. Garnish the next pizza and bake it, and continue until you run out of pizza… or until you run out of hunger.



Kitchen Notes

You can freeze the dough balls (wrap them tightly and individually in plastic wrap, then place them in the freezer). When you want to use them, take the dough balls out from the freezer about 8 hours before you need them. Let sit at 71° F/22 ° C.

The topping I chose for my pizzas, in order of appearance, are stracchino, cherry tomatoes and arugula; buffalo mozzarella, ‘nduja and grilled zucchini; and buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto crudo.

Note from MJ – I provided some of the conversions; however, when it came to the flours, I left them alone and would highly recommend weighing the amounts.  Flours have different densities, and thus, different conversion rates, so weighing seems to be the best method.


Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella and Prosciutto Crudo


Changing the subject: please, take a look at my dog’s muzzle when pizza was ready. 🙂


Thanks my friend for this wonderful post!

Now it’s time to head over to Alterkitchen if you haven’t already.


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49 Responses to “Experimenting With Pizza Stone – Pizza with Poolish Method by Alterkitchen”

  1. Su Anne October 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Scrumptious looking pizza! I’ll WILL try your recipe for the dough. You’re going to have such fun with your new pizza stone!
    Thank You!

  2. Su Anne October 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    A stone for baking breads and especially pizza is wonderful. A potter friend made a pair years (ok, decades) ago that together cover one rack of my oven with a bit of circulation room around the edges. They are blackened, oil stained and precious to me. Hum, I think I’ll make pizza when you and/or Bob are here next, soon I hope.
    I miss you, hugs.

    • mj October 19, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      OK you two (you and Giulia) – I guess it’s high time for me to buy a stone! I actually have the perfect place to put it and now the perfect way to test it! Hope to get to have some of your pizza very, very soon!!! 🙂 Lots of hugs!

  3. I’m a big fan of a homemade pizza. I do it myself from time to time, especially when we’re planning on having a film night. Looks delish!

  4. Baker Street October 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    absolutely love the look of that pizza. i could eat homemade pizza for dinner every night. great post from Giulia!

  5. CJ at Food Stories October 1, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    I have used poolish before and it makes such a difference … Great recipe & post 🙂

  6. Amber @ The Cook's Sister October 1, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Good morning MJ! I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Here’s the link: http://thecookssister.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/one-lovely-blog-award/

    Also, I’d like to say that Giulia’s pizza looks absolutely amazing (I can see why the dog was begging for a taste)!

    • mj October 19, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Thank you so much Amber!

  7. Minnie@thelady8home October 1, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    I have never used a pizza stone, but this look so gorgeous that I want to buy one now. You can never fail with a pizza. Just wonderful!!! Loved the post.

  8. peachkins October 1, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    I have to get me a friend who comes over with that kind of pizza!

  9. Raymund October 1, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Thats one thing I wanna try soon using pizza stones, usually I just place it in a pan in the oven.

  10. Amanda@Chewtown September 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    This sounds like a lot of effort, but then the crust looks spectacular in the finished product! Sounds like a pizza recipe I need to try.

  11. Asmita September 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Delicious home made pizza.

  12. Katherine Martinelli September 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    This pizza looks amazing!!!! Great guest post!

  13. Kate@Diethood September 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Now that’s my kinda pizza!! I love everything about this pie… beautiful!!

  14. ping September 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Ooooh … you’ve just reminded me that I have a pizza stone! Can you believe it? I’d bought it and stored it and totally forgot about it … good grief! And now I’m starting to panic if it’ll fit into my oven! Oh, the worries of a good pizza! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this. I’m always on the lookout for a good pizza dough. Now I’ll probably have to google for a substitute for Manitoba flour. Doubt I can find it here 🙁

    *nuzzle the muzzle*

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:24 am #

      That’s hilarious Ping! But I know what you mean. When I moved everything out of the kitchen I found things that I forgot I had! 🙂 BTW – you can order Manitoba flour online. Just Google it. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  15. Charles September 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi MJ – LOL at your dog photo! 😀 I absolutely love my pizza stone. Makes such fantastic pizza, although I’m still on the hunt for “that perfect base”. I must give yours a try. I often add semolina to my bread so I know it makes a fantastic addition! You have some lovely looking pizzas here – very pizzeria-style indeed 🙂

    By the way, if you never tried it, you can make excellent flat bread with a pizza stone (I mean the hard bread variety). I posted a recipe for some Swedish flat bread a while back if you ever wanted to give it a try 🙂

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      Thanks Charles! Giulia did a fabulous post and her pizzas make me hungry every single time I look at them! O.K. from all of the comments and Giulia’s post and definitely need to get me a pizza stone! Interesting that you can make flatbread with it. Love that idea!

  16. Food Jaunts September 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Love all the seasonal toppings. I will start making my own dough soon – it’s like a personal vow. Thanks for the awesome guest post!

  17. Soni September 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Wow, who doesn’t love a pizza and a great tutorial on making a great looking pizza from your friend!! Can’t wait to see your renovated kitchen my friend 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  18. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb September 28, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    The doggie is so cute!!! XD

    I understand his desires, seriously who can say no to a real authentic pizza a la Giulia. 😉

    MJ I agree with you Giulia is a cool girl and by the way I just realized we pretty much have the same taste with the rock music, traveling and reading.

    I had my troubel with pizza doughs in the past, in fact I am still trying to get it perfect just the way we love it. I ll save the recipe for later on.

    MJ, Giulia, I wish you both a great weekend!

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      Thanks Helene! I agree – the dog is too much! 🙂 I’ve just started making my own pizza crust so I can’t wait to try the Poolish method. First I had ever heard of it. I hope you too have a great weekend!

  19. Dara September 28, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    This pizza is fantastic – I NEED a pizza stone. Your dog is adorable.

  20. Rathai September 28, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I LOVE pizza. I wouldn’t mind spending a whole day to prepare a pizza like this. I usually prepare a decent amount of time making pizzas, because I prefer making the tomato sauce and everything from scratch. This pizza looks well worth the time. Nice to meet you, Giulia!

  21. Sissi September 28, 2012 at 5:05 am #

    Giulia, you’ve got me with “slightly crispy edges and with pleasant smell of freshly baked bread”. I love this pizza! The way it looks, the recipe, the pizza stone use (I have been meaning to buy it for such a long time…). Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with us and congratulations for the great guest post.
    MJ, good luck with the last stage of kitchen renovation!

  22. LIz September 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Hooray! A fun new pizza crust to try! Unless Giulia delivers????? Glad your remodel is almost finished, MJ 🙂

  23. Katerina September 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I could eat pizza everyday. It can be prepared in numerous variations and flavors. This is a beautifully made and baked pizza no wonder the sweet dog got crazy about it!

  24. Giulietta | Alterkitchen September 27, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Thanks to you all for your kind comments about my pizza! I really hope you’ll enjoy it and, if you have question, feel free to ask! 🙂

  25. ChgoJohn September 27, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    This is a great recipe for pizza crust and another good blog to explore. Thanks MJ

  26. kitchenriffs September 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Thanks for introducing me to a blogger that’s new to me. And I’ve never heard of the Poolish method – always fun to learn new stuff. Great guest blog – thanks so much.

  27. Debra September 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I am so making this!

  28. Tessa September 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Those pizzas look absolutely delightful! I love buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto!

  29. recipes September 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Simple and delicious recipes

  30. Hotly Spiced September 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Those pizzas look so delicious. I love to use a pizza stone when cooking pizzas too – it really helps to get a nice crunch to the base xx

  31. Nami | Just One Cookbook September 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I’ve known Giulia from my first day of blogging – or it seems like that. She could be my first blog friend too. I really need to try this pizza dough. I’ll be using gram to make this perfect pizza dough! Thanks MJ for inviting Giulia. Best person to learn pizza from. 🙂 MJ, I’m really excited about your final kitchen look!! You must be waiting for the day… countdown begins!

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks Nami! If I remember correctly I may have found Giulia through you. 🙂 I agree – who better to learn from when it comes to making pizza?

  32. Ramona September 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    I love pizza.. who doesn’t!! This looks amazing and I’m ready to pull out my pizza stone. Great guest post by Guilia. 🙂

  33. Angie@Angie's Recipes September 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    I love poolish starter! And the crusty stone pizza has always my favorite.

  34. Choc Chip Uru September 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    What a delicious and awesome homemade pizza 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  35. wok with ray September 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Love the look of that crusty pizza. I wouldn’t mind having it every night. Thank you and nice seeing you here Giulia and thank you MJ for another great guest post. I’m sure you are excited to use the new kitchen, huh! I would love to see your first recipe using the new kitchen.

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks Ray! I’m chomping at the bit to get back into the kitchen fulltime. It looks like it’s going to be yet another week, but I can get halfway in this weekend. 🙂

  36. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles September 26, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Ooh, love stone pizza! And if you can believe it, we just had a big stone pizza party this past weekend at our home for our son’s 12th birthday… we only take the stone out a couple times of year (lest I gain 30 lbs ;-)), but boy is it GOOD. And the topping possibilities are simply endless. Prosciutto is my favourite pizza meat (combined with gruyere cheese) – but I’m loving the look of the arugula on that first pizza… yum. Your crusts look gorgeous too! Great guest post Giulia.

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Thanks Kelly! I don’t have a pizza stone but Giulia has convinced me that it’s a must! I too love pizza and try to make a couple of month. I started making my own crust this spring so I can’t wait to make Giulia’s real Italian pizza!

  37. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) September 26, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    There are few things I love more than homemade pizza 😀

  38. Michelle @ Simplify, Live, Love September 26, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Oh! Pizza. So yummy. And so Italian. I love it. When I was a child in Germany, the majority of the pizza we ate was from Italian pizzerias. Love it!!!! I have not figured out the secret to pizza dough yet, so I’ll have to try this. thanks so much for sharing!

  39. Anne@FromMySweetHeart September 26, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Oh just gorgeous pizzas! I absolutely must invest in a pizza stone. Such a great guest post MJ. I’ve enjoyed all of them….but am anxiously awaiting your new kitchen and more of your fabulous recipes! But thanks for introducing us to Giulia and I’m heading over to check out AlterKitchen now! : )

    • mj September 29, 2012 at 11:08 am #

      Thank you Anne! I agree – my guests have been wonderful! You’re going to love what you see at Giulia’s. I actually made some grits and green chile in the kitchen this morning! WooHoo! Still can’t move completely in, but just a few finishing items and it’s done!


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