Fugazza

WHO DOES NOT LOVE PIZZA!! In Argentina, pizzas are extremely popular but for a country that loves meat, one of our most popular pizzas is a fully veggie pizza!!

Fugazza is simply made from a pizza base toped with LOTS of onions, mozzarella and dried oregano. There is no tomato base and was ‘invented’ in Buenos Aires by Juan Banchero in the early 1900s, an Italian immigrant from Genoa. He called this pizza fugazza con queso (fugazza with cheese) which derives from the Genoese word fugassa which is what we otherwise know as focaccia!

The fugazza is very similar to the fugazzeta (full recipe here!) however the main difference is that the fugazza is one pizza base topped with plenty of onions and cheese whereas the fugazzeta is a stuffed pizza where the centre is filled with ham and cheese and topped by a second layer of dough and covered with cheese and onion!

What will I need for this AMAZING pizza?

  • Plain flour: Can’t get cheaper than good old plain flour. You can’t use self raising as we will be using yeast
  • Yeast: This time, I used fresh yeast as I can now find it locally. If you are not able to find it locally, you can use dried active yeast, which needs to be activated before use (like fresh yeast) or fast acting yeast. If using fast acting yeast, add all the water (250-300ml in total) at once as it does not need to be activated.
  • Sugar: Only used to feed the yeast when making the lovely yeast sponge.
  • Water: Lukewarm best, but not too hot as that could kill the yeast!
  • Table salt: Pizza dough definitely needs a good amount of salt to give it that flavour. Add the salt on the side so it does not come into direct contact with the yeast (and kill it!).
  • Olive oil (optional): A good tablespoon of olive oil makes the dough more elastic however it can be omitted if you prefer.
  • Onions: Fugazzas require LOTS of onions as a topping so at least 2 medium sized onions should be sliced into thin slices per pizza!
  • Mozzarella: You can’t have a Fugazza con queso pizza without lots and lots of cheese so at least 250g of mozzarella are needed per pizza, cut into small cubes or grated.
  • Mature cheddar or Parmigiano Reggiano: Adding a second cheese such as cheddar or Parmigiano gives the pizza an even more in depth flavour and should definitely be used!
  • Dried oregano: It definitely gives it that lovely Mediterranean touch.

RECIPE

This recipe makes 3 medium sized pizzas! You can always freeze the uncooked dough balls for future use or the pre baked pizza base before adding the toppings!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 500g plain flour
  • 25g fresh yeast (otherwise 12g dried active yeast or 7g of fast acting yeast)
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 10g table salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 250-300ml water

For the toppings (for three pizzas):

  • 6 – 9 medium sized onions – Julianne cut into slices
  • 900g grated or cubed mozzarella
  • 100g grated mature cheddar or Parmigiano – Reggiano
  • Good pinch of salt
  • Dried oregano
  • Green olives (optional)

Instructions

To make the yeast sponge:

  1. In a bowl, add the yeast, 2 tbsp of plain flour (from the 500g of plain flour), sugar and 100ml of lukewarm milk.
  2. Stir and cover with cling film. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes until it frothes.

To make the dough:

  1. Pour the flour onto a bowl and make a well on the inside. Put the salt on the outside of the flour and add the yeast sponge to the middle of the well. Start stirring, making sure the salt and yeast do not come into direct contact.
  2. Add the tablespoon of oil (if using) and 150ml of lukewarm water. Start mixing with spatula, add the rest of the water if needed, until a soft dough is formed.
  3. Tip the dough onto a clean surface and knead for a good 10 minutes. The dough should not be sticky (no extra flour should be needed on the surface).
  4. Put the dough into a clean separate bowl with a little bit of olive oil. Let it prove in a warm place for 2 hours until it doubles in size.

To prepare the onions:

  1. Julianne cut each onion so you form thin slices of onions. it will look like a lot of onions but this is the key to a fugazza!
  2. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and add all the sliced onions.
  3. Cook the onions gently whilst continuously stirring. You do not want caramelised onions so therefore only cook them briefly just before they turn see through.
  4. Once the onions are briefly cooked, pat dry all the onions in kitchen paper to remove any further liquid.
  5. use a good good pinch of salt to season the onions and add a tablespoon of oregano. Mix well until all the onions are coated in oregano.

To make the Fugazzas:

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide the dough into three equal sized balls. My dough was 800g so I divided into 3 267g sections and rolled into three separate balls. You can freeze some of these dough balls now if you do not want to make the three pizzas.
  2. Oil each pizza pan and stretch one of the dough balls on the surface of the pizza pan as far as possible. If the dough is too bouncy, allow the dough to rest for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Cover each pizza pan with cling film and allow the dough to prove for a further 30-45 minutes.
  4. Start preheating the oven to 225 degree Celsius
  5. Once the pizza bases are proved and the oven is hot, pre cook each pizza base for 5 minutes (without any toppings!).
  6. Remove the pre cooked pizza bases from the oven. First top each pizza base with some grated/cubed mozzarella, then generously add the cooked sliced onions and finally add generously more mozzarella. A lot of mozzarella is needed at the top!
  7. If using a second cheese such as cheddar or Parmigiano – Reggiano, grate over the top of the mozzarella.
  8. Cook each fugazza for 15 minutes at 225 degree Celsius until all the mozzarella cheese is melted and the edges of the pizza are crispy and golden.
  9. When cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle more grated oregano and a dash of olive oil. If you want, also add some green olives.

I absolutely love fugazza pizzas and cannot wait to hear your thoughts and see your amazing fugazzas!!

Buen provecho! 🙂

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