Pizza a fiamma (literally “flame pizza”) is presented in its traditional oval shape and with a crust that is at least one mm. thick, while the crumb is basically non-existent. The fragrance is intense and the taste is slightly acidic, due to the use of a sourdough starter. The prime material used to prepare this dish is a mixture of wheat and durum wheat flour in various proportions, to which water, sourdough or beer yeast, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil are added. Preparation of the dough is fairly complex and requires kneading phases interspersed with phases in which the dough rests. The wood-burning oven must reach a temperature of at least 250 degrees Celsius and have a high and hot flame going at the time of cooking. The pizza is cooked for one to three minutes in the open oven and once removed must be kept near the mouth of the oven so as to create a crunchy crust. At that point the flame pizza can be topped with any ingredients you like: chicory or ricotta cheese, sheep cheese or mortadella, bresaola, arugula, and extra virgin olive oil. Pizza a fiamma has been prepared since the beginning of the twentieth century in the area around Vejano, which is near Viterbo. In the past this dish was prepared every time the communal ovens where used to make bread. Today it is only offered by one restaurant and about 1000 flame pizzas are made every year.
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