Production specifications for pinsa romana, or how to make it to perfection

The growing popularity of pinsa romana has attracted the attention of many restaurateurs, becoming an important choice for those seeking to stand out in a decidedly crowded industry. Because of this, more and more restaurants and pizzerias have decided to offer pinsa romana on their menus, and these are joined by actual pinserie. 

Specifications for pinsa romana: what they are and what they are for

The main question restaurateurs face is this: how do you prepare a pinsa that respects Corrado Di Marco's original approach? The question is more than legitimate, since the worldwide success of pinsa is linked to a precise recipe, from which it would be best not to deviate. Exaggerating with creativity means that, except for the shape, the customer has difficulty differentiating pinsa from other products (such as focaccia), not understanding its appeal and innovation. 
To protect the good name of a food and ensure its uniformity in terms of preparation, taste and nutritional values, production specifications come to the rescue, normative documents that establish the rules and criteria followed in the production of each particular products. Specifications set production standards, indicating permitted ingredients, processing methods and desired organoleptic characteristics
Large producers, consortia and associations develop production specifications with the aim of guaranteeing the quality and authenticity of the final product, which is thus associated with a recognized trademark. The affixing of the mark ensures compliance with the specification, that is, the authenticity of the product, against counterfeiting and guaranteeing consumers the highest quality possible. 

Is there a Pinsa Romana specification?

Regarding Pinsa Romana specifications, we can turn to the one of the Originale Pinsa Romana Association, whose purpose is precisely to safeguard the authenticity of the product. The association does not mark the product; rather, it certifies all the businesses that wish to offer pinsa to their customers and want to do so in the right way that respects the original recipe. The certification, represented by the appropriate mark, protects the consumer and, at the same time, gives a competitive advantage to the establishment, allowing it to attract a clientele that cares a lot about product quality and experience.  
In order to use the mark, each establishment must pass strict controls, which carefully cover every step of the production process, from using the right ingredients (one of the secrets of pinsa is the mix of flours) to the preparation of the dough, up to the leavening and the final baking stage. "Finally," it reads on the specifications, "the product will be examined, checking that it complies with the requirements of these production specifications. The person in charge of the pizzeria must demonstrate knowledge of the Pinsa Romana product (production specification) or must employ a pizza maker recognized by the Originale Pinsa Romana Association."

How to make a proper pinsa: the original recipe

The existence of a specification means that the original recipe for Pinsa Romana is known, public and accessible to all. Practice is certainly another thing, but on a theoretical level the only secret relates to the composition of the flour mix: not by chance, Di Marco offers professional flours aimed precisely at making the dough of the original Pinsa. 
Regarding the dough, the specification is very precise and establishes the exact doses for each litre of water, namely:
Flour 1.250 kg - 1.4 kg 
Yeast 2 g - 6 g depending on the season
● Salt 20 g - 25 g 
Olive oil 15 g - 20 g 
Dough rising times must be between 24 and 96 hours, and maturation takes place in the refrigerator at 4°C. The specification also defines the weight of the balls and the size of the final product, but above all it sets a series of prohibitions that must be adhered to. In particular, in addition to the ban on using non-compliant flours and going below 24 hours of leavening, the use of a rolling pin is strictly forbidden: pinsa must be rolled out by hand.
Finally, the product must aspire to, but more importantly achieve certain results, including high digestibility, a crispy exterior, a soft inside, and a hint of traditional bread in the flavour of the dough.

How to season a pinsa properly

The subject of toppings goes beyond the intent of a production specification. Here it's all up to the experience, the goals of restaurateurs, their target audience and their ability to mix respect for tradition (we still live in the realm of pizza) with a desire to innovate, attracting consumers who are different in taste and ambition. 
The advice is simply not to miss out: pinsa is a successful product, but it is also very young compared to illustrious competitors such as pizza, piadina and focaccia. Therefore, it has an innate ability to appeal to all those who want something new, unprecedented, and who are not afraid to stray from their comfort zone. We therefore feel like recommending a hint of innovation, about combinations and types of offers (e.g., have you ever thought of pinsa as a dessert?), but of course without exaggerations. 

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