- DOUGH (8 Small pizzas)
- 800 g strong white bread flour
- 200 g fine ground semolina flour or strong white bread flour
- 1 level teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 x 7 g sachets of dried yeast
- 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
- TOMATO SAUCE (4 PIZZAS)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- olive oil
- 1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes
- TOPPING (4 PIZZAS)
- 85 g mozzarella cheese
- For the dough, pile the flours and 1 level teaspoon of sea salt onto a clean surface and make a well in the centre.
- Add the yeast and sugar to 650ml lukewarm water, mix together and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
- Using a fork and a circular movement, slowly bring in the flour from the inner edge of the well and mix into the water. Continue to mix, bringing in all the flour – when the dough comes together and becomes too hard to mix with your fork, flour your hands and begin to pat it into a ball.
- Knead the dough by rolling it backwards and forwards, using your hands to stretch, pull and push the dough. Keep kneading for 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to to prove for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- For the sauce, peel and finely slice the garlic, then pick the basil leaves and finely chop the stalks.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on a medium-low heat, add the garlic and basil stalks, then cook gently for a couple of minutes, or until the garlic is lightly golden, then add most of the basil leaves, the tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Leave the sauce to tick away for around 20 minutes, or until smooth, breaking up the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. When the time’s up, taste, and season to perfection.
- To assemble the pizzas, divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in clingfilm and freeze for another day. With the remaining half, divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Flour each dough ball, then cover with clingfilm, and leave to rest for about 15 minutes – this will make them easier to roll it thinly.
- Dust a clean surface and the dough with a little flour or semolina, and roll it out into a rough circle, about ½cm thick.
- Tear off an appropriately sized piece of tin foil, rub it with olive oil, dust well with flour or semolina and place the pizza base on top. Continue doing the same with the remaining dough, dust with a little flour so you can pile them up. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge.
- When you're ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 250°C/500°F/gas
- At this stage you can apply your topping: spread the tomato sauce over the base, spreading it out to the edges. Tear over the mozzarella and scatter with the remaining basil leaves. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- If you can, cook the pizzas on a piece of granite in your conventional oven – if not, cook them one by one on pieces of tin foil directly on the bars of the oven shelf, towards the bottom of the oven (If you're going to cook your pizzas on the bars of the oven, make sure they're not too big – otherwise they'll be difficult to manoeuvre). Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the pizzas are golden and crispy.
- Here are some of my favourite topping ideas:
Mozzarella, anchovies, chilli, capers and parsley
Smoked pancetta, mozzarella, fresh chilli and tomatoes
Egg, prosciutto, artichokes, olives, mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil
Green and red grapes, rosemary, pine nuts and ricotta
Potatoes, mozzarella, rosemary, thyme and tomatoes
Slow-roasted shredded pork with thyme, Taleggio and lemon-dressed rocket