There are a million versions of this amazing food. This is mine. We probably have this every few weeks as we love it so much.
For the pizza dough
1g of Easy Bake Yeast (not a misprint. The sachets are typically 7g but I like to use a fraction of it and leave the dough for much longer to rise)
180g Strong white bread flour
180g “00” flour
60g olive oil
In the mixing bowl of my KitchenAid, I add the salt first and then the flours on top, then sprinkle the yeast on top of the flour. Add the water next and using the dough hook set the mixer to a slowish speed until the water is all incorporated then add the oil.
It’s best to add the oil after the water has had a chance to mix with the yeast and the starch. If the oil is added right at the beginning, the fat can coat the starch molecules and make it harder for the yeast to act on them… this will slow the rise of the dough even more. It’s worth remembering this for enriched doughs which use a lot of fat such as brioche.
Knead in the machine for a further 5mins after the addition of the oil. It should be smooth and elastic. I find if I rub some oil on my hands I can ease the dough off the hook easily then you can work the dough into a smooth ball. Place in an oiled bowl and loosely cover with a layer of oiled clingfilm.
Allow the dough to rise to at least double the volume. This will take at about 5-6 hrs depending on the temperature of your kitchen. I sometimes leave it in the fridge overnight and then remove it the next day about 4 hrs before we want to eat.
I place heavy marble slab in the oven and set it to the highest setting 250 deg c about 1hr before I want to cook the pizza.
Once the first rise is done, knock the dough back into a ball and divide into 3 equal balls. Oil each ball and place back into the bowl and cover again with the oiled clingfilm. They will rise to double their size much quicker this time – probably about 30mins
Take one of the balls and on a silicone sheet press the ball into a circle and place the oiled clingfilm ontop of it. Roll the circle out into a thin disc about 3mm thick. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round, as close as you can get is fine.
Remove the clingfilm and spread your toppings on to the dough.
Using a peel or other thin flat utensil or tray, transfer the pizza on the silicone sheet from the worktop to the marble slab in the oven.
It takes about 5mins to cook.
For the Tomato sauce
I have to confess I am pretty lazy here. I will use sundried tomato paste (sometimes with a spoonful of black olive tepanade). Waitrose do one of these with anchovies which is full of Umami goodness! I will sometimes blitz some sundried tomatoes in olive oil to make the paste myself, depending on what I have in the larder.
Spread two table spoons of the paste on your pizza dough and spread it around the pizza in a circular action with the back of a spoon.
I won’t even begin to advise you on how to top your pizza beyond this but I recommend not over topping it as it can get a bit difficult to hold. Slice mushroom thinly so they don’t exude too much water and make your base soggy. Use a peeler to peel strips of courgette. Baby mozzarella balls are great to scatter over instead of cheddar!
Have fun and enjoy!