Making the perfect pizza is actually really easy, the two basics are the dough and the sauce, toppings are only limited to your imagination!
I love artichoke hearts and find their earthy flavour marries perfectly with chestnut mushrooms. You can of course sub the toppings for whatever you fancy.
If you have a pizza stone amazing, don’t worry if you don’t you can simply pre heat a baking sheet.
Makes two 30cm pizzas
Pizza dough ingredients
250g strong white flour
4g fast action dried yeast
4g fine table salt
160ml lukewarm water
Good glug of olive oil
Semolina & extra flour to dredge.
Tomato sauce ingredients
50g (1/4 tube) tomato concentrate
2 fat crushed garlic cloves
½ glass red wine
1 heaped tsp sugar
Handful torn basil
½ tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 chestnut mushrooms
6 artichoke hearts (drained ones from a tin are fine)
Buffalo mozzarella sliced (I use the maxi one)
Making the tomato sauce.
1. Gently sauté the garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil, add tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes,
2. Add red wine and cook for a further couple of minutes on high.
3. Add passata, oregano and torn basil, salt and sugar, bring to a rapid boil then turn right down to low.
4. Allow to cook until reduced by half.
5. You should have a delicious thick bright red sauce.
6. Set aside to cool completely.
Making the dough.
Pre heat a baking sheet or tray in the oven to 250c (or as hot as your oven will go)
1. Add flour to a large bowl, salt on one side, yeast on the other and add a good glug of olive oil.
2. Add water reserving a little. Use a clawing action and bring together to form a dough ball, add all the water if needed. You want a very soft but not sticky dough.
3. Lightly oil the worktop and begin to knead, keep scraping the worktop if it sticks. Don’t worry it will get smoother and less sticky. Knead for 10 minutes.
4. Place in a roomy lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm place. (not direct heat)
5. Add a light dredge of flour and semolina to the worktop, split the dough in two and roll each into a ball then roll with a rolling pin (or spin if you’ve got the skills!) to a thin 30cm round.
6. Transfer your dough to a hot baking sheet or tray, be careful! Add a thin layer of your tomato sauce, mozzarella, thinly sliced mushrooms, a sprinkle of dried oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil.
7. Place both pizzas in a searing hot oven for about 8 minutes, I like it quite crisp, but you can take out when the edges are golden and the cheese has bubbled.
Eat immediately with torn basil a cracking Italian red and some good friends!
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