Pizza

On Fridays we eat pizza, and this recipe for both dough and sauce works every time. All it takes is a bit of forward planning and (assume your best Tommy Cooper voice) Just Like That you have the makings of a wonderful evening. Just add toppings of your choice, and wine. Oh and this dough is great (thanks Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) and can be used to make rolls, flatbreads, breadsticks, and can be frozen too. I always make a double quantity of the sauce and freeze a bunch of that for the following week. Bonus.

Ingredients

Dough:

250g strong white flour

250g plain white flour

1 tsp fast action dried yeast

1.5tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

Sauce:

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp dried oregano

Salt & Pepper

Toppings:

Grated mozzarella

Grated cheddar

Anchovies, olives, prosciutto

or if you’re my husband, pineapple chunks

Method: pizza

  1. Put the flours, yeast & salt in a big bowl & mix. Make a well in the centre and add in the oil and 325ml warm water.
  2. Mix to a rough dough, then tip out onto a floured surface (flour your hands too!) and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth. Or fling it into a freestanding mixer using the dough hook for 10 minutes.
  3. Grease a clean large bowl with a little olive oil, scrape in the dough, turn it over to cover with oil, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove somewhere warm for 1.5 hours minimum or until doubled in size.
  4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knock it back by pressing down until it collapses. That bit’s fun. You can now use the dough to make pizza bases, rolls, flatbreads, whatever you feel like.
  5. Pieces of dough around 130g seem to be the right size for a one-person pizza, so divide up the dough (you can freeze any leftover pieces) and start to roll/press them out onto well floured boards.
  6. This dough is very stretchy, but also likes to rest for a few minutes, so I press it out, leave (covered in a tea towel), then roll/press it out a bit more after it has relaxed.
  7. Place the dough on a well floured baking sheet or board – smooth over a couple of large spoonfuls of sauce, toppings of your choice, and a layer of both mozzarella + cheddar. Or use ball mozzarella ripped into chunks, basically add whatever takes your fancy.
  8. We cook our pizzas on pizza stones on a gas BBQ (lid down), heated to really high – they don’t take long, and several fish slices or a cake lifter are invaluable in removing the pizza after its cooked.
  9. I like a handful of rocket plonked on my pizza after its cooked, or a sprinkle of sumac, or some fresh basil leaves.

Method: sauce

  1. Chop the onion finely and pop into a medium saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Fry until softened but not coloured.
  2. Tip in the tinned tomatoes, bay & oregano, stir, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and leave to reduce for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves, then use a stick blender to whizz until smooth.
  4. Cool before spreading on your pizza dough or you’ll end up with a sticky mess.

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