Over the past year or so we’ve tried many different pizza dough recipes and this one’s our favourite so far. There are so many tiny details that make such a difference, and that’s before you start deciding on your toppings! This time we were lucky enough to use homegrown tomatoes for the sauce, which made it even better than normal. So here’s our dough and sauce recipes, a couple of ideas for toppings and a few tips:
Ingredients for the dough (makes 2 14inch pizzas):
- 400 grams of all purpose or bread flour (3.25 cups)
- 245 ml of warm/room temperature water (just over 1 cup)
- 1.75 grams of instant dry yeast (half a teaspoon)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes (or six whole fresh tomatoes, chopped)
- 1 red onion diced (white would work too)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 chilli
- a couple of sprinkles of oregano
- a dash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
- a pinch of salt and pepper
First make the dough. Place the water in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, then set aside for at least five minutes.
In a separate bowl combine the salt and flour and mix well. Pour the flour into the water and mix until all of the flour is incorporated. Add the oil and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough should be warm to touch but it is important not to over-knead it too!
For the best results divide the dough into two equal parts and place in oiled/greased ziplock bags, or a cling-filmed mixing bowl. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 72 and remove an hour before baking.
It’s pizza day! Heat up your oven to 250 degrees celsius and if you have a pizza stone place this in the oven at the same time.
Whilst this is heating up start making your sauce.
Heat up a splash of oil in a small saucepan whilst you chop the onion, garlic and chilli. Gently fry for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent, then add your chopped tomatoes. If you’re using fresh tomatoes you may need a splash of water, and leave to simmer, stirring every couple of minutes.Season with oregano, salt, pepper and if you fancy the balsamic then go for it! We also like to use a little fennel or basil occasionally to mix it up.
Once all the tomatoes are softened nicely and your sauce has been simmering for about 10 minutes we like to blend everything. It’s optional but we find it makes for a nice texture, as well as spreading the flavours evenly throughout the sauce.
Now for the hard part…rolling out your pizza dough:
We’ve tried many different rolling techniques, the rolling pin is the easiest but probably makes the worst crust. This guy has a really good video and what we recommend is to try and copy him..:
Pizza dough rolled, sauce made, the only thing to do is to choose your toppings! (As a tip, go light on the sauce as you don’t want the dough to get too wet. Also, don’t go too close to the edge if you want a nice fluffy crust).
Here are some of our favourite toppings:
- Black olives
- Grilled artichoke hearts
- Red onion slices
- Capers always go well with anchovies or any fish you have at home (last night we tried out sardines and it was great!)
- Rocket (add at the end)
- A classic ‘new york’ pizza is a blend of mozzarella and parmesan and nowadays there are plenty of good vegan options available. It is not essential however, we like it for the texture but plain tomato with vegetable toppings are still delicious!
Once the pizza is topped, take care when moving it onto the hot pizza stone. We recently got a pizza paddle as a present and it works really well.
Two tips: The first is sprinkle a little semolina onto the base of your pizza. This makes it crisp up nicely and also helps prevent sticking. The second one is to make sure you can transfer your pizza onto the stone with ease, before going overboard on the toppings (we made that mistake so you don’t have to!).
Bake your pizza until it is nice and brown. Roughly 10 minutes if you have a pizza stone, but it may take a little longer if not.