When something is a classic – it’s for a reason. And pizza dough for the learner dough maker.
Classic doesn’t always equal boring, well not in this case anyway. This pizza is packed with flavour and though it’s probably the simplest topping you could make, it stands its ground against the more exotic flavour combos because the pairing is just so good.
The secret is in using really good quality tomatoes and making sure they are packed with flavour and colour. The cheese is just as important, make sure it’s a goodie. And fresh basil is always great so you can’t go wrong there.
Recently I stumbled across this pizza base recipe, well I kind of mashed it together and somehow it turned out well. I had always been nervous to make my own dough from the early years experiments turning out not so well, bit of an understatement there. Complete flops is more like it, and that put me off for life. Or so I thought…You can read about my recent successful dough making adventures and take a look at my healthy homemade pear and blue cheese pizza recipe.
This is probably the quickest pizza out there because the topping is so easy to throw together, so let this be your go to when you’re pushed for time or relaxing on the couch is more of a priority than cooking.
I have learnt that less is more when it comes to pizza toppings and this pizza is a great example of how delicious two or three ingredients can be when they compliment each other well.
- FOR THE DOUGH
- 2 cups white bread wheat flour
- 1 cup cake wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 10 g sachet dried yeast
- 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
- 175 ml lukewarm water
- FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small bunch fresh basil
- olive oil
- 400 g plum tomatoes
- freshly ground black pepper
- FOR THE TOPPING
- 1 small bunch fresh basil
- 100 g mozzarella
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
Pile the flour and salt on to a clean surface and make a 9cm well in the centre.
Add yeast and sugar to the lukewarm water, mix up 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 backward and forward, using your right hand and then your left to stretch the dough away from you. Repeat this for 10 minutes, until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let double in size for about 45 minutes.
To make the sauce:
Peel and chop the garlic. Heat a saucepan on a medium heat and add a tbsp of olive oil and the chopped garlic. Cook gently until the garlic starts to golden, add most of the basil leaves, the tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, or until smooth, mashing the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
TO MAKE THE PIZZA:
Divide the dough into 4 balls. Flour and cover each ball with plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to roll it thinly.
Take 1 ball of dough, dust your surface and the dough with a little flour, and roll it out into a rough circle about 0.5cm thick.
Preheat your oven to 250°C/500°F/gas 9.
Smear the tomato sauce over the base of your pizzas and spread it out to the edges. Tear over the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on a piece of tin foil directly on the bars of a metal wrack on a baking tray towards the bottom of the oven.
Cook for 15 minutes, until the pizzas are golden and crispy. Place fresh basil leaves on pizza and serve.