I have been meaning to post a pizza recipe ever since I started my blog. This New Year’s Eve, I decided to ditch the expensive bars, cabs and alcohol; and instead I invited a couple of friends over to make pizzas, it was the best way to bring in 2015. Next time you throw a dinner party I’d suggest making these amazing homemade pizzas.
I did a lot of research, spoke to a few Italians and they all say this is the perfect recipe for easy, fantastic and reliable pizza dough AND the great thing is, it can also be used to make bread and focaccia.
I recently visited the Italian Supermarket on Louis Botha to buy the best ingredients to make this dough; if you haven’t been there you’re missing out. This recipe is inspired by my hero, Jamie Oliver; he suggests that Italian Tipo ’00’ flour is the best choice as it is finer ground than normal flour, and it will give your dough a super-smooth texture. I must admit I struggled to find the right flour, so if you live in Joburg then Super Sconto is the place to go, if you don’t live here, go to an Italian deli or supermarket.
If you happen to have a pizza oven then you are a lucky human, if you don’t, then I’d suggest buying a pizza stone that can fit in your oven, it adds the most delicious flavour and retains so much heat.
Click here to view my Easy Peasy Pizza sauce and toppings recipe.
800g strong white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour
200g finely ground semolina flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 x 7 g dried yeast sachets
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
650 ml lukewarm water
Rosemary & Garlic Focaccia:
Bunch of fresh of rosemary
4 garlic clove, crushed
Sea salt & black pepper
Makes 6-8 pizzas
50 minutes (including proving time)
Sieve the flours and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to combine, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough. Be patient put some music on and enjoy the kneading experience.
Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room or in front of a warm oven for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface, dust your hands with flour and knead it around a bit to push the air out. Divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas.
Roll the pizzas out using either a rolling-pin or a bottle, be sure to dust the pin regularly. Roll the pizzas 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them.
If you’re working in advance, it’s better to leave your dough covered with cling film, in the fridge. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s one less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough “circles” (way easier said than done), about 0.5cm thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted tinfoil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge.
To make the foccacia:
Place the pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 240°C.
Take the roughly rolled out dough and push down on top of the dough like a piano to make lots of rough dips and wells. Then run the rosemary under boiling water and bruise the leaves with your hands, push the leaves into the dough and sprinkle the crushed garlic, a splash of olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning the foccacia regularly, bake until golden on top and soft in the middle. Serve with onion marmalade and a cold glass of white wine ❤
(The same cooking time applies if you want to make a normal pizza).