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Martha's homemade pizzas
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500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
7g sachet dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
Semolina, for dusting (optional)
½ x 500g pack passata
400g pack mozzarella, sliced
Basil leaves, to garnish
1. Make the dough by placing the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the oil, plus 325ml lukewarm water in a steady stream. With the other hand (or with the dough hook attachment on a stand mixer) begin to incorporate the flour into the liquid to form a dough. It should be sticky but not wet.
2. When the mixture has come together, tip the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until stretchy. (If using a mixer, knead for 6-8 minutes on medium speed.) It is ready when you are able to perform the ‘windowpane test’ (see tip, below left).
3. Shape the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
4. Dust a tray with a mixture of semolina (if using) and flour. Then turn the risen dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead briefly to knock out any irregular air bubbles. Shape into 4 balls, tucking the edges under tightly to form a taut, smooth surface. Place the dough onto the tray, cover and leave to rise for about 45-60 minutes, or until puffy and almost doubled in size.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8 and place a baking sheet or pizza stone in to heat up. With floured hands, take a ball of risen dough and carefully stretch it into a large circle – using the knuckles of both hands, clenched into fists, gradually stretch the dough from underneath until it is as thin as possible without tearing. The dough should be thicker around the edges than it is in the centre.
6. Transfer the stretched dough floured side down onto a large baking sheet dusted with more semolina or flour. Use your fingers to stretch it as much as possible, then use the back of a spoon to spread a thin layer of passata over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella and any other topping ingredients, taking care not to overload the pizza.
7. Place the tray into the oven onto the preheated stone/tray to ensure a crisp base. Bake, checking every few minutes, for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
8. Serve immediately, cut into slices. Repeat with the remaining dough and toppings (or try my variations, below).
’Nduja, chorizo & red onion (makes 1)
Gently fry thinly sliced red onion in olive oil for about 7-8 minutes until soft and golden. Top the pizza dough with passata, mozzarella, slices of chorizo de Navarra, 2 tsp ’nduja paste and the caramelised red onions. After baking, scatter with thyme sprigs before serving.
Pineapple salsa & Serrano ham (makes 1)
Roughly chop 100g fresh pineapple and place into a small pan with 2 tbsp brown sugar and ½ tsp chilli flakes. Heat until the mixture is reduced and jammy. Top the pizza dough with passata, mozzarella, dollops of the salsa and 3 slices of Serrano ham, torn into pieces, before cooking.
Shakshuka (makes 1)
Mix ½ tsp each cayenne pepper, ground cumin and smoked paprika into the passata before using to cover the pizza dough. Top with 1 British Blacktail Large Free Range Egg and scatter with 75g crumbled feta rather than the mozzarella. Cook for 12-14 minutes, then sprinkle with plenty of fresh coriander before serving.
This recipe was first published in May 2019.