The dough for the pizza is a simple one which requires no laborious kneading. Do be mindful though,that this needs to be prepared a day in advance (a short task which takes only a few minutes) and allowed to rest overnight. The simple tomato sauce recipe included can be seasoned with any additional spices or hard herbs you have handy such as rosemary,oregano or chili and can also be recreated as a simple pasta sauce.
Preparation time 30 minutes (plus overnight resting)
Cooking time 30 minutes
Serves 2-3 people
INGREDIENTS 250g flour + 100g for dusting 175 ml water 1g yeast 8g salt 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella 1 can of tomato product 2 cloves of garlic 5 slices of prosciutto Rocket Leaves 30g Parmesan
EQUIPMENT Baking tray lined with baking paper Chef’s knife and chopping board Small pot Rubber spatula Large mixing bowl Measuring cylinder METHOD
1. Begin by combining the yeast with the 250g of flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Measure out the water and add to the flour. Mix to combine with a wooden spoon until a homogeneous dough forms. Cover well with cling film and allow to rest overnight.
Usually we need to knead a dough to form strands of gluten which give breads their elasticity and structure. However, we can form these strands by using a long resting time instead.
2. For the tomato sauce, peel and slice the garlic. Set a small pot over medium heat and add roughly 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the sliced garlic to the olive oil and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic is lightly coloured.
3. Add the can of tomatoes to the garlic and stir to combine. Rinse out the tin of tomatoes with water and add to the pot. Bring the contents of the pot up to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes on low or until the water level has reduced significantly but do not let the sauce burn.
Optionally add oregano or chili flake to the sauce to change the flavour. The sauce can be kept in your fridge until you are ready to use it, preferably within 3 days.
4. Before you are about to make your pizza, make sure you set up your workspace with your tomato sauce with a tablespoon in it and your mozzarella roughly torn into chunks and drained on an absorbent piece of kitchen towel. Keep the parmesan and a cheese grater nearby. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it will go (ideally 250-300C) and allow it to stay at that temperature for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour. If you have a pizza stone, place it into the oven to preheat.
If you do not have a pizza stone this recipe is designed to work just fine on a baking tray which you preheat in the oven. We’ll be rolling out our dough onto a piece of baking paper so when it’s done and time to be cooked, you can simply lift it up and pop it onto the tray.
5. Begin by flouring out your worksurface and cutting two sheets of baking paper large enough to fit onto your baking trays. Flip your dough out onto your WELL floured counter and dust with more flour on top. Split the dough into two and taking one piece of dough, begin spreading it out using your hands and plenty of flour. Your aim here is to stretch it out into a circle to the best of your abilities. If this method is proving difficult there is no shame in using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle turned sideways). Roll or spread out to roughly half a centimetre thick (or your best replication of a thin crust pizza looking like).
6. Place the dough onto the baking paper and begin to season with your tomato sauce. Spread it almost to the edge of the dough using a tablespoon and don’t add too much. If there is leftover sauce, save it for another use like a plate of pasta, you don’t want a soggy pizza. Spread out dots of mozzarella and add some grated parmesan over the top (save the rest for shavings). Drizzle the crust lightly with olive oil.
7. Remove a baking tray from the oven and place the baking paper with the pizza on top of it. Place into the oven and repeat for the other pizza. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is well coloured and cooked through. If the crust in the middle of the pizza could do with more cooking, place your baking tray onto the bottom shelf of the oven for a few minutes.
8. Create Parmesan shavings by using a vegetable peeler to scrape off thin slices of cheese and when the pizza is cooked, finish with the shavings, picked rocket leaves and torn slices of prosciutto crudo and a healthy drizzle of olive oil.