Pizza

Aaron Craze shows how to make pizza in true Italian style, complete with pizza twirling
By Aaron Craze
Pizza
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pizza base

  • 600 ml water, at room temperature
  • 2 x 7 g sachets of fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 kg "00" flour or pizza flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp salt

For the tomato base

  • 10 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ΒΌ tsp sea salt
  • pinches black pepper
  • bunches basil, leaves picked and torn, stems finely chopped

For the pizza

  • 6 slices prosciutto or speck
  • 1 large ball smoked mozzarella
  • 1 bunches basil, leaves picked and roughly torn
  • 50 g olives, stones removed
  • extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. For the pizza base: mix the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil together in a jug.

2. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl, then make a well in the centre and pour in the water mixture. Mix and knead the mixture together to form a smooth dough.

3. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, each about the size of a tennis ball. Place the dough balls onto a tray and cover with a damp cloth, then leave to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

4. When the dough balls are doubled in size, dust a clean work surface or chopping board with a little flour. Take a ball of dough and flatten with your hand until 1 inch thick.

5. Pick up the disk of dough, and pinch the dough about half an inch from the edge. Try and stretch the dough out as you pinch, and repeat all around the edges of the dough until it becomes floppy.

6. Make a fist and drape the dough over it. Make a fist with the other hand and slip it under the dough next to your other fist. Carefully move your fists apart, stretching out the dough as you go.

7. Shift your fists (left towards your face, right away) so the dough rotates while stretching. When the dough has reached about 8 inches in diameter you can quickly move your left fist in an arc that goes backwards towards your face while twisting your right fist forward away from your face.

8. Place finished dough on a pizza stone or baking tray.

9. For the tomato base: put the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened. Add the basil leaves and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

10. For the pizza: preheat the oven to its 220C/gas 7.

11. Spread the tomato sauce over the pizza base, then scatter over the toppings of your choice and drizzle with olive oil. Place the pizza into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and crisp.

12. To serve, transfer the pizza onto a serving plate and serve in slices.

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