Pizza masterclass

Theo Randall shows how to make traditional Italian pizza with a crisp golden base and fresh tomato - you'll never get a takeaway again
By Theo Randall
Pizza masterclass
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 3 hrs prooving
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the base

  • 350 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 500 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 454g can peeled tomato, drained
  • handful of basil
  • olive oil, to finish

For the pizza topping

  • 6 basil
  • 200 g buffalo mozzarella, (drained)

Method

1. For the base: mix together the warm water, yeast and half the flour and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

2?. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to a dough with a wooden spoon. Tip it onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10-15 minutes until you have a smooth dough.

3. Rub the dough with olive oil to prevent a crust forming, place in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave in a warm place for about 2 hours of until doubled in size.

4. Knock the dough back, cover again and let it rise for another 40 minutes.

5. For the tomato sauce: heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic until soft, add the tomatoes and cook for 25 minutes (try not to break up tomatoes as this will release the seeds while cooking, which can make the sauce taste bitter due to the tannins.) Rip basil into the sauce, season and finish with olive oil - the sauce should be very thick.

6. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. If you have one, heat a pizza stone in the oven.

7. Roll the dough into a large pizza base - you can pull it out over the back or your hands if that makes it easier. Put onto a large non-stick baking sheet or onto a pizza stone that has been dusted with flour.

8. Spread the sauce onto the dough and place broken up pieces of mozzarella and shredded leaves of basil on top. Bake for about 15 minutes until the base is cooked through and the cheese is bubbling.

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