How to Make a Pizza
Before I made my Pizza I had to make some Italian Tomato Sauce.
1x garlic clove
A pinch of Salt
1x Jar of Passata (preferably for Pizza Sauce)
… or 2x tins of good quality Tomatoes (preferably for Pasta Sauce)
… or a kilo of ripe tomatoes
1x Tablespoon of sugar
Add the onion and a pinch of salt, preferably Malden Sea Salt. Fry them off for about 10 minutes, in olive oil, slowly on a medium heat. Be careful you do not want to color the onion. After 5 minutes add the garlic, you can crush the garlic with salt to create a paste. However I used the Goodfellas method, well I used my sharp chefs knife rather than a razor blade. You can always add half a chili if you want to make an Arrabiata sauce. If using passata, I like to add sliced sundried tomatoes as they add an extra bit of texture and depth to the sauce
You might want to rinse out your bottle / can with some water and add the juice to the pan or add a little wine. Taste for seasoning, I normally add a little sugar, to help bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes. Let the sauce gently simmer on the lowest hear for an hour or two. The sauce will thicken up, and you will have the perfect tomato sauce for a pizza. If making Pasta sauce add the Basil leaves at the last minute.
This is pretty much the basic recipe for any good tomato sauce.
Next I made the Pizza base
From Jamie Oliver's book Jamie's Italy
800g Strong White Floor
200g Semolina flour or more strong bread flour
1 level tablespoon of fine sea salt
2x7g sachets of dried yeast
….. or 30g of fresh yeast
1 tablespoon of golden caster sugar
About 650 ml of tepid water
Mozzarella (Cows Milk)
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
The recipe states it will make 6-8 medium sized thin crust pizzas. I halved the ingredients and made use of some Italian type "00" flour I had. The breakdown of the flours I used was
200g Strong Bread Flour
200g Italian type "00" flour
100g semolina floor.
1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl or on a clean surface. Add the yeast and sugar to the water, leave for a couple of minutes. Then combine the water / yeast mix to the flour, bring it together with a spoon / fork and then your hands, so it becomes one big ball. Make sure it is not too wet or too dry.
2. Then knead for about 10 minutes or till you have a soft and pliable dough. Flour the top of the dough and add it to the boiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave for 15 to 30 minutes.
3. Divide the ball of dough into however many pizzas you want. The dough wants to be roled out about 15-30 minutes before it goes in the over. If using a pizza stone, sprinkle some semolina flour or regular flour on the stone and it will stop the pizza sticking to it.
4. Once the dough is ready I add a thin layer of tomato sauce, and put it in a pre-heated oven at 220 Celsius / for about 5 minutes, bringing it out, add the basil leaves and then cover them with the mozzarella. For making pizza it is actually best to use cows milk mozzarella because it has less liquid in the cheese compared with the pricier buffalo mozzarella. Add some olive oil to the cheese and then add to the over for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the base has a nice golden color it.
This is pretty much the classic Neapolitan pizza. This pizza is the epitome of Italian cuisine, 3-4 amazing ingredients, cooked perfectly it makes the sauce, basil and mozzarella the star. Simplicity is the key.
As I had two pizza bases, I made some garlic bread and with the leftover dough, I made a baby calzone.
Next time I will make 3x pizzas and they will fit my pizza stones perfectly. Next time it will be a case of squeezing as mush meat as I can onto the pizza. After using an old Pizza recipe from the Italian cookbook The Silver Spoon, it is nice that you do not have to wait 2 or 3 hours for the dough to rise. I think the addition of semolina does make a difference, however it is not critical.
The beer was cold, the rugby was tight and the food was Superb.