The Best Pizza
… you will ever have is the first one from your own pizza oven
Ours took about two mins to cook at 400oC! We made basic margarita pizzas and then covered the cooked pizzas with Rocket and Proscuitto Ham for the adults. Delicious!
The perfect pizza tomato sauce
2 Tins of Peeled Plum Tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Blitz the ingredients in a blender and then reduce by a half in a large base frying pan
The Pizza Dough
I have tried so many different recipes in my quest for the perfect pizza dough or pasta. (The Italian word pasta can mean dough, pasta or small cake!) I’ve tried using plain flour, strong bread flour and combinations. Strong bread flour has too much gluten in it. Italians usually use 00 flour which is very fine flour from the centre of the wheat grain, with much less gluten.
I now use the recipe specified by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana – the Napoli Pizza Maker’s Association, which uses more salt than many recipes, but tastes fantastic. We scale up or down the basic recipe assuming 100g of flour per person! it’s been handed down for generations in Napoli and worth using!
For 18 people, the standard recipe is…
1l of Water
1.8kg of OO Flour
3 g of yeast – I use 3 teaspoons of Allinsons Dried Active Yeast stirred into the lukewarm water and left for 5mins.
Mix the salt into the flour and gradually work in the water to form the dough.
Knead for 10-15mins and leave to rise in a bowl, covered with a damp tea towel for 2 hours.
Form the pizza using your hands, using a tennis ball size of dough – no rolling pins allowed on the recipe, because they puff up better. I think that is nonsense. We roll them now and they “bubble” fine in our brick oven at 400oC!
A spoonful of tomato sauce is spread in a circular motion from the centre – with 2cm of crust round the edge.
Top with Mozarella cheese and a splash of Extra Virgin Olive oil.
They take 90secs to cook in a hot pizza oven. Bellisimo!
The full recipe can be found at http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/ricetta_pizza_napoletana.php in Italian!
The art of wood fired cooking by Andrea Mugnaini is a fantastic book which goes into great detail on how to cook in a wood fired oven. The chapter on how to light it and get the fire just right for pizza was so helpful. There is also great instruction on how to use a peel to get the pizza in the oven, turn it half way through and retrieve when it is done!