A quick to make, beautifully textured pizza dough recipe by Jamie Oliver. The dough encrusted with semolina makes a gorgeous crispy crust.
- 800g strong white bread flour
- 200g fine semolina or semolina flour
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
- 650ml lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- extra flour for dusting
- Pile the flour and salt on to a clean surface (or inside a large bowl) and make an 18cm/7inch well in the centre. add your yeast and sugar to the tepid water, mix up with a fork and leave for a few minutes. Then pour into the well. Using a fork and a circular movement, slowly bring in the flour from the inner edge of the well and mix with the water. The flour will look like stodgy porridge at this point of time. Continue mixing the dry flour with the water till it comes together into a roughly formed dough ball. Now use your flour dusted hands to knead the dough. Roll the dough backwards and forwards, using your left hand to stretch the dough towards you and your right hand to push it away from you. Repeat this for 10 minutes until you have a smooth springy soft dough. (I rubbed oil on to my palms and the insides of my bowl in the last few minutes of kneading to ensure the dough didn't stick).
- Place in a bowl. Flour the top of your dough, cover with a tea towel and let it rest for at least 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature. This will make it easier to roll it thinly. Divide the dough into as many balls as you want to make pizzas. (I made 6 with this quantity). It is a good idea to roll out the pizzas 15 to 30 minutes before you want to bake them. If you are preparing the dough way in advance, store the dough covered with clingfilm in the fridge. To roll out the dough, take a dough ball and place on a surface dusted with flour or semolina. Roll out thinly to about 0.5cm/1/4 inch thickness. Tear off a piece of aluminium foil large enoug to hold the pizza base, rub it with olive oil and dust it with flour. Place you base on top. Do this with the remaining dough balls, stacking the bases in the foil one on top of the other. You can cling wrap this stack till ready to use or bake straightaway with toppings of your choice.
- To cook the bases, preheat oven to 250C/500F. If possible, cook pizzas on a pizza stone or slab of granite. (Since I had neither, I oiled an aluminium pizza plate and half baked the pizzas on it. Then I transferred the half baked pizzas to a round wire rack and baked them on it. Another great pizza baking dish is a round pizza crisper available from baking and departmental stores. This metal dish has lots of holes in it to enable circulation and ensure a crisp base). Cook only for 7 to 8 minutes until golden and crispy.
Apply as few toppings as you can. Smear pizza sauce very lightly on the pizza base. 3 tablespoons of pizza sauce is enough cover the surface evenly. You want the pizza base to be able to breathe in order to be crisp. I usually have a jar of homemade tomato based pizza sauce on hand in the fridge. When I don't have that, any pasta sauce will do. I usde the pasta sauce in tandem with plain old barbecue sauce sometimes. After putting the toppings on the base, always drizzle some olive oil lightly over and around the pizza.
Variation 1 - Tomato sauce for the base. Top with slices of pancetta, fresh red chili and cheese.
Variaion 2 - Mix of tomato and barbecue sauce for the base. Top with thinly sliced mushroom and cheese.
Variation 3 - Mix of tomato and barbecue sauce for the base. Top with slivers of onion, 1 lightly beaten egg and cheese.
Variation 4 - Mix of tomato and barbecue sauce for the base. Top with wedges of fresh fig and bocconcini cheese. Garnish with rocket leaves after baking.
Variation 5 - Tomato sauce for the base. Top with olives, slices of potatoes and cheese.