It is back to basics this month and I am exploring the beauty of a simple recipe, well done. No frills, no fuss, just plain old favourites prepared with the utmost simplicity. After some simple brownies
and an old fashioned crumble
, I wanted to share a savoury classic. Pizza. It is fast, cheap and convenient to order. So, most of us never bother making it at home. But if you do make it at home and realise how easy it really is to have pizza dough stocked up in your fridge and pizza sauce sitting in a jar, you might never order pizza from the store again. And the crust, oh the crust!
The recipe I am going to share with you today is a Jamie Oliver recipe. It is absolutely his recipe, pure and unadulterated. As much as I like to tinker with most recipes, his recipes I have found hardly ever need tinkering. This pizza dough recipe produces the most stunning crust I have ever had. Rolled and stretched out thin, it makes a crispy base pizza. Rolled and laid out thick and deep, it produces a fluffy deep dish pizza. The edges always crisp out and turn golden, the centre is always fluffy and perfectly cooked. There is no stodginess or heavy uncooked batter ever. It is quick to put together and forget about. It takes 15 minutes tops and is just gorgeous. Do give it a try and let me know how it went. I have included some lovely variations in my notes, something to get your creative juices in the kitchen flowing.
- 800 g strong white bread flour
- 200 g fine semolina or semolina flour
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, or 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 14 g dried yeast
- 650 ml lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , + extra for oiling bowl
- extra flour for dusting
Pile the flour and salt on to a clean surface (or inside a large bowl) and make a well in the centre. Add your yeast, olive oil and sugar to the tepid water, mix up with a fork and leave for a few minutes until it froths. 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.
Dust a clean surface with flour. Place the dough ball on the flour. Now use your flour dusted hands to knead the dough. Roll the dough backward 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.
Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours (ideal). When the dough has risen and doubled in size, it is ready to use (if it is a warm day at 25°C, this will happen in just 30 minutes otherwise it may take longer. Turning the oven on and leaving the bowl of dough on a stool near the closed oven door also helps speed up the rising of the dough).