This recipe is absolutely flawless and the pizzas are incredible, we have baked the various times to find the perfect point for the oven temperature and cooking times, so I hope this one works for you too!
This makes about 6 pizzas, feel free to split this recipe in half, if you only want to bake a few for two people.
Fermenting time: Minimum 6 hours
Proofing time: Minimum 1 hour
- 1kg white flour, I always look for stone ground and organic
- 700g tepid water
- 8g dry yeast
- 20g salt
How to prepare the dough
Weigh the 700g of water, take 3 tablespoons from it and pour it in a small bowl and dissolve the yeast.
In a bigger bowl mix the 1kg flour and the remaining water. Cover the bowl and rest for 30 min for autolysis – this means the water will hydrate the flour well and simple sugars will become more available for the yeast to ferment the dough afterwrards.
The yeast in the water will also active in the 30 min while waiting.
When 30 min have gone by, pour the yeast water into the dough, add salt. You can either use a gentle mixing speed on a machine or you can do this by wetting your hand to incorporate the ingredients. Keep your hand well hydrated, no need to put flour, the water will keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. You should fold the dough a few times and make sure the salt and the yeast has been mixed in well. No need to kneed this for a long time.
Leave to ferment for 1 hour in a warm place covered with a clean kitchen towel.
After 1 hour, do one fold on the dough – grab a side of the dough and fold it over itself, do this from all the sides, four times is fine. After that, oil well the bottom of your bowl with olive oil so the dough doesn’t stick, and leave it to ferment for the next 5 or more hours. I sometimes leave the dough overnight.
Shaping the pizza balls before baking
When the bulk fermentation has finished, flour a big surface and dump the dough out on it. With a rubber utensil, cut the dough into 6 same size pieces.
Shape the small pieces into tight balls, flour a large dish to put the pizza balls for proofing.
Cover them with a plastic kitchen wrap to keep the dough from drying out and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour.
You can keep them in the fridge for up to two days. I really do advise you to proof them in the fridge, because they will be stiffer for shaping afterwards.
Prepare the toppings so they are ready on hand
TOMATO – I make my own tomato sauce, it is very quick and easy. You can get pealed or chopped can tomatoes, heat them in a pan with some gnarling, a pink of salt, a pinch of sugar. Adjust ingredients according to taste. Leave it to cool completely
CHEESE – I never grate cheese. I use the real mozzarella balls, not the “pizza” solid “mozzarella”. You can break it into pieces with your hands, I like it so much better that cutting them with a knife. You can cut some thin slices of Parmigiano reggiano. Or some blue cheese, gorgonzola, whatever comes to mind!
PROSCIUTTO, JAMON, SPICY SAUSAGE – anything that you like really
The key to every good pizza is to not use more that 4 ingredients to overwhelm the tastes.
Pre-heat the oven at 240 degrees Celsius heating top and bottom, don’t use the ventilation unless you know your oven heat is not too strong.
Pre-heat either a pizza stone, if you have it, or any other metal pan for the oven. It has to be very hot when baking.
Take the dough balls out of the fridge, flour a bigger surface, I usually use a big cutting board that I can move to more easily slide the pizza onto the hot pan afterwards.
Spread the dough out with your fingers, no need for a rolling pin, leave it at the thickness you prefer, remember it will grow a bit in the oven. BUT don’t make it too thin, it will break.
Season them as you like, here are a few examples:
- Margherita – tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil
- Prosciutto – tomato, prosciutto crudo, mozzarella, olive oil
- White cheese pizza – oil the dough, mix it up with some different cheeses, like mozzarella, gorgonzola, cheddar, parmigiana, pecorino, ricotta etc.
- Anete’s Broccoli rabe pizza – oil the dough, cook the broccoli rabe with some garlic beforehand and leave it to cool, use mozzarella and ricotta(I used feta), some parmigiana, top it with the broccoli rabe and a few chilli flakes.
COOKING IN THE OVEN
When the pizza has been seasoned, take out the hot pan from the oven, slide the pizza onto it (use a lot of flour on the board so it doesn’t stick), and pour some extra virgin olive oil on top of the pizza.
Cook the pizza directly on the lowest part of the oven so the bottom cooks well for 10 min.
Move the pizza to the middle shelf to finish cooking for 5 min more.