Sourdough pizza

Meat pizzaVeg pizza

 

 

 

 

 

Meat topping: Parma Ham, roasted peppers, mushrooms and onions
Vegetable topping: sweet potato, feta cheese, mushrooms and kale

Pizza base
Makes 1 x 10” pizza

170ml tepid water (25C)
275g strong white flour
3g fast action dried yeast or
4g fresh yeast*
5g salt
5ml extra virgin olive oil

* If you have a sourdough starter, use 12g

This is a two-stage recipe. Time it perfectly by making the first stage, the “poolish,” the night before, then taking it from the fridge in the late afternoon of the following day so you can have pizza for supper.

Put the water, 180g flour and half of the yeast in a bowl and mix to a wet batter. Transfer this batter to a sealed container and refrigerate for 12–16 hours — this helps the dough “ripen” and develop slowly.

Remove poolish from the fridge and leave at room temp for 1 hour.

Add 5g salt and the remaining yeast (if using sourdough add 1g dried yeast/2g fresh yeast at this stage) then add 95g of flour and knead by hand for 4-5 minutes, adding the olive oil towards the end. Leave in a warm (about 25C) place covered by a damp cloth for 1 hour.

Mould the dough into a ball on a lightly floured table and cover.

After 1 hour the ball is ready to be shaped. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature –  260°C or more. Flour the table, take a ball of dough and flatten it with both hands, pushing it out to a 6in circle. Further stretch the dough by pushing it into an oblong shape, turning it and pushing it out into a circle. This is called “opening” the dough.

You can use a rolling pin but this is the more authentic way. You can also try flipping it from one hand to the other, opening it as you go – this is the professional method.

Once the dough is open, smear with a little canned, puréed tomato seasoned with salt.

Follow with mozzarella, a sprinkling of oregano, then other ingredients, depending on what you’re adding. “White” pizza is made by smearing the dough with mashed buffalo ricotta in place of tomato.

Flour the peel or baking tray and slide the pizza on to it. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the pizza are puffed and light brown, and the underside is crisp.

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