Pizza margherita

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium

For the dough

400g plain flour
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch sea salt
30g fresh yeast
310ml tepid water
Topping, recipe follows

For the topping

450g pendula tomatoes or 625g fresh tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed in garlic press
Extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
280g Buffalo mozzarella, roughly chopped, see Cook's note*
12 basil leaves
100g Parmesan, optional
For the pizza:
1) Preheat oven to 220C/Gas 7.

2) Shape flour into a mound and make an indentation on the top. Pour the oil into the indentation and add the salt. Melt the yeast in a cup of tepid water and pour it into the middle. Start kneading the dough with your hands until all the yeast is absorbed and the dough feels elastic, firm, and looks shiny. Add more water if dough seems too dry.

3) Roll it into a ball, sprinkle with flour and place in a bowl. Make a cross on the top. Cover with a cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour in winter and 30 minutes in summer.

4) Stretch the dough and then roll it out with a rolling pin on a floury surface, until it is about 0.5cm thick. Cover the surface of a baking tray with 1 tbsp of oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.

5) Place dough on baking sheet and press the edges in firmly with your fingers. Add tomatoes, reserving a little of the juice, and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes.

6) Remove from oven and add chopped mozzarella. Tear the remaining basil leaves and scatter over mozzarella. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan and the rest of the tomato juice. Cook for 5 minutes. Eat immediately.

For the topping:
1) Cut the tomatoes in half. As you drop them into a medium-sized bowl squeeze them with your hands so that the juice comes out. Add garlic, olive oil, salt, and half the basil leaves. Leave to marinate while the dough rises.

*Cook's note: We find that it's better to use mozzarella which is 2 days old, because it's less watery.

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