Ricotta and tomato pizzas

Quick and easy pizzas with scoops of creamy ricotta and fresh herbs.

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • DifficultyEasy

For the dough

240ml warm water (about 43C)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed
2 tsp (7g) caster sugar
2 1/4 tsp (7g) active dry yeast
325g plain flour, plus additional for kneading
65g white or yellow polenta, plus additional for forming
1 1/2 tsp salt (4g)

For the topping

4 medium ripe yellow or red tomatoes (about 900g)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
480g fresh ricotta cheese, at room temperature
5 to 6 sprigs fresh basil, oregano or parsley, or a mix, leaves stripped and torn

1) Stir the water, oil and sugar in a liquid measuring cup until the sugar dissolves. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and set aside without stirring until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2) Whisk the flour, polenta and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. With a wooden spoon or your hand, gradually stir the flour into the liquid to make a rough dough. Pull the dough together into a ball. Turn out onto a work surface dusted with flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 6 minutes, using a little flour if necessary to keep it from sticking. Shape the dough into a ball.

3) Brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough around in the bowl to coat lightly. Cover the bowl tightly with cling film, trace a circle the size of the dough on the plastic, and note the time.

4) Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Turn it out onto a work surface; knead briefly to release excess air, reshape into a ball and return to the bowl. Cover and let rise until it's soft and puffy, about 45 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Grate the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. If very juicy, drain lightly in a strainer. Sprinkle the garlic with the salt and mash and smear into a paste with the side of a chef's knife. Add to the drained tomatoes. Whisk in the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper to taste.

6) Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7.

7) Divide the dough in half and form into rounds. Press each round into the polenta, flipping to dust both sides. Hold the dough up like a steering wheel and rotate and stretch it to make a thin disk.

8) Lightly brush a pizza screen or crisper with oil and place a round on top. Spread half of the tomato mix over the top and bake until the crust is golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven and drop spoonfuls of ricotta on top. Scatter with the fresh herbs and serve. Repeat with the remaining pizza.

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