Introduction: La Migliore Pizza Da Mangiare
A simple recipe that works all the time. No exotic ingredients required.
Step 1: Supplies for the Dough
All purpose flour - 500g
Dry yeast - 3 tea spoons
Sugar - 1.5 tea spoons
Salt - 1 tea spoon
Oil (olive oil works well) - 1 table spoon
Very mildly warm water - 250 to 270mL
This quantity makes two large pizzas (about 30cm or 12 inches in diameter each)
You can also add oregano, garlic powder and other herbs of your choice.
Keep a handful of extra flour or fine semolina for help with rolling later.
Step 2: Mixing the Dough
Gather all the ingredients. First put the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Then add the oil and mix it in.
Slowly add water and incorporate it into the dough.
Keep kneading for 5 minutes until you feel that the dough is springy. If you gently poke the ball of dough, it should spring back. You can adjust flour and water slightly. You do not need a food mixer. Just your your hands and put in some love.
Tip: Once in a while, between kneading, lift the ball of dough and smack it back into your mixing bowl. It adds a bit of air!
Step 3: Resting the Dough
Once you are happy with the kneading, let the dough rest and the yeast do its work.
Put the dough ball in a large bowl and cover the top with a towel or a cling film, leaving plenty of room for the dough to expand. Place it in a warm location. Kitchen counter, inside a switched off oven, close to your room heater... you choose. If you live in a cold area, turn up the heating in a room, leave the dough there and close the door.
Leave the dough to rest for as long as you can. At least 3 hours. If you have the time, mix it in the afternoon and leave till you are ready to eat in the night.
Step 4: Sauce
The sauce is entirely up to you.
Crushed tomatoes + garlic + salt + sugar + oregano is a good combination. Go as fancy or as classic as you want. Place in a pot and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a while till you get a good consistency. Cool it down to room temperature before spreading on the pizza base.
Step 5: Rolling Out the Dough
After the dough has risen properly (approximately doubles in size), it is ready to be rolled out into a pizza base. This is a good time to turn the oven on and heat it up above 200 degrees Celsius (400 F).
Lift the dough ball out of the bowl. It is going to be a little sticky. You can dust it with flour or add some fine semolina to prevent it from sticking. Dust your work surface and rolling pin also. Gently flatten out the dough with your fingers into a round shape. Then roll it with the rolling pin, making sure to go all the way and over the edges. Shape it to fit your oven, pizza tray, pizza stone, whatever you have on hand.
If you don't have a rolling pin, no problem. Just stretch the dough with your fingers, lift it up a few times and let gravity do the work for you. If you are an expert, toss it up and spin it!
Step 6: Combine Everything
Place the rolled out pizza dough on the pan that goes into the oven. It is a good idea to gently apply some oil to the pan and sprinkle semolina to prevent sticking.
Then, pour a few ladles of sauce and spread it around. Do not overfill. Leave a little bit of emptiness at the edges to form the crust.
Add toppings and cheese of your choice. Olives, jalapenos. pineapple... whatever you fancy. If you like pyramids and not flat discs, go ahead and please yourself. Nobody is judging you. It is your pizza after all.
Step 7: Into the Oven It Goes
Your oven should be hot by now. Put the pizza in the oven for about 10 min or until you see the cheese turning golden.
If you decide to top your pizza with basil leaves, do that after the pizza comes out. Else, they will get burnt. Oregano flakes can go into the oven. No problem with that.
To check if the pizza is done cooking, gently lift it and tap the base from the bottom close to the centre, you should hear a hard sound. This indicates that the dough is cooked and not soggy.
Pro tip: drizzle some extra virgin olive oil after you take the pizza out.