img_0674_2

  • 1 kg strong white bread flour , (or 800g strong bread flour mixed with 200g semolina flour)
  • 1 level teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 x 7g packets of dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

For the pizza dough, sieve the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into 650ml lukewarm water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. When it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Alternatively, you can leave it to rise in the fridge overnight.

Remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out. You can use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into 6 to 8 balls.

Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizza bases out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Stack the pizza bases, with a square of oiled tin foil between each one, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge. Now’s the time to get your wood-fired oven, or conventional oven, heated up to 475ºF (or the highest temperature your oven will go). Place a couple of heavy baking trays in the oven to heat up, too.

When you’re ready to assemble your pizzas, remove a tray from the oven, put a pizza base on it and assemble it quickly with your preferred ingredients. Place in the oven immediately while you prepare the remaining pizzas. If you’re using a wood-fired oven the pizzas should cook, one by one, in about 3 to 4 minutes – you want them to be puffed up, crispy and delicious. In a regular oven, they’ll take 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

makes 6 – 8

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s, Wood-Fired Pizza