Skill level: Medium,
Total cooking time: 1 hour, 30 minutes,
- Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes,
- Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes,
Equipment used; Food processor OR mixing bowl, 1 frying pan, baking tray
Original recipe: (Delia Smith’s) Basic pizza dough
I was attracted to this recipe because it said the dough could be made in a food processor – no mixing or kneading required!
For this recipe, I went classic; Pepperoni and green chilli, but this would also be ace topped with Parma ham, blue cheese and leek (A keen observer will notice that these are same ingredients used in the puff pastry tartlet I made a while ago)
I followed the recipe for the pizza base to the letter – my only advice would be to roll this as thinly as possible… and then some. The first time round I left the middle a tiny bit thick and the corners were the best parts by far.
(Original recipe in bold font)
Begin by warming 175g flour slightly in the oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven off.
Prepare your topping – I like to top with passata, but opt to reduce the tomato sauce on the hob first – simply heat in a frying pan until it bubbles for 10 / 15 minutes or so. Add tomato puree to thicken further. When ready, add to the just rolled pizza base.
Sift the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pour in 120 ml hand-hot water water. Alternatively add the lot to a small food processor bowl and use either a dough attachment (if you have one) or the standard blade (if not)
Now mix to a dough, starting off with a wooden spoon and using your hands in the final stages of mixing. I mixed for approximately 2 minutes in the processor.
Wipe the bowl clean with the dough, adding a spot more water if there are any dry bits left, and transfer it to a flat work surface (there shouldn’t be any need to flour this).
Knead the dough for 3 minutes or until it develops a sheen and blisters under the surface (it should also be springy and elastic) – I left this to mix for another 2 minutes in the processor.
You can now either leave the dough on the surface covered by the upturned bowl or transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover it with clingfilm that has been lightly oiled on the side that is facing the dough – Best to lightly oil the bowl as well.
Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in bulk, which will be about an hour at room temperature.
Having made the dough and left it to rise, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8, 450°F (230°C), along with the pizza stone or baking sheet.
The next stage is to tip the dough back on to a work surface that has been sprinkled generously with polenta to prevent it from sticking.
Knock all the air out of the dough and knead it for a couple of seconds to begin shaping it into a ball. Then dust your rolling pin with polenta and roll the dough out to a circle that is approximately 10 inches (25.5 cm) in diameter.
Then finish stretching it out with your hands, working from the centre and using the flat of your fingers to push the dough out; it doesn’t need to be a perfect round, but you want it to be a fairly thin-based pizza, with slightly raised edges.
Top with passata, salami and fresh green chillies.
Using a thick oven glove, very carefully lift the baking sheet or pizza stone out of the oven and sprinkle it with polenta. Now carefully lift the pizza on to the stone or baking sheet and cover with one of the toppings below.
Bake the pizza on a high shelf for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
For the base:
- 6 oz (175 g) plain white soft flour
- 1 level teaspoon salt
- 1 level teaspoon easy-blend dried yeast
- ½ level teaspoon golden caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 level tablespoons polenta (cornmeal)
For the topping:
- 1 packet of salami
- 1 green chilli
- 1/2 jar of passata
- 2 tbsp of tomato puree