For the pizza base
- 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 tbsp fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for greasing the bowl
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
For the pizza sauce
- 150ml passata
- small pack basil, leaves picked and finely chopped
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
For the toppings
- choose your favourites (we used black olives, yellow peppers, salami and grated cheddar)
- 200g ball mozzarella, torn into small pieces
Put the flour in a large bowl. Add a little salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side. Sprinkle over the sugar, together with a spoon, and add the oil and 190ml warm water. Combine with a spoon until all the flour comes away from the sides of the bowl, then tip onto a floured surface. Knead for 5-10 mins or until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a clean bowl, add the dough, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hr.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour the passata into a saucepan, add the basil and mixed herbs, then season and bring to the boil over a low heat. Simmer gently for 5 mins, then set aside to cool. Chop the toppings.
Once the dough has risen, tip it out, knock out the air and divide into 6 equal parts. Heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9 and place 2 large baking sheets in the oven.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle around 15cm in diameter. Pick up the circle of dough and toss about a metre up, spinning it in the air. Catch it on the back of your hand, so your fingers don’t poke through the dough. Do this at least 3 times to achieve a thin central base and a thicker outside crust. Alternatively, you could carry on rolling, but it’s not as much fun!
Lay the bases onto baking parchment (2 bases on 1 piece of parchment) and carefully slide each pair inside a plastic bag ‘tent’ for 15 mins to prove again.
After the second rise, spread the sauce over the bases and add the and mozzarella. Take the baking sheets out the oven and quickly slide the pizzas (still on their baking parchment) on top. You can cook 2-3 pizzas per tray. Return to the oven and bake for 12 mins. Take out, slice and eat.