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This recipe makes 4 x 11 inch/28cm thin based pizzas. Multiply the dough recipe by 1.5 or 2 for thicker bases or more pizzas! The tomato sauce recipe will easily be enough for 8 pizzas (use excess for pasta sauce of freeze)
500g strong white bread flour (or 400g bread flour plus 100g fine ground semolina
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet (or 2.5tsp) of dried instant yeast (the kind you can put directly into the mix)
1.5 level tsp golden caster sugar
300ml warm water (40 degrees celcius)
Sieve the flour into a med bowl
Add the salt, sugar and instant yeast to the bowl (put the salt on one side, yeast on the other so that the salt doesn't kill the yeast). Add in the semolina if you using this with the flour.
Make a well in the centre and add the warm water into the well
Using a fork and a circular movement, slowly bring in the flour from the inner edge of the well and mix into the water. Continue to mix, bringing in all the flour – when the dough comes together and becomes too hard to mix with your fork, flour your hands and begin to pat it into a ball.
Turn out onto the work surface and knead the dough by rolling it backwards and forwards, using your hands to stretch, pull and push the dough. Keep kneading for about 5 minutes, or until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and a tea towel (for extra warmth) and leave in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes - 1 hour until doubled in size
While the dough is proving, make your tomato sauce (see method below) and prepare your toppings
ROLL OUT THE DOUGH (AFTER PROVING):
When the dough is ready, divide the dough into 4 equal balls and tuck into a neat ball
If you can, leave the balls (covered with clingfilm) to rest for another 15 minutes – this will make them easier to roll it thinly BUT this isn't essential.
Dust a clean surface with a little flour (not much) and/or semolina and roll it out one of the pizza dough balls into a rough circle, about ½cm thick - keep turning each time you roll, and you can push out by hand as well.
Rub the pizza tray with a little olive oil or dust with flour/semolina and place the pizza base on top (use perforated pizza trays, or a baking sheet and you can make any shape pizza that fits
Gently press out and stretch the dough to fit the pizza tray.
Paint a little olive oil on top of the base (this will help crisp the base)
Repeat with all the dough balls to create the bases
TOMATO BASE SAUCE (makes a bit more than you need but great as a pasta sauce and you can freeze)
1 white onion
1 stick celery
1 clove garlic
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano/mixed herbs
Peel the onion and chop into a fine dice
Wash the celery, and then cut down the length into long strips, then across into a fine dice
Peel the garlic and finely chop/mince
Place the olive oil in a pan and add the onions/celery
Turn on the heat to medium, and sweat down until translucent
Add the garlic and cook out for a minute or two
Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper – mix
Bring to a simmer and cook out for 15-20 minutes
Turn off the heat and blend to a nice puree (stick blender ideal)
Now taste the sauce and add in more salt, pepper and sugar if required to balance the flavours.
Remove from heat and cool until needed - MUST BE COOL BEFORE ADDING TO PIZZA DOUGH
ASSEMBLE THE PIZZA:
The pizza bases (see recipe above)
The tomato base sauce (see recipe above)
Mozzarella (grated or balls), cheddar, feta, goats, parmsan