How to make pizza
For the dough
- 400g/14oz strong white flour
- 100g/3½oz semolina, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp salt
- 15g/½oz fresh yeast, or 1½ tsp of dry yeast
- 275ml/9½fl oz water
- 50ml/2fl oz olive oil, plus extra for oiling
For the topping
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- pizza toppings of your choice
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, semolina and salt. Stir in the dried yeast (or crumble in the fresh yeast, whichever you are using). Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour most of the water into the well along with the olive oil and bring the dough together with your hands or a wooden spoon. As the flour is incorporated the dough will start to take shape. Add the remaining water if the dough feels tight or hard.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cut off a small piece of the dough and stretch part of it as thinly as you can. If you can see the shadow of your fingers through the dough - the light should shine through the dough like a window pane - without the dough tearing, it is ready to prove.
- Knead the cut piece back into the dough and shape the dough into an even ball. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to prove in a warm place for about 1-1½ hours, or until it has doubled in size (the temperature of your kitchen can affect the timing of this).
- When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and knock the air out. Divide the dough into two equal portions, and shape each portion into a ball. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to prove again for about 15 minutes.
- Place a pizza stone or an upturned baking tray into the oven and preheat to its highest setting.
- Dust the work surface liberally with semolina. Roll out one piece of the dough to form a circle that will fit on your pizza stone or baking tray.
- Transfer the pizza base onto a plastic chopping board (or another upturned baking tray) dusted with semolina. The tray will be used to slide the pizza base directly onto the pizza stone.
- Cover the surface with half of the tomato sauce and toppings of your choice.
- When ready to bake, slide the pizza directly onto the pizza stone and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the base is golden-brown and the toppings are bubbling. Repeat with the remaining dough, tomato sauce and toppings.