- 800g "00" flour
- 200g strong white bread flour
- 14g active yeast
- 1 tbs golden caster sugar
- 1 level tbs fine sea salt
- 650ml tepid water
- splash olive oil
- flour (for dusting)
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- buffalo mozzarella (don't be cheap here - you will taste the difference)
- toppings of your choice: we used olives, chili, capers, pepper, tomato, rocket, pesto, portabello mushrooms, red onion, grilled courgettes and jalapenos (not all on the same pizza)
This pizza dough recipe comes courtesy of Jamie Oliver and appears in Jamie’s Italy and Jamie at Home. While the recipes and quantities are pretty much the same, the curiously named Tipo “00” flour only gets a mention in Jamie at Home. Having made the dough with both types of flour, I strongly believe that Tipo “00” is the way to go. White bread flour makes an adequate dough but to create a base that is on a par with the light, thin bases you’ll find at good restaurants, you’ll need “00” (we’ve managed to procure it from both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose).
We also use bottled water instead of tap. It might sound pretentious but during my trip to New York, home to some of the most wonderful bagels, pastries and pizzas on earth, the guide of a food tour I was on shared the secret of their success: New York water. As we live in an area with exceptionally hard water I think it’s worth it.
You’re going to end up with a super light, springy dough. Be warned, the quantities specified in the recipe will make around six to eight pizza bases. It took a long time to construct all eight so if you don’t want to be in the kitchen for too long, halve the quantities.
A note on the sauce:
Jamie Oliver’s tomato sauce is simple and effective but if like me you cannot bear to strain the sauce, thus eliminating all of the chunks of tomato, then don’t. If you want a smooth texture, finish the sauce in a blender.
- Heat the olive oil in your saucepan and fry the garlic until it starts to change colour.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar, seasoning, half the basil and simmer for around 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining basil, check the seasoning then remove from the heat. If you have any leftover sauce after making the pizzas you can freeze it for next time.
- Mix the yeast and sugar with the tepid water, stir well and leave for a few minutes.
- Combine the flour and salt in a big bowl, making a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture into the well.
- Slowly stir using a fork to bring the flour into the yeast mixture. Jamie Oliver says this will come together into a porridge-like texture.
- When you can’t stir it anymore, flour your hands and form the dough into a ball.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by using your left hand to stretch the dough towards you while your right hand is stretching it away from you. You’ll need to add flour while you’re doing this so the dough won’t stick to your hands but try not to add too much. Watch this 3 minute video if you’re unsure.
- Put the dough back into the big bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it for about an hour in a warm room. When you return to the dough it should be a lot bigger. Now might be a good time to preheat your oven and pizza stone (if you have one) to 230°c.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces, flour your surface and start rolling them out. You can stretch the dough out with your hands or use a rolling pin, just try to make sure they’re really thin as they will rise in the oven.
- Add the tomato sauce and toppings but don’t go overboard; less is more.
- Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.