Recipe: make your own home pizza

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This is a great way to make pizzas at home and the recipe features in the Sheffield Cookbook: Second Helpings.

INGREDIENTS

For the dough

500ml water (at room temperature)

3g fresh yeast

800g Caputo Blu 00 flour

25g salt

Toppings per pizza

100g mozzarella (preferably fior di latte, but bufala is ok), torn into pieces no bigger than a grape

50g ricotta

Handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered

Handful of Parmesan shavings

Fresh basil oil (50g fresh basil leaves blended with 60ml best-quality extra virgin olive oil)

Basil leaves, to garnish

San Daniele Prosciutto (or any great Parma ham, optional)

METHOD

For the dough, pour the water into a large bowl. Add the yeast and dissolve by gently stirring. Add the flour a little at a time.

With your hand, fold in the flour. When the water and flour turn into a creamy consistency, add the salt and leave for a few seconds.

Continue to add the flour and turn with an ‘outside to inside’ movement. The hand movement should be circular, taking the dough from underneath, lifting it, folding it over and pushing down vigorously with the palm of the hand. Continue until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough detatches from the bowl.

Place the dough onto a floured surface. Using both hands, ‘fold and push’ the dough for 5 minutes – be gentle! The movement should be the same as that used in the bowl but using two hands. Try not to tear the dough as it will ruin the gluten. ‘Fold and push’ the dough until it is soft and stretchy and has a smooth texture. The dough should be moist to the touch but not stick. If you make a small indent in the dough, it should gently spring back. Cover with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes, then divide the dough into 200g balls and place in a large tupperware container, making sure the balls are not touching each other and have space to spread. Cover tightly with cling film and leave to rest for 24 hours in the fridge (or 4-5 hours, somewhere dry and warm). The cling film should not touch the dough.

To make the Napolitan pizza base, scrape a dough ball out of the container and place on a well-floured board. Using your fingertips, press the dough ball firmly, starting at the centre and working out to the edge. Leave 1cm around the rim of the pizza untouched. Turn the dough over and repeat. Using the palm of your hand, make a smooth movement to ensure the thickness of the base is consistent. Take the flattened dough ball onto your fists. In a gentle movement, stretch the pizza out to 25cm by moving your fists apart and spinning the dough 90 degrees in the air.

Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Once the pan is smoking hot, take it off the heat and place your pizza base into the pan. Working fast, use the back of a large spoon to spread a thin layer of ricotta on to the base. Top with mozzarella and a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Place the pan under the grill as close to the element as possible. You should see the base bubble up and the cheese melt within 30-60 seconds. Slide the pizza onto a serving plate. Add the fresh shavings of parmesan, a few fresh basil leaves, the slices of San Daniele and basil oil.