Description (Some HTML is OK)
This is pizza as authentic as I can make it. Proper dough (made in a bread machine or kneaded by hand), garlicky tomato sauce and for the fiorentina bit: spinach and an egg cracked over the pizza just before going in the oven. This makes 4 individual pizzas (about 8" each)
Makes 4 servings
- For the dough
- ½ tsp yeast
- 5oz strong wholemeal flour
- 6oz strong white flour
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp milk powder (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 210ml water
- Tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 red pepper
- 1 courgette (optional)
- 2 tins tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- For the topping
- 4 oz cheese (mozzarella is best, but i often just use cheddar)
- 2 cubes frozen spinach per person
- 1 egg per person
Preparation (Some HTML is OK)
Make the pizza dough using either your bread machine or by combining all ingredients and kneading for 5-10 mins until you get a soft stretchy dough.
Divide the dough into 4 balls and roll/ pull out into 4 approximate circles (you'll need plenty of flour as the dough is quite wet) making them as thin as you can. Place on floured baking trays and leave to rise (covered in a tea towel) for 10-20 mins.
Meanwhile heat oven to highest setting and then cook pizzas for 4 mins (this is a part-bake). Wrap pizza bases in a tea towel (want them soft not crunchy) and leave to cool. Bases at this stage can be frozen easily.
Make some tomato sauce according to my Secret recipe tomato sauce recipe. This makes more than you need but the sauce has many other uses and can be frozen too.
When you are ready to make the pizzas, heat the oven as high as you can and place your baking trays in the oven to heat up (if they have a lip, try putting them in upside down).
Defrost the spinach in the microwave with a little water. Cut the cheese into small (1/2 cm) cubes. Spread a thin coating of tomato sauce onto the base, followed by a fair sprinking of cheese cubes. A few dollops of spinach next (don't spread this around, you want it in about 4 neatish piles). When you are absolutely ready to put the pizza in the oven, crack the egg over the top: it may run off a little and you need to hold up the edges and run over to the oven. (Be warned, you either need an assistant to open the oven door or open it just before you crack the egg.)
Cook for about 7 mins (or until the egg looks cooked). A 'margherita' only takes about 5 mins. Eat immediately, topped with a sprinkling of black pepper and your best olive oil.
Serve with a very cold lager and you are in pizza heaven!