I think I am putting pressure on this recipe by naming it the ultimate pizza, but it really is that good. The key to this recipe is slow fermentation, you want to prove the dough for at least 12 hours, preferably 24. Luckily the dough comes together very easily as there is no kneading involved, so there is very little involved other than waiting.
The fermentation produces a thick deep pan style base which is crisp on the top and bottom but light and fluffy inside. I’ve tried this dough twice now, once on a 24 hour prove and second on an 12 hour prove, both were great but the 24 hour prove was amazing!
I got the idea for this dough whilst making Pitta Breads, the dough is very similar to pizza dough but has more water giving a lighter and fluffier dough. I added a touch more yeast to get a better rise than pitta breads.
250g (or 1 1/4 cups) 00 pasta flour or strong white bread flour, sifted
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 packet of instant yeast – 7g
175mls / 3/4 cup of warm water
Add your dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Make a well in the centre and add in your water and olive oil. Slowly incorporate with a wooden spoon until you have a soft wet dough – add more water or flour if your dough is too dry or wet.
Cover the bowl with cling film. Leave in a warm place for upto 24 hours, or at least 12.
If you want to prove it for longer, say 48 hours, leave it in the fridge.
After you have proved the dough, tip it out on to a well floured board and very lightly knead it to bring it into a round ball. Roll out slightly, you won’t need to a lot as it will stretch when you move it off the board. Place on a well oiled pizza tray (the type with the holes in, very good for getting a nice crisp base) or a baking sheet. Leave to prove once more uncovered for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat your oven to the highest heat and set your rack to the highest it will go.
Make up a simple tomato sauce whilst you are waiting for it to prove. This is so easy to do. Blend up a can off plum tomatoes, add to a hot saucepan with some olive oil, a couple of cloves of bashed up garlic, few basil leaves and some oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer on a high heat for 10 minutes. Blend up once more. You can freeze this sauce in little tubs or an ice cube tray to defrost as you need it, it makes about 5-6 pizzas worth.
Top your pizza with a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce and then mozarella and your choice of topping. We used some Laverstoke mozarella, this has a proper creamy flavour and much better than the usual rubbery offerings found. Then it was topped with crumbled sausage – do this by removing the skins, breaking up the meat and frying it in a pan with some chili flakes until crisp.
Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
I love this dough because it requires no kneading or rolling but has bags of flavour, I’m normally a thin and crispy pizza person but this deep thick crust has converted me!