Preparation time: 30 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes–1 hour
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the dough:
7g quick-acting yeast or 30g fresh yeast
1 tablespoon caster sugar
500g Tipo ‘00’ flour, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to grease
For the topping:
1 x 400g tin good-quality plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano,plus extra to serve
1 teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon peperoncino or cayenne pepper
200g freshly grated mozzarella cheese
Toppings of your choice –it’s important not to overload the pizzas, so stick to a maximum of 3 toppings per pizza
To make the dough, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 250ml warm water and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. (The yeast should make the water froth and bubble, but don’t worry if it doesn’t happen.)
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Using a fork, mix in the yeasty water until it starts to form a dough. Add the oil and bring together into a smooth dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it has an elastic, smooth texture – time to give your arms a workout! If the dough sticks to your hands, add a little extra flour. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm spot for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it has doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to its maximum temperature, 250˚C/480˚F/gas 9.
In a food processor, blend the tomatoes with the oil, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper. Get the mozzarella and your choice of toppings ready and grease 4 baking trays (approximately 35cm x 25cm) with a little oil.
When your dough is ready, divide into 4 tennis-ball-sized amounts and mould until smooth. (If not using immediately, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel for up to 2 hours.) On a floured surface, roll each of the balls of dough to fit the baking trays. The dough should be quite thin – about the thickness of cardboard. Transfer the pizza bases to the trays.
Place a ladleful of the tomato sauce in the centre of each base and spread towards the edges, leaving a 1cm edge for the crust to form. Sprinkle each pizza with grated mozzarella and your choice of toppings.
Place in the hot oven and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the base is cooked and golden. Serve, sprinkled with a little oregano.