With Al Fresco dining on the summer menu, we’ve teamed up with Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano who has shared his recipe for making the perfect pizzas – ideal for sharing!
“Homemade pizzas are fun to make and so much nicer than bought ones. They’re especially brilliant for getting the kids involved in cooking.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a pizza oven, just turn your home oven to as hot as it will go and bake them on the top shelf (although a cheap pizza stone in your oven is a brilliant addition).
“When making pizzas choose your favourite toppings or experiment with new ones. Sweet pizzas are also fantastic, try spreading a thin layer of ready-made custard or lemon curd on your base, bake it until caramelised, finally topping off with fresh fruits and chocolate sauce.”
Luis’ perfect pizza recipe
This recipe makes 4 12” pizza bases.
- 650g “00” white pizza flour (or strong white bread flour)
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 7g instant dried yeast
- 30g extra virgin olive oil
- 350ml cold water
- Extra flour and fine semolina for shaping
- Toppings: anything you like! I love pepperoni with black olives, a good sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and some generous teaspoons of ricotta cheese scattered around the pizza. Try drizzling a little warm honey over the pizza too as it comes out of the oven.
- Add the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and the water to a large bowl and start to mix together with your hands. It should come together as a sticky dough ball.
- Wipe the bowl clean with it and start kneading it on a clean dry surface for around 10 minutes until you end up with a smooth dough. You can also make the dough using a mixer and dough hook (knead for six minutes on a low speed).
- Pop the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Place to one side for around an hour or two until the dough has doubled in size.
- Tip out the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into four equal size pieces.
- Roll each piece into a tight ball with your hands and place them onto a large baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between each one. Cover them with a damp tea towel and place to one side for around an hour.
- Make up a mixture of half flour and half fine semolina in a bowl, about 100g of each is enough.
- To shape a pizza base, take a dough ball and dip it into the flour semolina mix. Also give your worktop a good dusting of the mix.
- Using your fingers slowly flatten out the dough ball starting from the centre and working outwards gradually stretch it out into a flat pizza base. Keep spinning it on the worktop as you go, dusting it regularly on both sides by flipping it over. Aim for a circle around 12 inches in diameter.
Keeping it well dusted will stop it sticking to your worktop and make it easy to transfer to the oven using a pizza peel or flat baking sheet.
- Once this is done you can start adding your toppings. Start with a thin layer of tomato sauce, any toppings you like and a light sprinkling of cheese. Be careful not to overload your pizzas with sauce and toppings as this could make it soggy - the perfect pizza base should be crisp yet fluffy.
- Cook in the oven. The perfect pizza usually takes around 8-10 minutes to cook, but make sure you check on it regularly to prevent it from burning.