Mystic Pizza

Pizza2

Loosely based on Jamie Oliver’s basic pizza recipe, these pizzas are simple to make but mouth-wateringly delicious. Wholemeal flour provides a healthier base and, I think, goes better with an olive/capers/anchovy topping than the traditional white does. Discovered this by accident – basically finishing off all the nearly empty bags of flour in the house and it worked surprisingly well. Feel free to experiment with substitutions.

Dough

Feeds four ( for one meal) or two (dinner +lunch the next day)

350g wholemeal bread flour

150g white pastry flour (self raising)

1 7g sachet yeast

300ml warm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

(you’ll need extra flour for the kneading surface + extra olive oil for the pans)

Add flour and salt to LARGE mixing bowl. Mix the water, oil, yeast and sugar in a measuring jug and pour slowly into the middle of the flour. Mix together (get your hands dirty) until a solid (quite sticky) dough. Leave in a warm place with a damp cloth cover for about an hour. In this time make the sauce and do the washing up.

Sauce

Half a tin of tomatoes

5 fresh tomatoes

(Good quality) olive oil

Two cloves of garlic

Sugar and salt to taste

Fresh basil to taste

Black pepper

A bit of a non-recipe really, but here’s what I did:

Chop/crush the garlic as small as possible and heat in a saucepan in a generous amount of olive oil. Chop the tomatoes, adding half of these and the half tin once the garlic is fragrant. Add the sugar and salt, and leave to simmer until the tomatoes start to disintegrate. Add some of the basil and whisk with a hand whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the tomatoes and leave to simmer while you prepare the base. Season to taste. Keep tasting.

NB. if this isn’t thick enough for you, a tube of tomato and garlic paste will do as a quick alternative, just smear generously on the dough before adding your toppings.

Putting it together

Preheat oven to gas mark 6/ 200°c.

Back to the dough. Jamie recommends all sorts of wrap-up-and-leave-lying-around type things but I found that after the hour you just need to take it out and knead on a clean floured surface until you get bored/it’s stretchy enough to spread over (very) oiled baking trays, as thin as possible without any holes. It will rise.

Spread your sauce/paste on the pizza, then the fun bit. Obviously you can be as outlandish/traditional as you want, but I went for:

1) Pepperoni, chopped peppers and pesto

2) Anchovies, capers, red onion, spinach, mixed olives

3) Salami, ricotta stuffed spicy peppers, artichoke hearts in oil, sun-dried tomatoes and mixed olives

Cover everything with torn up mozzarella then place in the oven for roughly 40 minutes. Make sure you keep checking and swap which pizzas are at the top. The crusts should go slightly crispy and the mozzarella will go golden.

When they’re done, sprinkle with fresh rocket or basil and black pepper. To reheat place in a hot grill for 7 minutes, they’re even better the next day.

Pizza

Serving suggestion – salad + fuckloads of balsamic vinegar

 

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